Dyslexia is recognised as a learning difficulty which influences learners’ reading and listening skills. Apart from that, dyslexic learners might struggle with remembering grammar patterns and pronouncing words correctly. If you are a dyslexic student you might think that learning English can be a hurdle. Well, maybe it’s not the easiest thing to do but if you embrace the power of dyslexia (yes, the power!), your dreadful learning experience can turn into something pleasant and valuable. That’s true – there are certain language areas which can be a bit more challenging to understand and practise but as a dyslexic person you also have some strengths which can help you become a better user of English.
Read on to learn more about our learning tips which tap into dyslexia super powers :).
1. Think outside the box
Dyslexic people very often excel at creativity and reasoning skills. You might ask how this can help you learn English. Well, this can be your great asset when taking part in various role-plays, problem-solving discussions and brainstorming sessions in class. You are adept at coming up with unusual ideas and as a result you are a great contributor to teamwork. Other classmates will appreciate it and, consequently, your internal motivation will be boosted. And strong motivation is conducive to learning. I bet you know such names as: John Lennon, Cher, Richard Branson, Keira Knightley – they all suffer (or suffered) from dyslexia but made the most of their skills. I’m sure you can do the same.
2. Go for multisensory learning
Wait, wait – what does this weird word in the heading mean? ‘Multisensory’ means using a lot of senses to learn and remember new things. Most people need to see a word to remember it. We call them visual learners. But as a dyslexic person you should use many (if not all) senses while learning a language. When noticing a new expression/ grammar point it’s good to note it down. Use highlighters or color-coding to mark the most important information. Create your own flashcards that you carry around with you so that you can revise new material whenever you have some spare time. Diagrams, charts, doodles, drafts, symbols, etc. – they are all great ways of recording new language structures. Everything that will make things more visual will do the trick. Once you’ve noted everything down, you can now record it. Yes, record! Take your smartphone and record new words along with their definitions, examples, synonyms, etc. And next time you commute, instead of staring out the window, listen to the new words. But you can add one more thing. While learning or revising try to move a little bit. You can walk around the room, go for a walk or even dance. This should also facilitate your learning process (and it’ll burn some calories!).
3. Focus on speaking
Mastering speaking skills is easier for dyslexic learners than honing their reading or writing skills. So why don’t you start from there? We learn a language to communicate effectively with others and most of the time we do it in a spoken way. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that grammar or writing isn’t important but let’s be honest – there are quite a few people who have all the grammar rules at their fingerprints but are afraid of speaking. Start with gaining fluency when speaking and you’ll feel more comfortable when navigating a conversation. Don’t worry about your mistakes – if you make occasional mistakes but they don’t impede communication, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Dyslexia can be a bit of a challenge when learning English. But if you focus on your strengths, you’ll be able to succeed. Fingers crossed!