Dislexia e Educação Bilíngüe

Posted by Emy Tomita
Student who was early identified with dyslexia
In these past years, I have had many bilingual dyslexic students who were early identified by middle of 2nd grade. This is so important because they have to learn phonics, spelling, and academic language of the first language in order to scaffold to the second language by 5th grade, the last year of elementary school. In middle school, bilingual education program is not offered anymore so all subjects are in English and majority of time  there is not a bilingual dyslexic teacher available.
At my elementary school, the Spanish dyslexic program is taught by a specialist who pulls out the students every day for 30 minutes and follow a program based on teaching phonics, spelling, and letter formation in Spanish, the student’s first language. When all lessons are done usually by the end of 4th grade, the students go through an dyslexic assessment in English in order to be identified as someone who need lessons in English as well. Majority of the time, they qualify for the program and they start the English dyslexic lessons in 5th grade with the English native speaker students. After that, the lessons continue in middle school as one of the students’ elective subjects.
In class, it is not an easy task to notice a student with dyslexia, but there are some signs that I learned that really helped me identify a dyslexic student this past year such as lack of reading fluency in the first language especially in the upper grades; student still reverse letters especially “b” and “d”; student omit words unintentionally; student hates reading and writing; student has very high comprehension when read to; student has great problem solving skills in Mathematics; student also has high vocabulary.
In the samples, you will notice that the student who started the lessons earlier does not get confused as much with similar letters with different sounds such as “b” and “d” and “ga” and “ja” and does not omit words as often. You will see that early identification and intervention is the key to help students overcome this challenge.
Student identified as dyslexic in 4th grade


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2 thoughts on “Dislexia e Educação Bilíngüe

  1. Alexandre Rosa says:

    Dear Emy Tomita,
    Definitely, early identification and intervention is the key to successful rehabilitation.
    However, not all dyslexic children present such symptoms. There is a broad spectrum of symptons and their depths. I mean, two dyslexic children might present writing problems, but one of them is better than the other. Still, one might come up with problems related to Mathematics. The other might do quite well at solving problems.
    One of the best books I’ve read is:
    Distúrbios De Leitura E Escrita – Teoria E Prática
    Author: Ana Luiz Gomes Pinto Navas

    It’s in Portuguese, but easy to be read.
    It’s really important to have a multi-disciplinary diagnostic before we get down to work. Otherwise, we might be hiding any relevant pathology.

    • tomitaemy says:

      Hello Alexandre!
      That’s a good point that you brought up. This past year, I had a student that was qualified for dyslexic classes in third grade, but when she got to fourth grade, we noticed that she had more issues so she got qualifed for Special Education due to her low short-term memory, long-term memory, and fluid reasoning. The previous teachers should have identified that, but, for some reason, recommending this student for further testing was not done. Besides that, this student had terrible behavior in class so they thought that due to her bad behavior, she was not learning consequently no producing. Thank you for recommending me the book. I will probably ask my parents to buy it for me. Best, Emy

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