One of the things that dyslexics are not meant to be good at is learning languages. But for some reason I seem to pick them up relatively easily. I don’t think I have a natural aptitude for them, but I seem to find a concerning amount of pleasure from learning rules and sounds, that when you put together you can then convey a thought, message or instruction, I know, I’m weird… Now I wouldn’t say I’m proficient in any language; I think you can only master a language by living in a country and being fully immersed in its language. But for me, I can’t get enough of the feeling you get when you’ve just made a load of weird sounds and then see the look of understanding on another person’s face.
I’ve used many methods to try and learn languages with varying success:
Phrase books – Trying to read the phonetics is a non-starter but I am ok if there is a CD
Teach Yourself Language courses – These are the most comprehensive and give you the best understanding but are really intense.
Class Room Learning – Brrrrrrggggghhh! It’s like being back at school again, but they’re great for motivation and encourage you to use the language in the real world.
Earworms – An interesting concept where a language phrase course is put to music. The idea being, that we learn the lyrics to songs without even trying. So if a language course is put to music, words and phrases should stick more easily.
Usually I use a combination of these methods and do pretty well, as the pros and cons of each method cancel each other out.
I recently started using the Rosetta Stone language course. This is a computer based language course in which you are given no written or verbal instructions. Instead you are shown pictures and words which you need to match. When you get it right it lets you know. And when you get it wrong it lets you know. A simple method but before you know it you can form whole sentences.
Today I came across a video that suggest that using a similar method to teach maths could be hugely beneficial to dyslexic learners. Take a look at this fascinating video.
For more news and views on dyslexia check out The Codpast, the Internets Best Dyslexia Podcast. Listen Here