Teaching Adult Students With Learning Difficulties

Here at Tali & Friends, we teach all kinds of students, including adult ones and those with some kind of learning difficulty, such as Dyslexia or ADHD. Here are some tips on how do deal with these difficulties and make the student enjoy the classes to their fullest:

  • Use a cloze procedure. Give the dyslexic student a sheet containing key information that you’ll be covering throughout the lesson and blank out key words. A file like this, highlighting the main items in bold or CAPITAL LETTERS, usually works better with everyone.
  • Educational games. It’s easier to learn through hands-on activities and even Skype students can have that experience in class. Activities such as BINGO, Mimics, Guess who and many others presented in our CLASS PLANS and GAMES LIBRARY should work quite well when teaching grammar and working with repetition in a lighter way.
  • Present written information in an accessible format. Instead of the usual justified, plain text document, add colors, different word sizes, drawings ㋛, considering to highlight what’s more important in the topic. You can also divide up long stretches of text with headlines, or section titles that summarize the topic of each section. Prefer the fonts: Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, Century-Gothic, and Trebuchet, in size 12-14, black or in dark colors, for the main part of the text.
  • Provide clear directions of what’s expected from the student and how he can accomplish it, in a direct, interactive and simple way. For example, if you want the student to use the proper tense when approaching simple past, you might ask questions over the topic and when he makes a mistake, stop and ask the student to correct for the verb in the past.
  • When teaching a new grammar topic, apply simpler words and use pictures, posters, mimics, videos or other visual aids to increase comprehension.
  • Work on memory and repetition. The dyslexic adult might not be able to easily recall information without additional notes, so it’s important to 1) work on repetition (we love games for that!) and 2) train the memory with brain games.
  • As adults with dyslexia can be easily distracted, try to avoid class interference, such as noises, too much light, lack of light, misplacing the camera (in case of online classes), etc.