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How to Learn Spanish with Dyslexia

Learning Spanish for people with dyslexia requires the right learning method, focusing on Listening to Spanish speakers and repeating. Growing Your vocabulary will help improve your grammar more easily. The Spanish Phonemic awareness you have been developing is essential for writing in Spanish.

Spanish is a widely spoken language in the world. It has the second-most native speakers globally, 450 million to be exact. Besides that, the number of Spanish speakers is rising as more people learn Spanish daily.

Spanish is easy to learn, yet people with learning disabilities like dyslexia face some challenges. It is necessary to find the right method for people with dyslexia not to hinder learning Spanish. I Teacher Catalina have videos and resources available for all learning levels and are highly suitable for people with dyslexia. 

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder and reading disability. It impacts an individual’s reading skills since he/she cannot identify speech sounds and learning skills since he/she is unable to decode. Dyslexia affects the parts of the brain that are specified for learning.

There are six types of dyslexias:

  1. Phonological Dyslexia: Extreme difficulty in reading. The sound of the language isn’t decoded and manipulated easily.
  2. Surface Dyslexia: Difficulty in processing a word.
  3. Visual Dyslexia: Difficulty in reading due to physical or neurological reasons.
  4. Primary Dyslexia: This hereditary Dyslexia is more of a dysfunction of the brain’s left side that does not change with age advancement.
  5. Secondary dyslexia occurs during the early stages of fetal development and is caused by brain development problems.
  6. Trauma Dyslexia occurs due to brain trauma or injury.

Dyslexia can cause challenges when it comes to learning. However, it must not be seen as an obstacle to learning Spanish. Spanish Teachers like me, are generally questioned about the possibility of people with dyslexia learning Spanish. I believe every student can learn and achieve results. 

Another good news for people with dyslexia is that Spanish is a more straightforward foreign language for them to learn. It is a transparent language with more straightforward decoding than English or French.

Here is how people with dyslexia can learn Spanish, with resources, along with some tips on how they can work on it themselves:

Listening/Speaking Spanish with Dyslexia

Fight the disorder barrier by listening carefully to what I say in the video lessons. Even if you cannot comprehend what I am saying, you will start training your ear; your brain will process the new flow of words. When speaking, I recommend that my students pronounce when I say a new Spanish word. As the lessons advance, you pronounce new words, store them in your word bank, and later use them in sentences. These are great ways you can practice speaking as well as learning.

  • Never speak Spanish due to peer pressure. Proceed when you feel comfortable speaking Spanish. I know you will speak Spanish.
  • I have attached visuals in my lessons to make the videos interactive and fun. They don’t feel like a burden of slides whishing away and dumping Spanish in you. Each image and visual aid has been carefully chosen to illustrate the point and help you store it in your long-term memory.
  • I have created fun practice exercises, incorporating handouts and tools so that you can learn more at ease.
  • Focus on Phonology during listening and speaking sessions. It will help you understand the pronunciation.

Vocabulary and Grammar are Necessary to Learn Spanish

Listening and speaking are essential in learning Spanish, but vocabulary and grammar are also necessary to build sentences you can use daily and begin communicating. Learning vocabulary and grammar may also be challenging for people with dyslexia. Teacher Catalina has got you covered. 

Here are a few vocabulary tips:

  • Pick words from my videos, texts, internet, etc.
  • Make vocabulary flashcards. Write the word on one side and its English translation on the back.
  • Verbally spell out your vocabulary words to help you retain them.
  • Use my videos as a source of learning or correcting the vocabulary and its pronunciation.
  • Highlight words in which you are facing difficulty
  • List different terms phonetically to avoid confusion

For memorizing grammar in classes:

I have made sure to use and teach vocabulary with levels 1-3 for beginners. Thus you’ll have an easy start. Also, I ensure that multi-sensory activity is maintained in the course so all students can adapt to it. Multi-sensory activity – Read, Write, Pronounce, repeat method – aids the brain-based learning vocabulary differently.

Writing in Spanish is the biggest challenge for people with Dyslexia

Writing is the part where people with dyslexia may experience the biggest challenge. People affected with the disorder scuffle with spelling words since their brains cannot process and store information. Even though memorizing can be challenging, training and practice can improve it with time.

Phonemic awareness is essential when learning Spanish, and Teacher Catalina ensures that it is taught in the initial stage. Following are some tips that will help people with dyslexia spell and write effectively:

  • Divide words into syllables. This is an effective method for Spanish words that are difficult to spell. It also helps in comprehending words at the morphological level.
  • Stay calm when you fall victim to mistakes while writing. We are all prone to mistakes; it’s normal when learning a foreign language.
  • Make sure you concentrate on a single spelling pattern for a few days. This will help you get accustomed to one pattern and master it.
  • Take regular breaks between lessons. Rewind the video, pause it, or re-watch it to grasp the content fully.

Many people think teaching Spanish to people with dyslexia is almost impossible, but I genuinely enjoy working with all my students, no matter the challenges. You will enjoy learning Spanish when you join me in a free Spanish journey at