View Full Version : Dyslexia and Foreign Language Advice

05-29-2018, 10:41 AM
My twins both had IEPs/ISPs while in public/private school, but accommodations were never made for their foreign language classes (French/Spanish). I will be homeschooling them from now on, and I know that one of the twins is definitely on a college track. He's also the twin with dyslexia. I know a bit about how to handle it for ELA purposes, but I haven't the foggiest idea about how to approach formally teaching him a foreign language, particularly if he wants to learn anything with a different alphabet.

Are there any resources for guidance about dyslexia and teaching a foreign language? Is this something that ultimately won't be a problem because he's had years of intervention in English? I honestly don't know. I'm just anxious about the whole thing.

Thank you in advance.

Numme net huddle
06-06-2019, 09:19 PM
I am bilingual (German/English) and have multilingual children (German/English/Spanish). I researched a long time ago about language development in bi- and multilingual Children and found something interesting. Sometimes children with dyslexia can learn a foreign language easier than English. We had a girl who speaks and reads Turkish but was dxed with dyslexia because of her challenges in acquiring English language. It seems like her brain is not ‘wired’ for English.

It’s the breaking down part of the language into component sounds. Interestingly children with dyslexia may have problems with English and French but not with German, Spanish, and Italian. The component sounds of the language can be easier combined with the letters. I teach German and many say it’s a challenging language. Not to most children though. They still can learn the ‘harsh’ sounds and blends and have a blast because the language is spoken as it is written. That could be a reason why there are no Spelling Bee competitions in Germany  the spelling is predictable.

If you look at English it’s rather confusing how many combinations can make the same sound. In the Montessori classroom we use something called “18 Baskets” or "Alternative Spelling" for the sounds. Depending on the classroom it’s way more than 18 baskets. E.g. u sound can be oo, ew, ui, U-e, ue, u, o, and ou. That is a lot for a brain to take in.

If you the the chance go with a phonological approach to the foreign language.