by Karin Martin, consultant for multilingualism, senior researcher/lecturer at the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences
A system of different tools
Lately, I had the chance to analyze the Français illustré, which is a system of different tools, created by Jérôme Paul for French learners. With more than 25 years of teaching experience, Jérôme was able to create effective tools, which are appropriate for dyslexic students as well. He created a website, a blog, a podcast and a youtube channel.
Tools that can help a dyslexic child
I was interested in finding out how these different tools can help a child, who is daily facing the difficulties that come along with developmental dyslexia. My doctoral research and thesis were about the difficulties of dyslexic children learning a foreign language, with a particular focus on their working memory abilities. I’ve been working with dyslexic children and dyslexia trainers for a few years now and that’s why I’m always interested in finding new tools, which can support not only students, but also teachers and trainers.
Visual and auditory pathways
The approach adopted by Jérôme is a multisensory approach, which means a teaching method that involve engaging more than one sense at a time. This can enhance memory and the ability to learn. In particular, Jérôme’s online tools involve the use of visual and auditory pathways, through which students are more likely to memorize and internalize the information, and therefore make a stronger connection with what they’re learning.
The using of games in language learning
A good way to keep the motivation high in children learning a language is to involve them in games, as Jérôme does on his website. There’s quite a lot of research about the using of games in language learning, especially in the classroom. I just want to mention a few points: games add interest to what students might not find very interesting; the emotions, the joy involved when playing games add variety to the serious and challenging process of language learning and last but not least, games are student-centered because students are active in playing the games. As an example, I really appreciated the memory game. Even if it might seem quite hard for a dyslexic child to keep in mind the images and the written word, it is the excitement of getting the correct answer, that gives the game that particular appeal.
Getting familiar with the new sounds
I also appreciate the different speed for the pronunciation exercises. Jérôme always reads the sentences more than once. Slowing down the reading speed, he helps learners to identify the single words representing the sentences. This is one of the most difficult tasks when confronting with a language with a completely different sound system from your own. I would recommend to first listen to the sentences without watching the video. This will help learners getting familiar with the new sounds. Watching the videos, you will realize that Jérôme created a particular system connecting sounds with images and written words. Even if this adds some challenges when it comes to memorize the elements of the sentence, it is up to the learners to decide how to proceed with language learning and to identify their learning tempo. So, if you feel like you have a strong visual memory, you can try to memorize the images. Alternatively, you can practice more with sounds.
There are a lot of online tools for language learning, but not so many for dyslexic learners, so I’m happy to find out that teachers, like Jérôme, are starting to share their methods and tools online. Thank you!
I am a linguist and consultant for multilingual education, as well as senior researcher/lecturer at the Carinthian University of Applied Sciences in Austria. I organize webinars, workshops and consultant services to understand and facilitate children’s language learning and to help adults to communicate with confidence in a foreign language. I’m passionate about my job and I recently became Vice President of Sietar Austria, a non-profit association to promote the intercultural dialogue.
You can find me here:
Website: www.karinmartin-linguist.com (remember to choose your language)
Sietar Austria Website: http://www.sietar.at/2018/