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Dyslexia in the Foreign Language Classroom
A practical guide for teachers By Ania Krzyzak Education is undoubtedly the birthright of all children. In this situation, the purpose of every nation is to produce literate, well-educated and intelligent residents who are able to contribute to the proper development and progress of the whole society. Schools cater to all needs of children coming fromdifferent classes and sections of the society. In these schools children form various backgrounds with different interests, expectations, needs and certainly learning styles and abilities meet. Unfortunately, among these pupils there are many smart and intellectually capable children who are not given an opportunity to present their knowledge and show their intelligence, instead they are oftenlabelled as lazy, stupid and very often ineducable. In fact, these children are not ineducable, but suffer from a frequent and common processing problem - dyslexia. In every day practice, the number of very intelligent children who encounter difficulties in reading and writing is high and the phenomenon of dyslexia occurs profusely. To many experts, dyslexia seems to be a very elusive condition. Someare still arguing over its nature, origin and symptoms, since dyslexia has many faces. Dyslexia manifests itself by significant difficulties in

the acquisition and use of writing, reading, speaking, listening, reasoning and mathematical abilities. Through the past years there has been a significant increase in the amount of research on dyslexia conducted and the emerging data is far fromconclusive. Some possible causes of dyslexia have been identified by researchers, but not all have been fully confirmed yet. There may exist many theories concerning the etiology of dyslexia, but the factors responsible for some specific learning difficulties include: genetic, environmental and neurological factors (such as brain impairment, deformation, dysfunction and backwardness, the brain'sanatomical differences and the size of hemispheres), disorders happening in the prenatal period, disorders in sensory perception and motor functions and hearing problems in early childhood. Dyslexia, however, may be associated with some risk factors, such as: male sex and other family members affected with this dysfunction. Going further with dyslexia, I would like to concentrate on the symptoms andremedial support. There are many warning signs and visible symptoms of this learning disorder which can be easily and early noticed by parents and teachers. Dyslexia is a diverse condition which can range from mild to severe symptoms. When one takes into consideration children with dyslexia, it clearly appears that they are not at all alike. Undoubtedly, each individual sufferer displays a differentset of features, but there is one common problem all dyslexics face - it is difficulty with the written language, a failure to recognise and

interpret what is perceived. Symptoms of dyslexia are closely related to the following areas: vision, reading, spelling, hearing, speaking, writing, balance and movement and memory. Most commonly, however, this learning dysfunction is characterized byproblems with single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological-processing abilities. Apart form the symptoms related to the areas mentioned above, there are other warning signs of dyslexia which include: spoonerism, sequencing, trouble telling the time and physical clumsiness. In observing symptoms of dyslexia, a huge role is attributed to teachers. In the classroom process teacherscan notice among dyslexics such warning signs as: changed or reversed shapes and sequences of letters and numbers, inconsistent and incoherent spelling, skipping words or lines while reading, poor concentration and high distractibility while reading, word blurring, doubling and size change. Furthermore, these can be: difficulties making some speech sounds and meaningful utterances, confusion...
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