26th December 2018

Course #15 Dyslexia and EFL teaching

Course Nr.: #15 

Dates / Location
Leiden (Netherlands)
​2019: ​18 – 23 August
2020: 23 – 28 February (dates to be confirmed)

Target Groups:
Teachers of EFL, language coaches and remedial teachers in primary, secondary and vocational education.

Course aims
This course will familiarize participants with the characteristics of the dyslexic student in general and they will gain insight as to the enormous obstacles dyslexics are confronted with when/while learning English. Participants will get acquainted with interventions and didactical procedures to address the variety in educational needs of their dyslexic students and learn how to make use of ICT-tools.

Delegates will deepen their knowledge on:

  • how reading and spelling problems can influence the achievements and behaviour of students in the English classroom
  • how dyslexia can have a negative effect on English vocabulary learning
  • why these students miss out on fluent reading, resulting in lower or even lacking text comprehension skills
  • how to approach pupils with dyslexia and address their fundamental problems with recognizing English speech sounds and spelling patterns
  • how to support them to build effective routines for vocabulary learning
  • how to address reading fluency issues
  • how to offer alternative or compensatory ways of testing language skills

Delegates will be able to use a range of assistive technologies.

– find the right digital tools for enhancing phonemic awarenes
– support and assist vocabulary learning
– find & select relevant high frequency wordlists
– check their own texts and vocabulary lists on word frequency
– make informed choices with regard to various supportive digital tools

Methodology
The course activities include plenary, tutor-led introductions to dyslexia related issues, methodologies and demonstrations of relevant useful applications.
Depending on the needs and educational contexts hands-on activities are carried out by participants individually, in pairs and/or small groups and include exploration, analysis and discussion of use cases, digital tools and exemplary materials and teaching practices.

During the course and at the end of the week delegates will share and discuss content they customized/created such as activity designs and teaching & learning (digital) materials to be used in participants’ personal practice.

To provide flexible access to course related tasks and resources a virtual learning environment (VLE) will be used.

Preparation
A pre-course, online questionnaire will be provided to assess pre-knowledge, work context and experience with a view to further alignment of course content and procedures to needs and interests.
Delegates are expected to bring their own (digital) coursebooks/training materials and personal computer devices.

Day-to-Day Course Topics

Day 1

  • Arrival participants
  • Greet & Meet
  • Cultural Event

Day 2

  • course aims, questionnaire review / finetuning expectations
  • have a critical look at myths and rumours about dyslexia;
  • compare individual knowledge and experience with regard to dyslexia and its effect on our pupils;
  • study the concept of dyslexia;
  • use various digital tools to help us get a better understanding of the obstacles that face our EFL students.

Day 3

  • explore the nature of English orthography and its negative impact on dyslexic individuals
  • study those aspects of the English language that should be addressed in order to offer the right interventions
  • do hands-on exercises, based on those aspects
  • with a critical eye explore supportive (online) tools

Day 4

  • introduce a systematic approach to the English spelling system
  • get acquainted with spelling principles and their respective spelling strategies
  • make our own spelling documents
  • discuss the value of various online spelling information/ exercises

Day 5

  • discuss the impact of dyslexia on fluent reading and text comprehension
  • study the relationship between vocabulary size and written texts
  • learn about the importance of audio-based stories and books
  • get informed by our guest speaker about existing English ‘readers’ and learn how to fit them into our curriculum
  • learn how to use digital tools, e.g. to establish word frequency

Day 6

  • review what we have learned so far
  • reflect on how to incorporate newly gained insights into lesson plans
  • design a number of exercises on the basis of our own coursebook vocabulary
  • present plans and exercises to fellow participants
  • course evaluation
  • certification