Educating dyslexic children involves specific methods and teaching aids. Discover the most effective dyslexia tools for teachers.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that impacts reading comprehension, writing, and sometimes speaking. Dyslexic students often need special education and accommodations, as regular phonics is usually ineffective.
Teachers play a critical role in developing reading and writing skills in those with learning differences. If you’re among them, you probably understand the importance of using the proper methods for educating dyslexic kids. There’s no shortage of tools you can use, so how can you find the best ones?
This article will show some of the most helpful tools for helping your students learn more effectively.
Useful tools for teaching dyslexic students
1. Text to speech apps
Text to speech (TTS) is a widespread assistive technology for dyslexia. It turns written text into audio, helping people with dyslexia consume and comprehend content more easily.
TTS offers a myriad of benefits to dyslexic students, including:
- Better phonological decoding
- Higher focus on comprehension over sounding
- Increased attention and information retention
- Increased phonemic awareness
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) strongly recommends the TTS as classroom accommodations. It’s an essential tool for struggling readers, and adopting it can significantly improve your students’ learning experiences.
2. Multisensory teaching
Multisensory teaching relies on combining auditory, visual, and kinesthetic-tactile teaching methods. It helps children with dyslexia connect phonemes to tactile and visual cues, greatly improving their reading skills.
The most common method of multisensory teaching is the Orton-Gillingham approach. It offers step-by-step instructions that educators can use in their techniques to help students cope with dyslexia more effectively. So if you’re exploring new teaching strategies, it can be an excellent option.
Audiobooks are a suitable alternative to reading printed materials. They make it easier to comprehend and process information, so your students can retain more knowledge with less struggle.
In addition, audiobooks make note-taking easier since students don’t need to focus on reading and writing simultaneously, which can sometimes be overwhelming.
Reading flashcards are a handy tool that helps dyslexic children learn how to make connections between letters and how they translate to sounds.
Flashcards usually contain symbols, prefixes, suffixes, or other word components on the front. On the back, they have a key word that includes those components. They can also contain phonic symbols or reading instructions.
Tips for teaching dyslexic students
Implementing the right tools for teaching dyslexic children is the first step towards more education opportunities. Still, it may not be enough on its own. To create effective education programs, you must combine those tools with the best practices. Let’s discuss the most impactful steps to making this happen.
Create a supportive classroom culture
Students with dyslexia often struggle with self-esteem, believing they’re at a considerable disadvantage compared to their peers. A supportive classroom culture can help rewire these limiting beliefs and grow your students’ confidence.
Empathy and patience are crucial, so ensure your classroom culture is built around these values. Encourage students to ask for support and help each other learn more efficiently.
Spend more time on exam strategies
There’s a high chance you’ll have to adapt your exams to accommodate your students’ learning differences. Exams are stressful by default, and this added anxiety can overwhelm your students. Break your exams into simpler questions, and then adjust them as your students progress.
Use concept-checking questions
Concept-checking questions (CCQs) help solidify your students’ understanding of the meanings behind words. They rely on open questions, as opposed to yes-or-no questions like “Do you understand this word?”
For instance, if the word is “cold,” some CCQs could be:
- “What does a refrigerator do to food?”
- “What three cold things can you name?”
Incorporate visual elements
Implementing visual elements to handouts and worksheets can drastically increase your student’s comprehension and retention. Dyslexic students process information more abstractly than others, so visual elements help them organize information more easily.
From simple images to colorful charts, lots of visual elements can help children learn more effectively. That’s why you should ensure they’re omnipresent in your learning methods.
Focus on the big picture first
When explaining a new concept, you should start from the top and go down. In other words, explain the general idea first, and then break it down into details.
This way, your students will understand how specific elements relate to a concept without getting overwhelmed. This method doesn’t just apply to language but to various other subjects, so implement it when teaching them.
Speechify – the ideal TTS tool for teaching dyslexic students
You already learned about the value TTS provides to learners with dyslexia. If you’d like to incorporate a capable TTS reader into your teaching methods, Speechify is a great choice.
Speechify is an AI-based TTS generator that turns any digital or printed text into high-quality audio. As such, it helps students cope with many signs of dyslexia, including reading and comprehension issues.
You can turn workbooks into audio lessons that improve your students’ focus and word recognition. Seeing and hearing text simultaneously will help improve their phonological decoding and remove many obstacles that reading imposes.
Because of its multi-device support, Speechify lets you build text to speech into various media. It supports the majority of Apple devices, including the iPad and Mac. You can use it on iOS and Android smartphones, and Chrome and Safari extensions are available for browser use.
Finally, Speechify comes with 30+ voices that can make learning more fun and enjoyable. There’s also support for 20+ languages, making Speechify an excellent tool for international learning environments.
If you want to see how Speechify works and how it can help dyslexic students, you can try it for free.
What is the best way to help a student with dyslexia?
The best way to help a dyslexic student is to create a supportive learning environment and use the right assistive technology to make learning more effective and fun for your students.
How can parents support teachers with dyslexic students?
Parents can help teachers by talking to their children about their learning concerns and feeding them back to the teacher.
What are the most common dyslexia tools for the classroom?
The most common classroom dyslexia tools include TTS readers, flashcards, note-taking software, and colorful highlighters and pens.