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Been asked to tutor teenager with dyslexia

(3 Posts)
acatcalledbob Thu 15-Sep-11 07:48:57

I have been tutoring secondary school French on and off for a while. I have lots of experience teaching EFL and am bilingual, qualified translator etc and really enjoy it as well as getting really good feedback from students and teachers.

However, I've just been asked to tutor a 13 year old with SN - he has dyslexia. His spoken language is pretty good apparently but his writing is poor - it's this that his mum is asking me to help with. I know very little about dyslexia so I was wondering if anyone can tell me how this will affect his learning and my teaching, and anything I can do to help. I am meeting him next week with his mum to chat about the tutoring, what he wants from it, areas he's struggling with, and how we can take it from here.

IndigoBell Sun 18-Sep-11 20:32:34

It doesn't sound like you have the experience to do this job.

Does the Mum know you know nothing about dyslexia?

I think it's unlikely you'll be able to help without a lot more knowledge. His problem won't be that he hasn't been taught, or that he doesn't understand, his problem will be that he can't do it.

lelly88 Wed 21-Sep-11 11:54:14

Hi, from my experience of my son's dyslexia, I can say the same for my son, his conversational Spanish is great, but it's the getting it down on paper without the scribbles, that can be the problem.
He also went to Welsh primary school, so his converasatonal Welsh is good, but again the grammar can occasionally be a problem.
He has been put in Set 3 for humanities and languages (set 1 maths and science), so gets dumbed down work (although his spanish teacher ensured he got the higher tests throughout the year), but come the exams which are all the same for all sets, he beats the majority of children in set 1s (86% last summer). His books are a mess I'm afraid so that's probably why he gets marked down.
I use online flash cards for Spanish with him which are great, lots of over learning is required.

By 13 he has learnt to read quite well although slow in comparison to peers- (says he reads quicker in his head), spelling ok if learnt -although can go astray if he tries to write fluently. Writing is his biggest problem, but with languages they are taught all the vocabulary and what to write about e.g hobbies so he just learns that and he's fine.

I personally feel the time for dyslexia tutors has passed (for my son)and "ordinary" tutors are just fine as long as they have some understanding of processing speeds, look out for problems and find accomodations that will help. Each dyslexic is individual, I'd give it a go but be honest if you think you can't help, after all a spanish/dyslexia teacher is going to be impossible to find.
Some Dyslexics can do languages, some can't.
Hope that helps.

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