Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Learning Difficulties: Dyslexia in Second Language Learning by Marina Tzalamoura – Report

In her presentation, Ms Tzalamoura gave an overview regarding the difficulties Greek dyslectic students face when learning English as a second language and suggested certain methods that could be employed by teachers in order to facilitate such students.

Ms Tzalamoura started by providing a definition of the term dyslexia and we learned that it is a learning difficulty that affects the student’s short term memory, which in turn, affects auditory or visual sequential memory. Thus, dyslectic students have difficulty in retaining new items in long-term memory. They also have difficulty in spelling, reading and writing, to name just a few. She also emphasized that this learning difficulty is not related to the child’s intellectual abilities, their age or their educational opportunities. It is clear that such children should be taught with other teaching strategies, the most effective of which being the multisensory approach. Multisensory teaching techniques and strategies stimulate learning by engaging students on multiple levels, thus helping a child to learn through more than one sense. Then, we were demonstrated how spelling can be taught through the Multisensory approach. 

Ms Tzalamoura went on to give us some very useful tips on how to facilitate learning, one of the most important of which being that educators should keep in mind that each student is unique. We should appreciate their efforts, we should always encourage them and we should always remember: If our students cannot learn the way we teach, we should teach them the way they learn.

At the end of the presentation Ms Tzalamoura focused on the strengths of the Dyslectic students and pointed out that they can be really good at Maths, Science and other technical subjects as well as at subjects demanding creativity and new ideas. They may excel in arts, sports or computer technology. That’s why some of the greater inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs of all times were actually dyslectics. 

By Lana Lemeshko

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