Dyslexia Friendly classroom teaching

A great many publications and resources are available which provide ideas for supporting dyslexic children at home and in the classroom. A collection of ideas recommended by Local Education Authorities throughout England as well as by a range of experts in the field are presented in the BDA Dyslexia Friendly Schools Good Practice Guide (2012).


Assessing EAL learners.

Assessing multilingual students who are learning English for dyslexia is problematic as standardized assessment tools are not valid in this case. An assessment tool designed specifically for EAL learners, from age 7 to adult, is available through ELT Well.


Identification for adults

The Adult Checklist and Online Screener+ Profiler may be used by students over the age of 16 to identify dyslexic-type traits and also to provide suggestions to support dyslexic adults in education and employment.

The Do-It Profiler is an online screening tool for individuals aged 16+ which has been developed not only to identify traits and difficulties associated with dyslexia, but also to provide suggestions to help individuals maximize their strengths and potential.


Secondary level indicators

Identification of older learners is likely to be more complex as the pupil may have acquired a range of compensatory strategies which may mask their difficulties to an extent. A list of possible indicators of dyslexia/SpLD for pupils at secondary school level can be found on the BDA website.


Primary level indicators

While it is important to remember that not all children who are struggling with literacy and language will have dyslexia or another SpLD, nonetheless, it is important to identify children who are at risk of failure so that appropriate interventions can be put in place before the child falls behind with their learning.

A list of indicators for children aged 7 - 11 can be found on the BDA website.


Pre-school level indicators

Although it may not be possible to screen accurately for dyslexia at pre-school level, nonetheless, there are a number of indicators which may predict later difficulties with language and literacy; see the BDA website.

For results of recent longitudinal study of children at high risk of dyslexia assessed from age 3 years, 6 months to 8 years, see Thompson et al (2015).



Please be aware that the indicators listed in this column are only intended to be used as a checklist to provide a basic indication of whether or not an individual may be at risk of dyslexia. If you identify a cluster of difficulties and strengths, your next step should be to consult the school Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) so that appropriate and immediate support can be put in place (see Column 5: Signposting for further intervention / assessment)


Dyslexia in languages other than English

Dyslexia exists in all languages and cultures; however, the degree to which the dyslexic learner may be affected is, to an extent, determined by the orthographic complexity of the language they are learning. Languages which are transparent (i.e. which have regular phoneme – grapheme correspondences) are likely to cause fewer problems for the dyslexic learner than those which are opaque (i.e. which feature irregular spellings and combinations of letters).


Dyslexic strengths

It is often said that no two dyslexic people are alike, and, therefore, it would be misleading to suggest that all dyslexic people share the same kind of strengths. Nonetheless, there are particular areas in which many dyslexic individuals excel. These include:


Visual stress

While the role played by visual stress in dyslexia is much debated, nonetheless, many dyslexic individuals experience difficulties with visual issues.



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