For teachers of adolescent students with specific difficulties in reading and writing

Module 1 – Psychological issues

Various psychological effects on the behaviour of adolescent with dyslexia who have failed in class and carry the stigma of being labelled ‘slow’ or ‘lazy’ resulting in shyness, fear of making more mistakes, day dreaming, depression  or, in the polar opposite, showing off and drawing attention to themselves. The debilitating impact of dyslexia on the pupil when it is not addressed.

Presented by Margaret Turnbull

Margaret worked in a range of schools in inner city and urban schools in the UK. Focussed on Assertive Discipline on the basis of behaviour management. Ensuring SEN was central.

Self-employed consultant for local organization and Local Authorities for 11 years. Advising on systems and structures necessary to support improvement in the quality of teaching and learning.

Since 2011 worked in a voluntary capacity in a vast rural township in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, spending four months each year there.

Module 2 – Language, reading and comprehension

Challenges of reading, learning to read fluently and to understand and retain what has been read, ‘bearing in mind that in secondary school it is not so much about learning to read (automaticity) but understanding the text being read’. Group discussion on language rich and poor-language environments and how these affect learning to read. In what circumstances is it important, even essential, to speak up. How can anyone enrich their language: what about debating, going to drama classes?

Presented by Brenda Fraser

Brenda ualified in law and teacher education; lecturer and tutor in health and child care; associate lecturer with the Open University, UK, supporting students with dyslexia to achieve their goals.

Governor at South Thames College, London, working with various communities

Governor at a Primary School

Brenda has served as a Magistrate, Councillor and Mayor in a London Borough.

Module 3 – Writing and composition  

Guided discussion on how members of the group cope with longer pieces of writing Discussion on different ways of learning. Examples of poor and good work shown, tracking back to issues with input and storage i.e.  reading and comprehension. Learners consider elements under three specific headings and jot down suggestions before seeing exemplary answers. Identifying and keeping your eye on the three main issues. Mindmapping: learners asked to construct a mindmap on the subject of dyslexia to scan and share. Dyslexia-friendly approaches to spelling; a run through this tool. Different school subjects have a language of their own, e.g. maths and science. Learners consider another school subject and identify the learning demands. Considerations for coursework, study plans, and advice about exams

Presented by Melanie Jameson

Melanie is Consultant on Specific Learning Differences/Difficulties (SpLDs) with many years’ experience of assessing, tutoring, training, materials development and project work.

Advised a number of government departments and produced written guidelines on dyslexia for New Deal, the National Health Service, RAF, Learndirect and several Trades Unions.

Special interests include visual stress, screening & assessment and encouraging people with SpLDs/promoting their talents.

Since 2008, focusing on spreading awareness of SpLDs throughout the justice system in the UK; this includes addressing the difficulties faced by offenders with SpLDs.

Module 4 – Learning differences

How the visual cortex adapting to reading print. Reflections on neurodevelopment and literacy. The link between speaking and reading/writing interaction. Modifications in the classroom. Multisensory teaching/learning with adolescents. Interviews with students learning via multi-sensory methods. Writing a multi-sensory lesson plan with goals and objective measurements.

Presented by Jean Bouchard

Jean served as director of the Center for Language and Learning (CLL), a research center at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA, creating a sustainable financial foundation during a time of growing economic challenge in American public institutions of higher education.  Her mission was to serve and support students with learning challenges in domains that affected foreign language acquisition due to cognitive difference often associated with dyslexia.

To meet the needs of students who could no longer afford tuition and fees after years of dedicated effort in school, Jean launched a hybrid synchronous distance learning classroom for these students to complete their degree requirements to earn their diploma. Her design allowed the students to attend class via interactive robotic enhanced video conferencing while pursuing professional internships or careers.

Module 5 – Study skills

Witnesses speak of their use of organizational tools: laptops, iPads etc to make timetables and lists. Modes of learning: by vision, by ear and by touch (creating models, shapes etc). Reading strategies; skimming v. reading for meaning via the internet or scanned text; discuss advantages and disadvantages. Selection of a template for note-making or using a reading strategy or use the template; discuss and compare strategies. Essay writing – plans and approaches. Templates of essay writing: types of question/types of answer. SWOT and PEST. Paragraph structure. Spelling strategies to learn words you want or need to know; spelling template given out and discussed. Group discussion of difficult words and how they  learnt them. Self-regulation: Using your strengths to overcome your learning weaknesses;  using your thinking and learning style; group discussion on their best methods. Free software to assist reading, including text to speech, mind-mapping and speech to text software.

Presented by Sandra Hargreaves

Sandra has been involved with education throughout her career. After initial training as an English teacher at the University of Newcastle in Australia; completed both an MA and MEd at the University of Sydney. Undertook all her training in dyslexia in the UK. She is also dyslexic.

Postgraduate Certificate: Teaching Adult Dyslexic Learners in FE/HE and the Postgraduate Diploma in Assessment for Dyslexia, leading to an MA.

Module Leader for Supporting Adult Learners with SpLD, run jointly by the Dyslexia Association in Singapore and London Metropolitan University.

Involved in dyslexia support at Thames Valley University, the Inner London Probation Service and Uxbridge College, UK. Worked for many years in Australia at Macquarie University in the Teacher Education Programme as Course Leader of the Secondary English Team.