What is Dyslexia?
There are multiple definitions of dyslexia available, The International Dyslexia Association (2002) defines it as follows;
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterised by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary problems may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
It is often referred to as a learning disability or learning difficulty. The core deficits can affect people with dyslexia in the following ways;
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and may include other deficits. Not every student diagnosed with dyslexia will experience all deficits.
Using evidence-based teaching strategies in the classroom will provide a well supported, inclusive environment for students with a dyslexia diagnosis.
What are concept maps?
Concept Maps are a visual representation of a whole idea or concept. They are a way to organise thoughts, ideas and facts to prompt memory and encourage organisation. They enable students to assimilate ideas and disseminate the information effectively across a project or piece of work.
5 ways a concept map can help students with dyslexia?
When attempting to organise ideas on a page, students with dyslexia can struggle to get the ideas down onto the page. Providing a concept map template can ease the pressure of organisation and gives them a logical place to start generating their ideas.
Concept maps can provide a much needed structure. They break down the information into manageable chunks, which in turn can help immensely with organisational skills.
The structure of a concept map can provide ways to link ideas, an area of planning that is often difficult for students with dyslexia.
As auditory processing may be a problem for students with dyslexia, mind maps can help with note taking. In the same way a concept map template can help with concentration, the template will provide a logical way to organise the information being delivered.
Providing strategies to support students with dyslexia simply means you are providing an educational environment to support all students. If all students are able to access the lesson, with no unfair advantages for some, then you are successfully running an inclusive classroom.
How do you use a concept map?
For further information on the research behind concept maps, subscribe to EBP Educations extensive library of whitepapers and access multiple concept map templates to enhance your teaching and use of evidence-based practices in the classroom.