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Principles and methods of teaching foreign languages to dyslexic learners

Judit Tánczos,¹ Katalin Mónos,² Troy B. Wiwczaroski³

¹University of Debrecen, Medical School and Health Science Centre, Institute of Behavioural Sciences; ²University of Debrecen, Institute of English and American Studies

³University of Debrecen, Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Studies, Agro-Technical languages and Communication Studies Department


Teaching FLs to students with learning difficulties is a great challenge for all language teachers. Even though these students can be exempted from FL learning classes if their dyslexia is diagnosed, they, just like anyone else, also need to be able to communicate in (a) foreign language(s) in the globalised world of the 21st century. On top of that, depriving them from the right of learning FLs is totally against the spirit of inclusion. One must not forget about the fact that in every study group on any level of the educational system, from the primary school through college to university, there are on average 2-3 students with learning deficiencies of varying degrees, and most of them are not diagnosed dyslexics, “merely” poor language learners. But if we take this fact into account when selecting our teaching approaches and methods, then not only dyslexic students but those with smaller language processing disorders will also be given the chance to become successful in their FL studies. This will open up endless possibilities for them to study and work abroad, to gather multicultural experiences, and last but not least, to create fruitful human relationships.

This is certainly not an easy undertaking, demanding persistence and commitment from both the learner and the language teacher, but the sense of achievement and success that accrue will compensate and justify the efforts.

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