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Dyslexia or Second Language Learning?
              Martha Youman, PhDc
               University of Arizona
       Presented at TESOL Philadelphia 2012
This presentation is available at:

http://www.slideshare.net/myouman/dyslexia-o

 Please take my card and email me with
             any questions.


                                          2
Agenda
• Part One: What is dyslexia?
• Part Two: Dyslexia across different
  languages
• Part Three: Dyslexia or Second
  Language Learning
• Part Four: Strategies for ELLs with
  dyslexia


                                        3
Every child would read if it
were in his power to do so. (Betts, 1936)




     Part One: What is Dyslexia?

                                            4
What is Dyslexia?

•   Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder that affects the
    development of both decoding (written word pronunciation) and
    encoding (spelling).
•   Students with dyslexia have difficulty reading fluently and
    spelling words correctly, even after years of instruction.
•   5% to 20% of the U.S. population have dyslexia and up to 40%
    of the entire U.S. population experiencing some type of reading
    difficulty (Shaywitz, 2003; S. E. Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2001).
•   People with dyslexia who read and write in English read slower
    (reading never becomes automatic), they spell words as they
    sound, they usually hate reading, and they may reverse letters
    and symbols.
                                                                      5
What is Dyslexia?
The Neurological Signature of Dyslexia




Study of 144 matched children B. A. Shaywitz et al. 2002
                                                           6
What is Dyslexia?
              Some Common Misconceptions
•   Myth: Students who flip numbers and letters have dyslexia.
•   Fact: Some students with dyslexia show this feature, but this is
    not the key feature that defines dyslexia. Laborious reading and
    poor spelling is.
•   Myth: Dyslexia can be cured with enough reading practice.
•   Fact: Dyslexia cannot be cured because it is a disorder of the
    brain. However, strategies can help students with dyslexia
    compensate for their difficulties. Overcoming Dyslexia (S.
    Shaywitz, 2003)
•   Myth: Students with dyslexia have a lower IQ.
•   Fact: Students with dyslexia are just like everyone. They just
    have difficulty reading. Some even learn to compensate for their
    disability and become very good at other things that don’t involve
    reading.                                                             7
What is Dyslexia?
      Some Common Misconceptions (Continued)
•   Myth: All students with dyslexia are gifted.
•   Fact: You will find students with dyslexia that are gifted just like
    you find non-dyslexic students that are gifted.
•   Myth: Dyslexia only occurs in English because it is a very
    irregular language. In “easy” languages like Spanish, there is no
    dyslexia.
•   Fact: Remember, dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder (i.e.
    brain-based disorder), not a language based disorder. The
    language a person reads, however, will determine how dyslexia
    occurs.


                                                                           8
What is Dyslexia?
                                   An Example of Dyslexia
                                                           Translation: Like me, I have a
                                                           disability. I’ve had it since third
                                                           grade. I’m often quitting because of
                                                           my disability. For example, I know
                                                           how hard it is. I can’t spell right. I’ve
                                                           been trying for all my life. I know
                                                           I’m afraid to write a note to my girl
                                                           friend. She doesn’t know that I
                                                           have it but I don’t know how to tell
                                                           her because I don’t know how she
                                                           is going to act. I don’t know why I
                                                           am telling you but I know that I’m
                                                           not stupid.
David’s note to his ninth-grade teacher. From Essentials
of Dyslexia (2011)
                                                                                                   9
Part Two: Dyslexia Across Languages

   পড়ার অসুিিধা           ‫عسر القراءة‬

 δυσλεξία                    诵读困难
              ‫דיסלקציה‬
                   ดิส
dislexia                    lukihäiriö
             ordblindhed
                                         10
Dyslexia Across Languages
                   The Role of Orthography
•   Orthography, or how a language is represented in writing,
    impacts reading and writing development and can present
    varying difficulties to speakers of a specific language who have
    dyslexia.
•   The most common orthographies today can be classified into
    alphabetic, syllabic, and logographic writing systems.




                                                                       11
Dyslexia Across Languages
      Non-Alphabetic Orthographies (e.g. Chinese)

• Slow and inaccurate reading.
• Poor character formation in
writing.
• Confusion of the parts that make
a word.
• Use of wrong tone when reading.




                                                    12
Dyslexia Across Languages
                 Alphabetic Orthographies
     “Shallow” and “Deep” orthographies




•   Shallow orthographies have one to one correspondence
    between letters and sounds. The language is written as it
    sounds.
•   Deep orthographies have multiple mappings between letters
    and sounds. Spelling patterns are irregular and don’t follow the
    sounds of the language.
                                                                       13
Dyslexia Across Languages
    Shallow Alphabetic Orthographies (e.g. Spanish)
•   Characterized by slow, but not necessarily inaccurate, reading
    (Davies & Cuentos, 2010).
•   Once Spanish-speaking readers with dyslexia master the letters
    and corresponding sounds of the alphabet, the one-to-one
    correspondence between sounds and letters facilitates their
    reading and spelling.
•   They never become fluent
•   They don’t get the meaning from the text because they are so
    concerned with reading.




                                                                     14
Dyslexia Across Languages
     Deep Alphabetic Orthographies (e.g. English)
•   In addition to slow and inaccurate reading, these students will
    have persistent poor spelling.
•   Poor phonological awareness (manipulating the sounds that
    make up each word).
•   Students can’t remember the irregularities of the language, even
    after years of reading instruction.
•   Dyslexia in deep orthographies is pretty obvious.




                                                                       15
Part Three: Dyslexia or
Second Language Learning    16
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
  “English Sucks!” Why do our students find English
                    to be so difficult?
 Answer: Because there are so many irregularities (a.k.a.
   “sucky” parts). Here are some:

 •   Single letters that represent multiple sounds (e.g. cone and pot
     where the letter ‘o’ represents both the sound /ou/ and /o/; cup
     and pencil and where the letter ‘c’ represents both the sound /k/
     and /s/
 •   Spellings that change morphological meaning, but are
     pronounced differently (e.g. –ed suffix to indicate past tense
     pronounced differently in painted /ed/, played /d/, and liked /t/)

                                                                          17
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
                  There are more sucky parts!


 •   Phonemes or sounds that can be spelled in several different
     ways (e.g. the sound /f/ can be spelled with f as in frog, ph as in
     phone, ff as in stuff, gh as in cough, and lf as in calf.
 •   Several letters represent one single sound or phoneme (e.g.
     fight, might, night where the grapheme ght represents the
     sound /t/).
 •   Different spelling possibilities to represent words that sound the
     same but have different meanings (i.e. homophones; e.g. to,
     two, too and heal, heel, he’ll)
 •   Identical words that change meaning depending on the context
     in which they appear (e.g. “She cannot bear to see her father in
     pain.” and “The bear attacked the campers.”)
                                                                           18
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
            Learning to read and write in English

 •   Children and ESL students always have trouble with the “sucky”
     part of English.
 •   After a few years (for children) or months (for ESL students),
     they get the irregularities of the language.
 •   Dyslexic students will not.
 •   Some ESL students with dyslexia don’t know they have a
     problem because they learned to read and write in language with
     a shallow orthography.
 •   Some students with dyslexia are not diagnosed in their countries
     because the culture doesn’t believe in learning disabilities. They
     are just perceived as “lazy” or “dumb.”
                                                                          19
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
   Why is it important to differentiate the two groups if
                   they both need help?




Because their brains are different and the interventions they need are
different.
                                                                         20
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
                 The Profile of a Typical ELL
 Caution: Many early reading and spelling behaviors of ESL
   students resemble those of readers with dyslexia. It may take
   several years for these similarities to fade, even after intensive
   English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.
 • Low Vocabulary
 • Younger students: usually lag behind because they are learning
   to read a language they don’t speak. As vocabulary grows,
   reading ability grows.
 • Older students who have solid L1(Atwill et al., 2010):
    – Vocabulary and litereacy development in L1 may positively
       influence cross-language transfer of reading skills.
    – Negative transfer of first-language knowledge may affect
       reading development in English.
                                                                        21
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
     Some Examples of Negative Transfer in the Typical
                          ELL

 •    Pronunciation errors due to non-existent sounds in L1 (e.g. in
      Spanish: reads drogstore for drugstore
 •    Phonetic Spelling (e.g. writes mejr for measure; teech for teach)
 •    Spelling errors due to non-existing sounds in L1 (e.g. Arabic:
      bicture for picture; Chinese: pray for play)
 •    Reversals
 •    Missing vowels
 •    Missing articles, endings, plurals, tenses


                                                                          22
Dyslexia or Second Language Learning
             The Profile of an ELL with Dyslexia
 •   A student with high vocabulary who is still misspelling common
     words (e.g. womin for women; wal for wall; nos for nose; I have too
     pets)
 •   A student at an intermediate level who can’t get the gist of a very
     basic book
 •   A student who hates reading
 •   Slow reading (e.g. when asked to read aloud, the student seems to
     be reading word by word without getting the meaning)
 •   A student in at a beginner level who fails to recognize common
     words, even after extensive review (e.g. emphasis on wrong
     syllable). The students treats the word as a word he/she has never
     seen it
 •   A student with high vocabulary who continues to use phonetic
     spelling of common words at levels 50 and up (e.g. well come to the
     reel world)                                                           23
Part Four: Teaching Strategies for
 ELLs and Students with Dyslexia




                                     24
Teaching Strategies for ELLs and
          Students with Dyslexia
Students with Dyslexia                                           ELLs without Dyslexia
              Basic phonics              Both
                                                         Reading and writing
      Word processing technology
                                                              Practice
 Books on tape                Multisensory activities
                                                          More exposure to reading
                            Opportunities for Positive
  The ability to show             transference
   knowledge orally                                       Challenging activities
                               Vocabulary building
   One-on-one instruction                                     Scaffolding
                                     Motivation
                                                          Time
        Early reading and spelling
                  skills


                                                                                   25
Teaching Strategies for ELLs and
     Students with Dyslexia
            A Multisensory Activity




  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-O58yWwZg
                                               26
References
etts, E. A. (1936). The prevention and correction of reading difficulties.
Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson and Company.


haywitz, S. E. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-
based program for reading problems at any level. New York, NY: Knopf.


haywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, B. A. (2001, August). The neurobiology of reading
and dyslexia. Focus on Basics: Connecting research and practice, 5(A), 11–15.
Retrieved from: http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/fob/2001/fob_5a.pdf


haywitz, B., Shaywitz, S., Pugh, K., Mencl, W., Fulbright, R., Skudlarski, P., …
Gore, J. C. (2002). Disruption of posterior brain systems for reading in children
with developmental dyslexia. Biological Psychiatry, 52(2), 101–110.
doi:10.1007/s10038-006-0088-z


avies, R., & Cuentos, F. (2010). Reading acquisition and dyslexia in Spanish.
In N. Brunswick, S. McDougall, & P. de Mornay Davies (Eds.), Reading and
dyslexia in different orthographies (pp. 155–180). Hove, East Sussex:
Psychology Press.

                                                                                27
Questions?

http://www.cesl.arizona.edu/TeacherTraining.htm

           Martha Youman, PhDc
          New Programs Coordinator

         myouman@email.arizona.edu

       Youtube Channel: meyouman81

                                                  28

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Dyslexia or Second Language Learning?

  • 1. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning? Martha Youman, PhDc University of Arizona Presented at TESOL Philadelphia 2012
  • 2. This presentation is available at: http://www.slideshare.net/myouman/dyslexia-o Please take my card and email me with any questions. 2
  • 3. Agenda • Part One: What is dyslexia? • Part Two: Dyslexia across different languages • Part Three: Dyslexia or Second Language Learning • Part Four: Strategies for ELLs with dyslexia 3
  • 4. Every child would read if it were in his power to do so. (Betts, 1936) Part One: What is Dyslexia? 4
  • 5. What is Dyslexia? • Dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder that affects the development of both decoding (written word pronunciation) and encoding (spelling). • Students with dyslexia have difficulty reading fluently and spelling words correctly, even after years of instruction. • 5% to 20% of the U.S. population have dyslexia and up to 40% of the entire U.S. population experiencing some type of reading difficulty (Shaywitz, 2003; S. E. Shaywitz & Shaywitz, 2001). • People with dyslexia who read and write in English read slower (reading never becomes automatic), they spell words as they sound, they usually hate reading, and they may reverse letters and symbols. 5
  • 6. What is Dyslexia? The Neurological Signature of Dyslexia Study of 144 matched children B. A. Shaywitz et al. 2002 6
  • 7. What is Dyslexia? Some Common Misconceptions • Myth: Students who flip numbers and letters have dyslexia. • Fact: Some students with dyslexia show this feature, but this is not the key feature that defines dyslexia. Laborious reading and poor spelling is. • Myth: Dyslexia can be cured with enough reading practice. • Fact: Dyslexia cannot be cured because it is a disorder of the brain. However, strategies can help students with dyslexia compensate for their difficulties. Overcoming Dyslexia (S. Shaywitz, 2003) • Myth: Students with dyslexia have a lower IQ. • Fact: Students with dyslexia are just like everyone. They just have difficulty reading. Some even learn to compensate for their disability and become very good at other things that don’t involve reading. 7
  • 8. What is Dyslexia? Some Common Misconceptions (Continued) • Myth: All students with dyslexia are gifted. • Fact: You will find students with dyslexia that are gifted just like you find non-dyslexic students that are gifted. • Myth: Dyslexia only occurs in English because it is a very irregular language. In “easy” languages like Spanish, there is no dyslexia. • Fact: Remember, dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder (i.e. brain-based disorder), not a language based disorder. The language a person reads, however, will determine how dyslexia occurs. 8
  • 9. What is Dyslexia? An Example of Dyslexia Translation: Like me, I have a disability. I’ve had it since third grade. I’m often quitting because of my disability. For example, I know how hard it is. I can’t spell right. I’ve been trying for all my life. I know I’m afraid to write a note to my girl friend. She doesn’t know that I have it but I don’t know how to tell her because I don’t know how she is going to act. I don’t know why I am telling you but I know that I’m not stupid. David’s note to his ninth-grade teacher. From Essentials of Dyslexia (2011) 9
  • 10. Part Two: Dyslexia Across Languages পড়ার অসুিিধা ‫عسر القراءة‬ δυσλεξία 诵读困难 ‫דיסלקציה‬ ดิส dislexia lukihäiriö ordblindhed 10
  • 11. Dyslexia Across Languages The Role of Orthography • Orthography, or how a language is represented in writing, impacts reading and writing development and can present varying difficulties to speakers of a specific language who have dyslexia. • The most common orthographies today can be classified into alphabetic, syllabic, and logographic writing systems. 11
  • 12. Dyslexia Across Languages Non-Alphabetic Orthographies (e.g. Chinese) • Slow and inaccurate reading. • Poor character formation in writing. • Confusion of the parts that make a word. • Use of wrong tone when reading. 12
  • 13. Dyslexia Across Languages Alphabetic Orthographies “Shallow” and “Deep” orthographies • Shallow orthographies have one to one correspondence between letters and sounds. The language is written as it sounds. • Deep orthographies have multiple mappings between letters and sounds. Spelling patterns are irregular and don’t follow the sounds of the language. 13
  • 14. Dyslexia Across Languages Shallow Alphabetic Orthographies (e.g. Spanish) • Characterized by slow, but not necessarily inaccurate, reading (Davies & Cuentos, 2010). • Once Spanish-speaking readers with dyslexia master the letters and corresponding sounds of the alphabet, the one-to-one correspondence between sounds and letters facilitates their reading and spelling. • They never become fluent • They don’t get the meaning from the text because they are so concerned with reading. 14
  • 15. Dyslexia Across Languages Deep Alphabetic Orthographies (e.g. English) • In addition to slow and inaccurate reading, these students will have persistent poor spelling. • Poor phonological awareness (manipulating the sounds that make up each word). • Students can’t remember the irregularities of the language, even after years of reading instruction. • Dyslexia in deep orthographies is pretty obvious. 15
  • 16. Part Three: Dyslexia or Second Language Learning 16
  • 17. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning “English Sucks!” Why do our students find English to be so difficult? Answer: Because there are so many irregularities (a.k.a. “sucky” parts). Here are some: • Single letters that represent multiple sounds (e.g. cone and pot where the letter ‘o’ represents both the sound /ou/ and /o/; cup and pencil and where the letter ‘c’ represents both the sound /k/ and /s/ • Spellings that change morphological meaning, but are pronounced differently (e.g. –ed suffix to indicate past tense pronounced differently in painted /ed/, played /d/, and liked /t/) 17
  • 18. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning There are more sucky parts! • Phonemes or sounds that can be spelled in several different ways (e.g. the sound /f/ can be spelled with f as in frog, ph as in phone, ff as in stuff, gh as in cough, and lf as in calf. • Several letters represent one single sound or phoneme (e.g. fight, might, night where the grapheme ght represents the sound /t/). • Different spelling possibilities to represent words that sound the same but have different meanings (i.e. homophones; e.g. to, two, too and heal, heel, he’ll) • Identical words that change meaning depending on the context in which they appear (e.g. “She cannot bear to see her father in pain.” and “The bear attacked the campers.”) 18
  • 19. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning Learning to read and write in English • Children and ESL students always have trouble with the “sucky” part of English. • After a few years (for children) or months (for ESL students), they get the irregularities of the language. • Dyslexic students will not. • Some ESL students with dyslexia don’t know they have a problem because they learned to read and write in language with a shallow orthography. • Some students with dyslexia are not diagnosed in their countries because the culture doesn’t believe in learning disabilities. They are just perceived as “lazy” or “dumb.” 19
  • 20. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning Why is it important to differentiate the two groups if they both need help? Because their brains are different and the interventions they need are different. 20
  • 21. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning The Profile of a Typical ELL Caution: Many early reading and spelling behaviors of ESL students resemble those of readers with dyslexia. It may take several years for these similarities to fade, even after intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction. • Low Vocabulary • Younger students: usually lag behind because they are learning to read a language they don’t speak. As vocabulary grows, reading ability grows. • Older students who have solid L1(Atwill et al., 2010): – Vocabulary and litereacy development in L1 may positively influence cross-language transfer of reading skills. – Negative transfer of first-language knowledge may affect reading development in English. 21
  • 22. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning Some Examples of Negative Transfer in the Typical ELL • Pronunciation errors due to non-existent sounds in L1 (e.g. in Spanish: reads drogstore for drugstore • Phonetic Spelling (e.g. writes mejr for measure; teech for teach) • Spelling errors due to non-existing sounds in L1 (e.g. Arabic: bicture for picture; Chinese: pray for play) • Reversals • Missing vowels • Missing articles, endings, plurals, tenses 22
  • 23. Dyslexia or Second Language Learning The Profile of an ELL with Dyslexia • A student with high vocabulary who is still misspelling common words (e.g. womin for women; wal for wall; nos for nose; I have too pets) • A student at an intermediate level who can’t get the gist of a very basic book • A student who hates reading • Slow reading (e.g. when asked to read aloud, the student seems to be reading word by word without getting the meaning) • A student in at a beginner level who fails to recognize common words, even after extensive review (e.g. emphasis on wrong syllable). The students treats the word as a word he/she has never seen it • A student with high vocabulary who continues to use phonetic spelling of common words at levels 50 and up (e.g. well come to the reel world) 23
  • 24. Part Four: Teaching Strategies for ELLs and Students with Dyslexia 24
  • 25. Teaching Strategies for ELLs and Students with Dyslexia Students with Dyslexia ELLs without Dyslexia Basic phonics Both Reading and writing Word processing technology Practice Books on tape Multisensory activities More exposure to reading Opportunities for Positive The ability to show transference knowledge orally Challenging activities Vocabulary building One-on-one instruction Scaffolding Motivation Time Early reading and spelling skills 25
  • 26. Teaching Strategies for ELLs and Students with Dyslexia A Multisensory Activity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti-O58yWwZg 26
  • 27. References etts, E. A. (1936). The prevention and correction of reading difficulties. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson and Company. haywitz, S. E. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science- based program for reading problems at any level. New York, NY: Knopf. haywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, B. A. (2001, August). The neurobiology of reading and dyslexia. Focus on Basics: Connecting research and practice, 5(A), 11–15. Retrieved from: http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/fob/2001/fob_5a.pdf haywitz, B., Shaywitz, S., Pugh, K., Mencl, W., Fulbright, R., Skudlarski, P., … Gore, J. C. (2002). Disruption of posterior brain systems for reading in children with developmental dyslexia. Biological Psychiatry, 52(2), 101–110. doi:10.1007/s10038-006-0088-z avies, R., & Cuentos, F. (2010). Reading acquisition and dyslexia in Spanish. In N. Brunswick, S. McDougall, & P. de Mornay Davies (Eds.), Reading and dyslexia in different orthographies (pp. 155–180). Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press. 27
  • 28. Questions? http://www.cesl.arizona.edu/TeacherTraining.htm Martha Youman, PhDc New Programs Coordinator myouman@email.arizona.edu Youtube Channel: meyouman81 28