dyslexia-foreign-language “…reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in foreign languages are all significantly affected by weaknesses in linguistic coding skills even when the native language has been been well-mastered…” – Elike Schneider and Margaret Crombie in Dyslexia and Foreign Language Learning

Because of the significant challenges that dyslexic individuals face with the matching sounds and letters of language (phonology / orthography), working memory, retrieval, sequencing, and rote memorization, it should not be surprising that foreign language is a significant challenge facing bilingual students and college-bound dyslexics facing 2 years of foreign language classes to enter higher education.

For moderate to severe dyslexics, foreign language waivers are usually granted; however, for all those in-between, there are strategies that build on dyslexic strengths in visual and multisensory learning in general and autobiographical memory.


Flashsticks are just simple color-coded stickie notes with pictures and pronunciation cues on commonly used words for foreign language classes.

Quick Tips for Teaching Foreign Languages to Dyslexic Students

1. Color Code – parts of speech and feminine and masculine nouns
2. Make Lessons Multi-Sensory by using visuals (colors, pictures, shapes), talk-alouds, and movement (working with flashcards and manipulatives, tapping letters).
3. Teach the Logic of Language – Allow students to find correct patterns.
4. Provide positive feedback (e.g. “Great idea” or Good question!”)
5. Memory strategies- stories, acrostics, keywords; prompts with sounds, letters, gestures

We’ll share specific teaching examples and modifications and accommodations for Foreign Language classrooms for PREMIUM subscribers BELOW (Join HERE).