Roughly 20% of British entrepreneurs are dyslexic; not only does this prove that being dyslexic is no barrier to success; it also highlights how important it is to consider the needs of dyslexic learners through our business language training.
This article will provide trainers with a simple set of tips to take into consideration when teaching a learner with known Specific Learner Differences (SpLDs). SpLDs is an umbrella term, which covers dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADD and ADHD.
‘Neurodiversity’ is an approach to Specific Learner Differences (SpLDs) which argues that these differences are natural and should be recognised and respected as a social category; much like gender, sex or race. Embracing diversity in all its forms is essential in today’s world, and the language learning classroom should be no exception.
Tips for language trainers working with learners with SpLDs:
1. To help dyslexic learners with reading skills, use a large enough font and use ‘sans serif’ fonts, e.g. Calibri or Arial. Use coloured paper and/or get the learner to use coloured overlays if this helps. A ‘reading frame’ may also be useful to prevent information overload.
2. Ensure the environment is as conducive as possible to study e.g. space, lighting, heating, minimal disruption etc.
3. Always give your learner an overview of what you are going to cover in each lesson. You can share these with the learner at the start of the lesson as a set of objectives. You can write on the board: ‘by the end of this lesson, I will be able to…’
4. Present a manageable amount of information. As this is not always easy to judge, keep dialogue open and create a learner-centred classroom where the learner can advise as to how much material is realistic to cover in each lesson.
5. Teach the language using multisensory teaching methods – use multiple input/output strategies – visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic.
6. Present all ideas visually, if possible. For example; mind-maps, flashcards, colour-coding parts of speech when introducing new vocabulary (verbs in blue, nouns in green for example).
7. Help vocabulary retention by using mnemonics to aid memorisation.
8. Assist and encourage a student in organisation e.g. flip the classroom and give notes and main information before the lessons. Make sure the learner writes notes about the homework set, keeps a study diary, records lessons etc.
At SIMON& SIMON we provide bespoke language training to meet the specific needs and objectives of each of our learners. Everyone learns in different ways and our trainers are fully equipped to get the most out of each one of our clients.