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Is my student dyslexic?
Posted: 09 Mar 2009, 20:39
I'm a TEFL teacher and I have a student who I'm beginning to suspect has dyslexia. He has an excellent command of spoken English but when it comes to reading and writing he's really finding it difficult. At first I was putting all his problems down to the fact that he uses a different alphabet, which also reads right to left, in his native language. However, I've been working with him for quite a few months and he is making very little progress. I've been teaching him to work through each word syllable by syllable but he does not seem able to make any connection between even the simplest combinations of letters and the way that they should sound. His parents have said that he was a very poor at spelling and writing in his native language also, though he has never been formally assessed as dyslexic. Would the dyslexic assessments that they carry out in Irish schools effectively be able to differentiate between a limited command of English and a dyslexic condition?
Re: Is my student dyslexic?
Posted: 31 Mar 2009, 21:51
At a guess if your student does not have phonological awareness he will have difficulty in both spelling and reading.You may need to complete a check of letter and blend sounds before breaking words into syllables. Does he show any other dyslexic signs..capital letters in middle of words, letter reversal or omissions? The computerized Dyslexic Screener or an Ed Psychologist test will show you if he has any working memory deficits. If he has visual processing difficulties then this is enough reason to cause him spelling and reading difficulties. Students who have dysgraphia or dyspraxia can also struggle with spelling and reading or it is possible to have dysorthographia which is a spelling difficulty.
The fact that he also struggles with spelling in his first language does not always equate to a specific learning difficulty.You have not mentioned how old the student is or what language medium he is taught at school. What language does he speak at home or with friends...all important actors.
Having said all that it is always worth checking with his school's Learning Support teacher to check for dyslexia or there are web sites e.g http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk where u can look for online test or checklists
One last point...ask him if letters or words move on the page, or when reading if he looks away can he easily find the last word he read?Does he have to read with his finger following each word?