Their peers often know how much students with dyslexia dread reading aloud in front of others, and hopefully teachers do, too. If not, many experts in dyslexia advise educators across the curriculum to avoid putting these students on the spot and, moreover, to give them opportunities to rehearse if they accept the challenge or volunteer to read in front of a partner or group. Sample some of the advice:
To reduce fear and anxiety:
- Never force them to participate in a spelling bee
- Never force them to read out loud in class Never have them write on the board
- Don’t pass papers down the row
- Don’t allow other students to grade papers or tests
- Never call on them unless they volunteer
- Make sure your classroom is a safe place to make mistakes
(Source: General Accommodations Handout )
Avoid asking a student with dyslexia to read aloud in front of the class. However, if you really need to get the student to read, discreetly let them know the previous day what section they will be asked to read so they can prepare it.”
Dyslexia Association of Ireland
Do not ask your student with dyslexia to read aloud in front of peers. This can be quite embarrassing and being put ‘on-the-spot’ will only exacerbate his difficulty with the text. But, should he volunteer, by all means, let him read!”
DyslexiaHelp at the University of Michigan
Do not require the student to read aloud, unless he or she volunteers or had the opportunity to practice.”
Kelli Sandman-Hurley (article in Edutopia’s “Dyslexia in The General Education Classroom”)
Don’t miss a chance to add literacy strategies that support reading aloud, book talks, and related academic activities. Here is a cool tool for reading and speaking that can reduce everyone’s anxiety — whether or not a reader is dyslexic — when a student is expected to pronounce an author’s name correctly. Log onto TeachingBooks.net’s Audio Name Pronunciation guide :
- Learn the correct pronunciation for author’s names
- Discover historical and cultural information about authors’ names from each author
- Hear 2,000 recordings by authors and illustrators with more added weekly.
How do you pronounce dePaola and Sciezka?
“Hearing book creators introduce themselves offers unique insight into their personality and background,” according to a July 21 press release from the Children’s Book Council. “Through the Author Name Pronunciation Guide, students can hear 2015 Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander rhyme his name with salami (and pastrami); learn what the R and L stand for in Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine’s name ; and be confident in pronouncing authors whose legacy lives on in their books, like Maya Angelou and Elie Weisel .” Once you build confidence, take the Challenge Quiz! (PDF)
Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with our Reading Rockets audience.