Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Topic: Dyslexia and Writing

10-second review: Calls for explicit and individualized instruction in writing for dyslexic students.

Title: “Dyslexia and Writing: Why Are So Many Instructional Plans One-Dimensional?” LA Poor. Voices form the Middle (September 2010), 54-56.

Quote: “Interventions for students with dyslexia are usually focused on reading, and historically, very little emphasis has been placed on writing instruction.”

Quote: “Troia and Graham (2002) found that students with learning disabilities who received explicit writing instruction for setting goals, planning, brainstorming, and organizing spent more time participating in the planning stage before writing than did students who did not receive the explicit intervention.”

Quote: “In the end, research studies clearly point to the need for individualized and explicit instruction for students with dyslexia.”

Comment: My first encounter with a dyslexic student in writing was at a community college. He could not put two or three words together that made sense. In addition to the class activities of demonstrating and practicing the writing process—topic; brainstorm; thesis; draft, including the final, summarizing paragraph; introduction; revising and editing—I asked him to write for ten minutes each night. That was the individualized part of my instruction.

The next night, I rewrote his “10-minure essay,” correcting grammar, spelling, incomplete thoughts, etc. as a model for how his writing would look if complete. He recopied my corrected copy and kept it in a folder. By the end of the semester, he was able to write a series of connected, coherent sentences on his own.

I was frustrated by the fact that I had him as a student for only one semester and worried what would happen to him as he progressed in his English program. Circumstances were such that I could not communicate with his next scheduled English teacher. RayS.

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