Dyslexia is a learning disability often characterized by difficulty with reading comprehension, fluency, word recognition, decoding and spelling. Children with dyslexia have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently. Researchers at Oxford University feel that playing video games can help correct many problems associated with dyslexia.
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer key.
Excerpt: One More Reason To Play Video Games: Beating Dyslexia by Linda Poon NPR
“Most parents prefer that their children pick up a book rather than a game controller. But for kids with dyslexia, action video games may be just what the doctor ordered. Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities, affecting an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the world’s population.
Many approaches to help struggling readers focus on words and phonetics, but researchers at Oxford University say dyslexia is more of an attention issue. These video games require you to respond very quickly, to shift attention to one part of the screen to another.When people with dyslexia had to shift their attention between sight and sound, their reaction was delayed. And they had significantly more trouble shifting attention from visual to audio than the other way around. Scientists today still don’t agree on what causes dyslexia, but one theory says it has something to do with a faulty nerve pathway from the eyes to the back of the brain that is responsible for guiding both visual and auditory attention. When this network malfunctions, people can’t properly combine what they hear and see for the brain to process the information. One explanation for this may be what psychologists call visual capture, says Jeffrey Gilger, an expert in language and learning disabilities at the University of California, Merced.Gilger cautions that while some dyslexic people do have attention deficit, it is not the underlying cause of every type of dyslexia. Some people may appear to lack focus, but that doesn’t necessarily signal that they have attention problems.”
Level: Intermediate -Advanced Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included. Time: Approximately 2 hours. Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video. Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Stimulating background knowledge
Brainstorming Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about the topic. Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board.Students can use this great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com
II. While Reading Activities
Word Inference Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart from Education Oasis for assistance.
- Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disabilities.
- These video games require you to respond very quickly.
- They had significantly more trouble shifting attention from visual to audio.
- We should also be training shifting attention from sound to visual stimuli.
- Making the association between a word and how it sounds might be easier.
- When this network malfunctions, people can’t properly combine what they hear and see.
- The brain needs to process the information.
- The dyslexic group took longer than typical readers to respond.
- We were very surprised that there was sort of this asymmetry.
- As human beings we prefer visual stimuli.
True /False/NA-Statements Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Most parents prefer that their children pick up a game controller.
- For kids with dyslexia action video games may be helpful.
- Dyslexia is an uncommon learning disability.
- Dyslexia was identified in the U.S. 20 years ago.
- An estimated 5 to 10 percent of the world’s population is affected by dyslexia.
- Researchers at Oxford University say dyslexia is more of speaking issue.
- Scientists today have agreed on what causes dyslexia.
- One theory says it has to do with a faulty nerve pathway from the eyes to the back of the brain.
- There is a cure for dyslexia.
- People who appear to lack focus have attention problems.
Structure and Usage Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.
- Most parents prefer that their children pick up a book.
- Dyslexia is one of the most commons learning disabilities.
- There are many approaches to help struggling readers.
- Programs emphasize training the brain’s attention system.
- These video game require you to respond very quickly.
- We should also be shifting attention from sound to visual stimuli.
- Scientists today still don’t agree on what causes dyslexia.
- As human being we prefer visual stimuli.
- You’re trying to get the sound to align with the vision.
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
WH-How Questions Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article. Who or What is the article about? Where does the action/event take place? When does the action/event take place? Why did the action/event occur? How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
- Restate this idea in your own words, “As human beings we prefer visual stimuli. When you’re trying to listen to someone on TV and the sound doesn’t match the mouth moving, it throws you off. You’re trying to get the sound to align with the vision, not the vision with the sound.”
- Do you think playing video games can improve skills in general? Which skills?
- Do you like to play video games? How often do you play? Provide reasons for your answer.
- What are the most significant ideas in this article?
IV. Listening Activity
Video Clip: What is dyslexia? – Kelli Sandman-Hurley TED-Ed “Dyslexia affects up to 1 in 5 people, but the experience of dyslexia isn’t always the same. This difficulty in processing language exists along a spectrum — one that doesn’t necessarily fit with labels like “normal” and “defective.” Kelli Sandman-Hurley urges us to think again about dyslexic brain function and to celebrate the neurodiversity of the human brain.” Video Link
While Listening Activities
True /False/NA-Statements Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- When most people think of dyslexia they think of seeing letters and words backwards.
- People with dyslexia see things differently from everyone else.
- People with dyslexia have no trouble manipulating language.
- People with dyslexia will spell words phonetically.
- People with dyslexia have to spend time decoding.
- Dyslexia never runs in families.
- Children are more likely to get dyslexia.
- Picasso, Muhammed Ali, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, and Steven Spielberg all have some form of dyslexia.
- Cher has treated her dyslexia.
- People with dyslexia can physically change their brains and improve their reading.
Questions for Discussion Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions. 1. After listening to this video has your personal idea of dyslexia changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way. If no, describe your original opinion. 2. Did you agree with everything the speaker said? Discuss which comments you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with. Explain why. 3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the speakers.