For people with Dyslexia to improve their foreign language learning, the most effective approach is the phonological approach. This approach is highly recommended by foreign language institutions and is beneficial for people with Dyslexia.
When it comes to learning a new language, people with Dyslexia suffer the most. They also struggle with learning to read and write their mother tongue. Some countries make learning foreign languages mandatory in primary or high school. In contrast, it may also be a job requirement or interest of an individual when he/she opts to learn a new language. In any case, either people with Dyslexia free themselves from learning another language or fight the disorder to achieve new feats. In some cases, people, in general, may not be aware of how much marketable they become when they master literacy skills in the new languages.
Therefore, how productive a person with Dyslexia is when learning another language is determined by an individual approach and the language he/she chooses.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder and reading disability. It impacts an individual’s reading skills since he/she cannot quickly identify speech sounds and learning skills since he/she is unable to decode the language. Dyslexia affects parts of the brain that are specified for learning languages.
The disorder makes the individual struggle with spelling and breaking down language into its components sounds. This affects the initial learning stage of an individual. This is the primary part where the instructor must focus on so that the rest of the Dyslexic’s foreign language journey is comfortable. Moreover, people with Dyslexia are brilliant in creativity, out-of-the-box solutions, and problem-solving skills. These skills add advantage to them when they grasp basics and advance in language learning.
For people with Dyslexia to improve their foreign language learning, they must take a phonological approach. This approach is highly recommended by foreign language institutions and is beneficial for people with Dyslexia.
Not just people with Dyslexia, everyone can apply this approach to attain a new language’s sounds. Moreover, people with Dyslexia must concentrate, study, practice, and review more on a lesson when the foreign language class is over. Consequently, visual recognition, spelling efficiency, and reading proficiency will continue to improve. Additionally, to get adapted to the new language environment, one must become acquainted with foreign sounds. This technique is similar to the one babies apply as they quickly adapt to the language spoken around them.
Every individual is different from others. Similarly, if one language is suitable for one, it may not be ideal for another. When it comes to foreign language learning for people with Dyslexia, one must be aware of Opaque and Transparent Language differences.
Languages like French, English, and Danish are considered opaque. What makes them opaque is the difficulty in understanding the letter to sound equivalence. It is not easy to break words into their component sounds. Not only for people with Dyslexia but also for everyone learning English may face a lot of difficulty understanding the language and its phonology; they have to develop comprehensive strategies to bypass the hurdles.
Transparent Languages, like Spanish, can be an excellent choice for people with Dyslexia. It is highly predictable, has fewer rules and minimal exceptions. Although it shares root words with English, it has only five vowels to master. The issue of phonological awareness may also not be an issue with Spanish. Transparent languages are also easier to understand and directly correlate between letter and sound (grapheme and phoneme).
Still, it is entirely up to each person which foreign language he/she chooses to learn. Liberty to choose has an entirely different impact on an individual’s learning. It’s significant if he/she follows his/her interest rather than indulging in facts. Yet, if he/she is unable to decide or deem every language as equal, then he/she should opt for a transparent phonetic system. Head over to Teacher Catalina to learn Spanish!
Let’s have a look at some savvy strategies we compiled for people with Dyslexia.
Start working on your speaking and listening from the day you start the course. This will help you gain momentum and improve your fluency in the new language. Pronounce every new Spanish word you hear; start speaking sentences with the new terms and make a word library to practice pronunciation.
In an online course, dialogues are easily accessible. You can carefully listen to your teacher’s chatters to delve your mind into adapting to the new language. Even though you don’t understand, your brain will be adapted to the foreign language environment. Speaking and listening are the most useful skills when conversing with native speakers and are easy to master for people with Dyslexia.
Pronunciation can be a hectic task for some students. But, with proper training and practice, a person with Dyslexia can become dominant in the skill. Here are a few tips you can perform when working on pronunciation.
Listen carefully to the teacher.
Observe her pronunciation.
Repeat what the teacher said loudly.
Practice the word in front of a mirror to fit it on your mouth
Don’t be limited to words. Practice entire phrases and sentences through the same strategy. In a short period, you’ll start pronouncing like a native. Teacher Catalina has separate pronunciation videos for Spanish Lessons.
Phonology is the study of sound systems of languages. People with dyslexia face problems in matching sounds to letters. The best way to work on this is to carefully listen to our teacher when she pronounces with the subtitles open below. Teacher Catalina has subtitles enabled on YouTube to develop this skill for people with Dyslexia. Besides that, you can watch foreign-language movies with original language subtitles; as a part of the learning exercise, you will be able to map sound with letters as you listen to the speaker and read the subtitles. Even though you won’t understand the meaning, you’ll enhance your phonological skills.
Take full advantage of a foreign language:
Whenever you hear new foreign language words, build a vocabulary bank. This will help you link different words together in a sentence. Then, you can use these words in translating other things in your first-language into the second-language. For Example: from now on, you can call ‘Bed,’ ‘Cama’ in Spanish or ‘Kitchen,’ ‘Cocina.’ This word associating exercise will entail you in speaking Foreign language words in your daily routine. Hence, your brain will hold new words easily as you progress.
Additionally, hop on to YouTube and entertain yourself with foreign movies, songs, vlogs, podcasts, news reports, or any other entertainment. The more you are exposed to the foreign language, the better the results will be. It will help you form sentences, be involved in foreign language conversations, and indulge in the foreign culture.
Flashcards are one of the best tools to make learning less overwhelming. When you divide the words into separate cards, it makes you accessing and learning them easy. Flashcards help you remember the vocabulary words that you aren’t able to grasp with any other method. Remember to be patient and practice a lot. Write the foreign word on one side of the card and its translated meaning/word at the other end. When you look at the word, you will begin recalling its translation. If you can’t remember, you can always flip the card to see it. Use the flashcards daily to utilize the technique altogether.
Mnemonics are a great way of learning words – either in a native or foreign language. People with Dyslexia can use a similar approach to learn new vocab that will stay in their memory for a long time. You may pick a foreign language word and find a similar-sounding word in your native language. Since the phonology of different languages is linked, you can easily find similar-sounding words. There are several ways of utilizing mnemonics; you can create anecdotes, games, or rhyming patterns to familiarize you with the foreign word.
Study in Context:
When a student with Dyslexia is not exposed to learning in context, it will be difficult for him/her to advance in his/her foreign language lessons. You will be exposed to a few words, phrases, and sentences that will be part of a grammar or vocabulary course. To have complete command over what you are learning, you have to study the context overtly.
Mistakes are learning curves:
People with Dyslexia are prone to mistakes and challenges. That doesn’t mean one should give oneself a hard time with that. Challenges are a part of learning curves. Not only for people with Dyslexia, but everyone learning a new language encounters challenges in the process. One can work through and improve with the mistakes. Initially, one needs to focus more on what you are learning rather than what hurdles you encounter. It’s fun to learn a foreign language, so enjoy it!
The most important thing is motivation. When you are motivated to learn, you can do wonders!
These were a few tips people with Dyslexia can use to improve their understanding of a foreign language. Did you know people with Dyslexia are brilliant strategists, creative, and use their right brain effectively? So what’s stopping you from learning a foreign language?
If you want to learn Spanish for free, you can visit Teacher Catalina.