Learning a Foreign Language in a classroom when you have dyslexia — Scope | Disability forum

Learning a Foreign Language in a classroom when you have dyslexia

Deem2021 Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited November 2021 in Education
I have dyspraxia and dyslexia and I find learning Spanish in a classroom never works for me.  I am just curious if anyone else has had negative or positive experiences of learning a foreign language in a classroom?  I found Spanish easier than learning Arabic but struggled in both. I hope this is a subject that is of interest to other people. I wonder how dyslexic people moving to England find learning English as well as how English speakers found learning other languages.


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 7,005

    Scope community team

    I think that's an interesting topic @Deem2021 :) I hope that someone with experience of learning a language when you have dyslexia will find your post soon!

    Do you enjoy learning language? Have you ever tried a different way of learning languages outside of the classroom, such as by using an app? 
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  • Deem2021
    Deem2021 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you @Tori_scope, I am quite good at picking up words when I am in Spain.  I find the classroom harder.  I like to translate Spanish news stories too.  

    My memory for English words is very unreliable, I get round this by learning lots of ways of saying the same thing.  I think it makes me good at communicating in a foreign country where you can be creative, but very slow in a formal classroom where you are learning certain words and ways of saying something.   
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 764

    Scope community team

    edited November 2021
    Hi @Deem2021 and welcome! I don't have dyslexia but I love learning languages, mostly dead ones, but some living ones. I love the creativity of learning 'on the ground' too, it's so much more engaging than a formal classroom as you say.

    From what I remember in school, I sometimes found the classroom atmosphere quite distracting, we had a lot of substitute teachers who couldn't handle my rowdy classmates. When tests came around, I remember feeling quite pressured to do well. I think the way languages are taught in school can be very formulaic. At university my experience was more positive, because I was directly applying my learning to other areas of study.

    I do use Duolingo these days, I'm learning Greek and Welsh, but the lack of explanation on grammar is a bit frustrating. I have seen that you can look for in-person events to try out through the app, depending on how local they are to you of course. Might be worth a try?
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