This article was originally published by the International Dyslexia Association. User with permission.
Students who have language learning difficulties in their mother tongue may have problems learning another language in school.
[Dynaread adds: If the mother tongue is the common language in the society where the child lives and functions, then one must seriously consider whether it is wise to introduce yet another language. Example: An English speaking child in West Canada (where English is the common language), struggling with dyslexia, is best served if not asked to learn French. Having to learn French only adds to the complexities. It would be better advised to truly help the child to reach functional fluency in English. However, if there are legitimate reasons to have to learn a second language, it can be done].
With appropriate instruction most students can experience success. The keys to success are the responsibility of both teachers and students. Teachers need to provide appropriate, adapted instruction that meets a particular student's needs. Students need to recognize their learning strengths and weaknesses and stay committed to the task.
No. Many students have difficulties learning a new language system. This does not mean that they have dyslexia or a learning disability. Just as there are some students who have particular strengths in math, science, or any other discipline, some students have particular strengths in learning languages. There is great variability in people's success in studying a foreign language in school settings. Because some students classified as having dyslexia or learning disabilities (LD) and those not classified as having dyslexia or LD generally display similar difficulties and struggles with foreign language, these students are sometimes referred to as at-risk.
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Dynaread has been developed in the trenches of actual remediation, with our feet firmly planted on the ground. Scientific research is essential (and we consistently use it), but we also understand the realities at home and in school. Not all homes have two parents, not all Dad's or Mom's are always home, there is oftentimes no money, schools lack staff or funding. We listen, we observe, we discuss, and we build the best solutions we can for older (ages 7+) struggling readers.