Dyslexic language learners: are we truly catering for their needs?

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  1. 1. Dyslexic language learners: are we truly catering for their needs? How current ELT trends help or hinder their language development B Y L I C . S I L V I A R O V E G N O M A L H A R I N E D U C A T I O N A L C O N S U L T A N T U R U G U A Y
  2. 2. Aims To debunk some commonly-held beliefs about LD To conceptualise dyslexia in the light of current research To identify potentially problematic areas of difficulty when learning EFL To propose an integrated approach to pedagogical inclusion To identify how current ELT trends cater or not for SEN To come to some conclusions towards ELT for all To open up questions from the audience
  3. 3. Blog: silviarovegno.wordpress.com Twitter: @RovegnoSilvia Slideshare: www.slideshare.net/srovegno Means of communication: or where I can get hold of this presentation?
  4. 4. The scope of the matter
  5. 5. Debunking myths
  6. 6. Learning disabilities are all the same What are learning difficulties? LDs affect one or more of the ways that a person takes in, stores, or uses information. What types then? Phonological processing Memory and attention Processing speed Language processing Perceptual- motor procesing Executive functions Visual-spatial processing
  7. 7. More boys than girls are affected by learning disabilities. 1 - 4
  8. 8. Learning difficulties and Attention Deficit Disorder only affect children. Adults grow out of the disorders.
  9. 9. Learning disabilities, specially dyslexia, are only academic in nature. They do not affect other areas of a persons life.
  10. 10. Children with learning disabilities are identified in kindergarten and first grade.
  11. 11. School accommodations give students with learning disabilities an unfair advantage over their peers.
  12. 12. Learning disabilities can be cured or out-grown.
  13. 13. Dyslexic children are specially gifted.
  14. 14. Left-handedness is a sign of dyslexia.
  15. 15. People with LDs shouldnt learn a foreign language.
  16. 16. What is dyslexia? Brain and neurological functioning BIOLOGICAL LEVEL Mental processing and learning mechanisms COGNITIVE LEVEL Reading and spelling problemsBEHAVIOURAL LEVEL Socio-economic and instructional factor ENVIRONMENTAL LEVEL
  17. 17. What is dyslexia? International Dyslexia Association Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. BIOLOGICAL LEVEL
  18. 18. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities BEHAVIOURAL LEVEL International Dyslexia Association
  19. 19. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities International Dyslexia Association COGNITIVE LEVEL
  20. 20. and the provision of effective classroom instruction ENVIRONMENTAL LEVEL International Dyslexia Association
  21. 21. and what dyslexia is not? Dyslexia is not a result of lack of motivation, sensory impairment, inadequate instructional or environmental opportunities, or other limiting conditions, but may occur together with these conditions.
  22. 22. Dyslexia is A life-long condition A condition inherited from parents (typically father) to children A continuum A complex and multilayered difficulty
  23. 23. Linguistic problems experienced by dyslexic students Adapted from Kormos & Smith, 2012
  24. 24. Non-linguistic problems experienced by dyslexic students Adapted from Kormos & Smith, 2012
  25. 25. Dyslexia and EFL: main areas of difficulty Maintaining the pace of the class Unable to respond immediately when called upon spontaneously Comprehending spoken language especially when spoken quickly or when sounds are too different from native language Breaking down words of more than one syllable (prefixes, suffixes and compounds) Understanding and applying grammatical rules Hearing a word and recognizing it as the same word in writing
  26. 26. Integrated approach to inclusive pedagogy Diversity is the norm Accommodations benefit all students, not just those with SpLD Accomodations affect all areas of teaching and learning
  27. 27. Classroom Management Assessment Lesson Planning Material Design
  28. 28. Classroom management: Key ideas
  29. 29. Classroom Management Environment: Light, temperature, volume, Furniture equipment Timing Communication Routine and pace Grouping Use of whiteboard
  30. 30. Material design: Key ideas Students with LD need structured materials, with guidance to stay in task and presenting the different subtasks in sequence.
  31. 31. Material design principles Less is more. Avoid overcrowded pages.
  32. 32. From: teachingenglish.org.uk Use visual organisers
  33. 33. Use friendly Font: Dyslexie font http://www.dyslexiefont.com/
  34. 34. Lesson planning and delivery: key ideas Students with LD do not handle well transitions The key to success lies in preparing our students to that transition. If these preparations are carried out, students with LD can adjust more effectively to the classroom situation, focus and stay focused during the lesson.
  35. 35. Explicit Preview SegmentSequence Review
  36. 36. PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production Feature Adaptation EXPLICIT Aim and function PREVIEW Pre-exisitng knowledge and lexis SEGMENT Presentation: text-based SEQUENCE Practice stage REVIEW Add R & E stage
  37. 37. TBL (task-based learning) Feature Adaptation EXPLICIT Aim and linguistic aspects to be worked with PREVIEW Pre task phase SEGMENT Task phase SEQUENCE Language Analysis REVIEW Bring it all together
  38. 38. CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) Feature Adaptation EXPLICIT Aim and content areas and linguistic ones PREVIEW Content and Language SEGMENT Content: graphic organizers SEQUENCE Content work and linguistic work REVIEW Bring it all together
  39. 39. Skills- based lesson (pre, while, post) Feature Adaptation EXPLICIT Aim, skill, text type PREVIEW Content and discourse schemata SEGMENT Text and task SEQUENCE From global to particular REVIEW Strategies
  40. 40. Multisensory learning Active learning combining multiple modes of sensory input. Multiple modes of sensory input (attention- concentration) Multiple methods of processing (comprehension) Multiple storage sites (retention) Multiple opportunities for access (memory)
  41. 41. Assessment: Key ideas oAssess what students can do, avoid tasks that directly test what they cannot do oDesign tests that resemble the activities carried out in class.
  42. 42. Assessment Should reflect the type of tasks done in class Structured and sequenced Provide study guide Only TL corrected (writing tasks) Feedback for written work should be given orally Oral testing as far as possible
  43. 43. Concluding comments Pedagogical inclusion means not just working with sts with LD but with all students alike Accommodations are fair and necessary to cater for learning What works for some might not work for others All children have the right to learn and make the most of the opportunities they have at hand
  44. 44. Blog: silviarovegno.wordpress.com Twitter: @RovegnoSilvia Slideshare: www.slideshare.net/srovegno