It is not possible to cure somebody of dyslexia and nobody grows out of it. Therefore, it is necessary to teach dyslexic children how to learn a foreign language and how to develop their own learning strategies. Using their talents and intelligence and with the help and support of the teacher in English class, they can compensate and deal with their weak points.
The most important for EFL teachers is gathering information about a student with dyslexia. They can start from acquainting themselves with students’ written assessments. There is not only description of a child, his strong and weak points, but also useful instructions how to work with that student. It is also important to be in close cooperation with dyslexic student’s parents, as they know their child very well. Besides, EFL teachers should find out student’s learning style and respect it teaching a foreign language.
Since children with dyslexia have often low motivation for learning a foreign language, EFL teachers should create pleasant and friendly atmosphere in English class. They should also encourage students to have positive attitude towards English with the use of varied interesting tasks and materials. What is significant students ought to have opportunities to get into contact with English speaking countries’ culture. For example, they may write to a pen-friend, get in touch with native speakers or take part in student exchange programs.
Motivation of dyslexic learners in English class is often connected with their self-esteem. They need a lot of positive feedback and praise. EFL teachers have duty not only help to overcome dyslexic children difficulties, but also emphasize their strong points. School success is motivating and causes reduction of the child’s stress. These learners also need more understanding and support than their peers. On the other hand, teachers cannot be overprotective. They should encourage children with dyslexia to be independent. EFL teachers should set reasonable goals and requirements and after performing a task they should praise the child for great effort even if the dyslexic student does not quite succeed with exercise.
As children with dyslexia take up a lot of teacher’s time, it may cause problems with their classmates. Therefore it is necessary to explain the situation of the dyslexics to the rest of the class and promote mutual help and cooperation between students in English class. As often as possible let your students work in pairs or small groups to prepare dialogues or collaborative projects. It is worth to remember that students learn not only from teachers but also from their peers.
In English class where students with dyslexia are mixed with non-dyslexics who learn easily, the dyslexic learner will more often experience failure. That is why there is a huge role of teachers to organize lessons in such a way that each student would have an opportunity to show their strengths and enjoy English lessons.
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