Dyslexia in the context of second language learning and teaching



The paper elucidates the complex nature of dyslexia, specifying the multiple levels of explanation of this phenomenon and indicating the causal relations between them. It defines dyslexia, sketches the way it surfaces across languages, identifies the overlaps between the native and second/foreign language learning, and outlines the potential difficulties that dyslexic learners may encounter in second language learning. Finally, research referring to foreign language teachers’ preparedness to include dyslexic learners in mainstream classes is discussed. An account of the components of teacher preparedness is provided, including background knowledge on dyslexia, selfefficacy beliefs about implementing inclusive instructional practices, and attitudes towards inclusion, which can be subject to change as a result of professional training. The paper stresses the pressing needs for the provision of appropriate and sufficient initial teacher training and continuing professional development opportunities for foreign language teachers in order to prepare them to appropriately recognize and respond to dyslexic foreign language learners’ needs.