Filed Under (UnLearning Difficulties With NLP) on 28-03-2010
How can you help STOP DYSLEXIA NOW?
STORIES: As you read stories to children, encourage them to make pictures in their imaginations rather than always seeing the ones in the book. You can get them to draw their pictures and see how different they are. Different is fine! They are using their imagination.
Encourage pupils to TRY their visual skills – children find this great fun. Teachers often feel that they don’t have TIME to encourage pupils to visualise. Paradoxically, visualising words takes seconds at primary school level and the time, money, and effort that can be saved or redirected on special needs is a fantastic boost to the school.
Be OPEN to what your pupils can do. If you believe they can do it, they will, and you will make the difference. You are OFFERING pupils another strategy.
Imagining PICTURES is essential for remembering stories, reading comprehension, memory, painting from memory. Putting words in your PICTURES is essential for spelling and reading. Putting numbers in your PICTURES is essential for mental math. Putting staves of music in your PICTURES is essential for musicians. Putting foreign language words in your PICTURES is essential for learning foreign languages – and even colour coding words to represent their gender will greatly help. PHONICS have their place to help you with new words, but are meaningless unless children recognise the representation of the sound in letters.
DEFINITELY teach visual children, especially those on the autistic spectrum, to DEVELOP their visual skills and visualise words. Many children on the autistic spectrum are fantastic visualizers who easily make vivid pictures whilst having low auditory skills. They will very quickly be good spellers and readers. DEFINITELY teach visual spelling to all pupils and experience/watch/be amazed at how easily they learn! Children don’t need a formal assessment to learn to visualise, they all do it naturally.
YOU will be amazed at how much this process will improve children’s self-confidence and self-esteem, which will lead to improvements in all aspects of schoolwork and sociability. YOU won’t know what you can do until YOU try.
SPACE: Make blank wall space to the side of the teacher where pupils can visualise. If a pupil is looking at that space, you can ask him/her to draw what s/he is thinking about. Don’t assume that if pupils are not looking at the teacher, they are not doing something very valuable for their learning!
Encourage pupils to LOOK up. Don’t let them be sad, frightened, fearful etc. and don’t let them be looking down. Their visual field is best accessed by LOOKING up.
EVERYONE can be a visual learner and develop their visual field. As long as they can recognise their relatives and friends (almost everyone can) they just need to develop the skill they already have. Developing one’s visual field is an ESSENTIAL skill for any schoolwork. Being able to visualise in rich detail, hold an image steady in order to copy from it, and instantly access large amounts of information is a skill invaluable for succeeding in school, work, life. EVERY teacher can teach this; there is no need for special assessments until you are sure that pupils are visualising words well.
Why settle for being a dysleXic friendly school when so much eXtra is possible?
INDISPUTABLY even the Economic and Social Research Council has noticed that “Failure to acquire visual motor skills, as revealed by a copying designs test, turns up as a strong predictor of adult literacy and numeracy difficulties the effects of which are evident even when qualifications are taken into account”.
ALL good spellers visualise words. You only need to ASK them. ALL words need pictures, especially in prep school years. Don’t confuse very young children with words that have no pictures (this conflicts with the frequently used words in some national curricula).
NO stress! Letting children put stress on themselves or getting stressed as a reaction to being pressurised by teachers / parents makes dyslexic tendencies worse. Find ways not to put the pupil “on the spot”.
ONLY teach words that have pictures (nouns and colours) at the start and until you are certain that your pupils are visualising well. OH, and if any of your pupils are clever enough to be spinning words around, pass them the imaginary spray-glue or remote control to hold their words still – their brain will get the message.
WOW! It WORKS! WHY didn’t we know this before? WHAT brilliant and cost-free results! And it only takes minutes!
Contact me for more NLP ways of teaching literacy to primary schoolchildren.