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Online learning

Special announcement

We also have a 'MOOC' (Massive Open Online Course) based on this course, on the Coursera platform, prepared in collaboration with the University of London. 

Go to: www.coursera.org, search under 'dyslexia' and register.

The course is free but you can also earn a Certificate from the University of London for a modest fee.

We welcome donations to help us continue our work!


Dyslexia - difficulty with the written word - affects up to 10 % of the population regardless of culture, class or gender.

The children in your class with dyslexia may appear to be slow when in fact they are not. What happens is that their abilities are masked by their difficulties with written, and sometimes also with oral, language.

Symptoms of dyslexia - difficulties with reading, spelling and writing - occur in about 85 % of all learning difficulties (Cramer & Ellis).

It is widely recognised that whilst some children will show some traits of dyslexia in varying degrees, up to five per cent will display a cluster of severe problems with the written language which we shall discuss in Section 2.

This learning course is relevant to all teachers precisely because all teachers can expect to come across pupils with dyslexia to a greater or lesser degree in their classroom.

This course sets out to train all teachers in awareness and appropriate responses to learners of different learning abilities in an inclusive classroom setting. Preferably it will be used at the trainee stage for teachers before they stand in front of a class.

This course is therefore recommended for all student teachers and teachers who wish to develop a basic understanding of dyslexia in the classroom.

For formal evaluation leading to certification, national ministries of education are encouraged to evaluate this course and administer certificates accordingly as part of their teacher-training programmes.

It can be adapted for use in any local cultural and linguistic setting.

First it explains what dyslexia is and its consequences on many aspects of life. It helps teachers to identify it and know how to adapt their teaching to dyslexic learners’ needs. It presents the principles and methods of multi-sensory teaching which are necessary for students with dyslexia to become literate and develop their talents.

As several of the teachers who piloted the course noted, the suggestions, tools and techniques presented in this training are not only adapted to the learning needs of children with dyslexia, but are also beneficial for all children in any classroom.


Learning outcomes

With this course, we intend you to be able to:

  • understand what dyslexia is
  • know how to identify it
  • know how to teach reading, spelling and writing to children with and without dyslexia; know how to help children cope with their specific weaknesses in concentration, memory and organization
  • help your pupils to manage their dyslexia

You will also understand that:

  • all children learn differently
  • dyslexia has a pervasive negative impact on the child, and so early identification and intervention are important
  • dyslexia has positive aspects that should be explored, recognised by the whole class and celebrated

More generally, we hope that this course will help you as much as the Head of Support Services from an Elementary school that piloted it and gave the following feedback:

‘I was very impressed with the way you have approached such a complex subject and made it so accessible. It is evident that you have invested much time, thought, research and effort in creating this training tool. I found it informative, engaging, thought provoking and refreshing. I know that having read and absorbed the course, the knowledge I gained will be helpful both in my teaching of all students and those with dyslexia too. It has also broadened and deepened my understanding of the condition itself.

I particularly liked the breadth that you incorporated within the course, from neurology, definition, processes involved in reading and writing, the practical help for wider issues such as the social and emotional effects of such a diagnosis (or lack of one) on parents and child alike.

I know that this tool will also be useful as a reference, in that I will go back to elements of the course to refresh my memory on subsequent occasions.’

Here are some FAQs arising from the current course.


How to follow this course

You should make every effort to work in pairs, at least for the questions and activities. The feedback from the pilot suggests that the participants who worked in pairs gained more than the ones who did the course on their own, as they said themselves. For example:

‘We enjoyed completing the activities together and found that the open-ended questions were especially effective because they led to many discussions and as a result a deeper understanding.’

‘Working in pairs made it possible to practise the various assessments strategies that were presented and will surely help us remember when we are in the classroom.’

Please bear in mind that you can click from anywhere in the course on Glossary on the left of the screen to access the definitions of complicated or key words.

Duration: About 20 hours, depending on the extra time spent in further reading at the optional ‘second level’.



The course is free but, in return, we ask you to send back an evaluation form which you can find here, to this


Symbols and icons:

(Note: these are new icons for the interactive prompts since July 2012.)

Video clip   Powerpoint presentation
Illustration/Animation   Testimony
Answers to questions and/or commentary   Animation with sound
  means a word or unit as written      means a word or unit as spoken
    ^ means the vowel is long as in â,ê,î,ô,û
optional additional material      



Clicking the letters 'A' (top right) changes the size of the text.
(You can also change the size with your browser.)

Please make sure that your speakers are turned on.

A printer will be useful but is not mandatory.

The course content requires the (FREE) Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled.

Version R1.1: October 2010

For more about the genesis, piloting and evaluation history of the course click here.