Monday, November 23, 2009


The 24th of November is Teachers Day in Turkey . Of course , teaching is not only a difficult job but a crucial one for Turkey’s growth and development. In Turkey teachers salary rates are low, plus class sizes can be very large – up to 50 or 60 students.

In schools throughout Turkey teachers will have between 2 to 4 dyslexic students per class.

Here are some basic strategies teachers could use to help those dyslexic students in their classes to be more successful.

1. Use multisensory techniques

2. Make lessons as visual as possible – and use manipulatives.

3. Explain clearly .

4. Give clear and short instructions.

5. Provide key word lists before teaching to help with new or

complicated vocabulary.

6. Make use of technology aids to help dyslexics to overlearn eg computer

7. Use larger print for worksheets and choose clear fonts.

8. Don’t ask student to read aloud – use other reading techniques.

9. Preferably explain errors in written work orally. Often a pupil doesn’t want to read teachers comments. Don’t correct all errors, highlight one or two points.

10.Give more time in tests or give less questions and same amount of time.

11.When asking questions in the classroom allow dyslexic students more
time to answer as they may take longer to process information.

12. Avoid copying exercises – use handouts.

13. Teach students memory strategies – mnemonics (acrostics) etc..

14. Seat students near the front – use a “buddy” system – paired readers..

15. Reduce homework amount – give less questions.

16. Allow students time to record the homework tasks.- write homework
on the board early in the lesson.

17. Most of all show understanding !! - try to be flexible


Friday, November 20, 2009


If you ask dyslexic children to check spellings in a normal dictionary they find it difficult .To look up a word in a dictionary, you have to know how the word is spelt in the first place – or at least the first part of the word..

The Ace Spelling Dictionary ( David Moseley ) is great for children who cannot use an ordinary dictionary.

Using the unique index ,children need only think how a word sounds to find out how to spell it. By simply identifying the first vowel sound , the speller is instantly sent to the page where the problem word is found.

Children just need a basic knowledge of vowel sounds and to know what a syllable is .There are clear instructions at the beginning explaining how to use the book correctly. The ACE Index has a table of 16 vowel sounds and the A-Z alphabet .It contains animal cartoons which will appeal to children.

If you want to look inside this book go to where you can see customer images of the book. Go to Google and type in “Customer images gallery for Ace Spelling”

Another useful item for dyslexic children who have trouble with spelling is the electronic Franklin spellchecker.

It has a built in phonetic spell correction. This feature allows users to type in a word the way it sounds and receive a correction list.

For example :
from "nolij" to "knowledge";from "kaufee" to "coffee" from "fizix" to "physics" and so on.

You can buy Franklin spellcheckers from

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dyslexia Blog is one year old !!

The dyslexia blog is one year old !! Thanks to all those who read my blog. I hope to continue my goal of sharing useful information that I have gained over the years regarding dyslexia with other parents...

I would also like to say a big thank you to Bea Vanni , as without her very useful seminar on blogging that I attended at the Greenhouse bookshop in Istanbul, I would have never have started blogging!! Also thanks to my husband for all his support and help ..

Thursday, November 12, 2009


In a previous dyslexia blog article about reading I mentioned that it is important to help your child to choose appropriate books for your child to read.

Dyslexia Action and Waterstones (a well–known UK bookselling chain) have produced a guide, designed to help children and parents choose books that are more suitable for a young struggling/reluctant reader who has dyslexic difficulties.

Further information and a downloadable pdf of this guide may be found at DA or

Waterstone's Guide to Books for Young Dyslexic Readers :

Guide to Choosing Dyslexia-Friendly Books for Kids :

List of graded books

“Teachers and adults, who are supporting children as they are learning to read, need books of graded difficulty that can be matched to children's reading levels. This is particularly important for children with literacy difficulties, as they need to practise their reading skills with a wide range of books at the appropriate level.”

The Dyslexia Institute has produced a list of graded books which might be useful to parents …

For more information go to :

List of books sorted by grade :

NB Dyslexia Action was formally known as the Dyslexia Institute..

Monday, November 9, 2009


World Children's Book Week is a week-long celebration of children's books.It was started in 1919 and is celebrated primarily in schools, libraries,and by bookstores. Typical events during Children's Book Week include storytelling, author visits, and activities related to books. The goal of Children's Book Week is to encourage a love of reading and books among children.

Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America thought up the idea of creating a Children's Book Week, In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. In Turkey however The World Children's Book Week is still celebrated in the second week of November.

The Children’s Book Council Foundation, ‘Every Child a Reader’ is responsible for planning official events and creating materials.

Unfortunately in Turkey most schools don’t encourage children to enjoy reading !! Very often students have to read certain books from a specified book list. In most cases the books on this list are usually quite difficult and heavy .In addition they are often forced to read a certain book for their exams.The end result being that children form a negative attitude to reading They see reading as a chore not as something to be enjoyed .For this reason most children seem to dislike reading..!!

If a child is dyslexic then the situation is made much worse as they may well already have a negative attitude to reading since they find it difficult to read !!

Children's reading preferences or reading speed and level are not taken into consideration. Generally the school administration,select certain books according to the class grade level and which are related to exam subjects. Unfortunately this makes reading a nightmare for dyslexic children.

Reading needs to be made more enjoyable for children in order to get them to read more. World Childrens Book Week is generally viewed by many schools as just a formality. However it could be celebrated in a more interesting, creative and interactive manner.

Here are a few suggestions;

Every class could convert their classroom door into a cover of a book.

Children could dress in a costume of a hero from a book they

Children could make up a play about a short story they have read and act it out.

Mothers and fathers could be invited to read a story they like to the children.

In short, this week can be made more fun and enjoyable !!!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Edward Vickerman who overcame dyslexia to achieve his career dream won the 2009 UK Teaching Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year .

Because of his dyslexia he struggled at school .He can remember at the age of seven being given a given a bag of wooden letters. "I had to put them in alphabetical order, I got about as far as D. I couldn't identify any of the letters, or make the sounds they stood for. They could have been anything."

Edward’s father is severely dyslexic. Despite being told at school that he was stupid, he established his own furniture business .Edward's older brothers, both also dyslexic, are now making successful careers with the family firm.

Instead of going into the family business he decided to work in the hotel industry. Edward managed to successfully overcome the difficulties caused by his dyslexia, and went on to do a degree in hotel management. Afterwards he did a post-graduate course in teaching. Edward now teaches business and enterprise at a College and is already head of business at the school, despite being there for a relatively short time.

Mr Vickerman said he gets round his dyslexia by using new technology in lessons rather than communicating by writing.

In an interview he said that“Dyslexia has always allowed me to think differently ,to think out of the box.”