Sunday, February 18, 2007

DYSLEXIA: Teacher's Role and Support

Dyslexia is a problem that many students face and have great difficulty coping with in a school environment. However, with the help and support of the teacher, dyslexic students can become successful learners. The teachers' role is to make educational adjustments to facilitate learning and create successful class environment. Educators ought to bear in mind that acquiring a great amount of knowledge about a dyslexic learner is the factor that may play an essential role in a child's later success. Therefore, teachers ought to collect as much information about a dyslexic, his family, friends and environment as possible. Whenever a dyslexic child is positively sure that the teacher recognises and is aware of the nature of learner's difficulties and helps him/her to overcome them, it may increase motivation as well as make him/her willing to learn.

Continuing with the teacher's role in working with dyslexic learners, it ought to be remembered that the curriculum needs to be designed in an appropriate way to suit dyslexic's needs and textbooks and materials selected with the dyslexic in mind. When choosing a suitable course book for a dyslexic student, it ought to be remembered that the book be well structured and clear. Moreover, schematic layout should be provided so that the student knows what to expect form a particular unit. When choosing the course book, the teacher should pay attention to the size of the font -- the bigger the letters, the easier for a dyslexic to perform reading tasks. Certainly, as far as the content of the book is concerned, it should not be overloaded with new lexical items and grammatical structures. It is advisable for a teacher to choose a course book accompanied with a workbook with plenty of exercises for dyslexic learner's individual practice.

Undoubtedly, there is no reason why a dyslexic learner ought to be taught different lexical items and grammatical structures than the rest of students. Certainly, the only changes the teacher is to introduce are in the strategy of teaching, not the content. The basic rule for teachers is to bear in mind that a gradual progress is the key to successful teaching. Teachers ought to take into consideration the fact that while working with dyslexics, certainly more time ought to be spent on revising material already familiar to students rather than introducing new material.

School environment plays an important role for a dyslexic learner. A structured, predictable and ordered educational environment should be ensured by teachers, as children with learning difficulties work best and respond most favourably in such settings. A general approach, that is on one hand positive and on the other sympathetic, may diminish the dyslexic child's anxieties and doubts and remove unnecessary pressures. In a positive and encouraging environment, dyslexic learners experience the feelings of satisfaction, success and self-value. Many of the achievements as well as failures that happen in dyslexic student's school life depend on the teacher's attitude to a great extent.

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