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Teaching Approaches Towards Children with Dyslexia

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The researcher literature review will be the focus on finding a variety of ways of making use of multi-sensory techniques in language learning to help dyslexic students overcome their problems and investigate study the effectiveness of visual communication in learning process toward dyslexic children. It depends on how visual communication can be delivered effectively to dyslexic children. The purpose idea is interactive video using visual communication in learning process toward dyslexic children. One of the ways to make dyslexia for the faster learning process and know about the effective teaching on video interactive.

Definition of Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability for children. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition. Dyslexia has poor spelling and decoding abilities. Dyslexia is not a disease but is one of the learning disorders commonly experienced by children (Shuhada, 2011). The findings of the study showed that the learning progress of a dyslexic child is a bit slow in term of their skills in making sounds of the letter, keep repeat same errors in the arrangement of a letter while some having confusion in identifying letters which look alike.

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The study also found, the children also were having a visual problem which they failed to copy the words showed to them properly, as well as hearing problems when they create errors by writing wrong letters. These difficulties give high impact on the child’s ability to read. Learning difficulties experienced by these children will contribute to later education, social, psychological, health and employment disadvantages. For these dyslexia children, the study also suggested that teacher should train on how to addresses strategies to overcome difficulties in handling dyslexia children.

Types of dyslexia

Brown (2009) identifies five types of dyslexia eligible for special education purposes which are visual dyslexia, phonological (auditory) dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia? He identified visual dyslexia as a visual processing disorder proceeds from immature development of the human visual system which affects the whole process that gets information from the eyes to the brain. Optical visual problems or visual cognitive disorders are contributing to visual dyslexia which is trouble in reading. Optical problems often result from simple near or foresight. Mental processing problems are often the result of visual stress. Phonological (auditory) dyslexia basically the brains of auditory dyslexics have difficulty processing the basic sounds of language. While Dyspraxia is struggling with development, coordination, common sense, processing, memory, and some other cognitive skills. Besides that, dysgraphia means inability to write coherently and last on is dyscalculia means difficulty in making arithmetical calculations.

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia

“Children and adults with dyslexia simply have a neurological disorder that causes their brains to process and interpret information differently” (“What is Dyslexia”, 2012. p. 2). Dyslexia is neurological; it is not a product of the environment. Students with dyslexia cannot learn the same ways as their peers. Therefore, research reviewed suggests for educators or facilitator to find out what can be done in the classroom to promote learning for dyslexia students The Power of Dyslexia (2011) described seven characteristics of a dyslexic child in its article, ‘Signs of Dyslexia’ has divided by seven type, slow in developing speech, difficulty in gauging directions, difficulty in Deciphering Sequences, poor reading ability, poor handwriting, poor organizational abilities and poor memory about non-relevant facts.

Problem Facing Children Dyslexia

The main problem faced by dyslexic children mostly is in the learning process. This problem can be classified into (Peter and Colin, 1990; Power of Dyslexia, 2011);


The problem is due to initial problems as there is confusion in identifying the letters as: m – w; y- g – j; u – n ; m – n; c – e; p – q; h – n; b – d

There is also confusion in the sound-letter: t – h; f – v, s-h; r-l


The tendency to reverse words such as:

Batu – tuba

Gula – lagu

They also do a reversal in the sentence. For example, as follows:

Pada masa yang sama – dapa masa yang masa

Confusion between Malay words in English. For example, as follows:

Jam – jem

Cat – cat


Have difficulty holding a pencil and cannot write according to the line provided. These children also tend to write words fads.

Teaching students with dyslexia

Once teachers are aware that they have students with dyslexia in their class, they are various ways teachers can guarantee in order to make sure the students have access to appropriate material depending on their grade level. The important thing is when giving out instruction for the students, it needs to be stated clearly, give one instruction in time and need to be direct. Teachers have to give some space for them to analyze the instruction given and to fully process new information. The most important tool in teaching a student with dyslexia is time. To makes a meaningful connection and makes them able to produce high-quality work, teachers supposed to encourage them by giving the appropriate time to learn the new material. The researcher believes, while it seems like a simple accommodation, but, with all the material that needs to be covered in a day, there is a tendency to push through even if everyone is not ready (‘Can individuals, ‘2012) Another tool that helps in assisting students with dyslexia is the use of strategic intervention or involvement.

‘Intervention is most effective when provided in a one-to-one or small-group setting; successful interventions heavily emphasize phonics instruction, and other important treatment elements include training in phonological awareness, supported reading of increasingly difficult connected text, writing exercises, and comprehension strategies.’ (Peterson & Pennington, 2012)

Conceptual Framework

Miles and Huberman (1994 cited in Maxwell, 2005), defined a conceptual framework as a visual or written product, one that ‘explains, either graphically or in narrative form, the things to be studied the key factors, concepts or variables and the presumed relationships among them’. This research explains the conceptual framework and purpose design involve in this research namely visual communication using kinetic typography.

Different methods to teach Dyslexia


There should be a way for teaching and learning environment should be set in a friendly environment so that the trainee could learn in an easier way, low-cost, and attractive manner. Various developments in the field of computer programs (courseware) have been made in the last few decades as a tool designed for use in an educational and training course. The word courseware is learner-centered, which promotes self-paced learning. Integrative courseware provides a complete learning environment, including target content, personalization, feedback, remediation, and various learning and evaluation methods. (Y.T. Sung, C.S. Lin, C.L.Lee and K.E. Chang, 2003). Interactive multimedia integrates various skills such as listening, reciting and comprehension, together with authentic learning experiments, learners control over their learning and a focus on the content (M. Warschauer, 1996).

Courseware also known as instructional or educational software and is widely available for school children at the primary level and can be used as an integral part in the delivery of their courses. Indeed, courseware or multimedia integration into instruction and learning has become a very effective tool for learning (M.D> Roblyer, 2003). In general, courseware acts as the role of teacher and serves as an interesting tool for students to interact during their learning process.

Courseware also defined as a learning kit for teachers or trainers or as a tutorial for students with the use of a computer as the delivery platform. Courseware can include material for instructor-led classes, material for self-directed computer-based training (CBT), websites that offer interactive tutorials, material that is coordinated with distance learning such as live classes. The CD-ROM is the most common means of offline delivering courseware. For teachers and trainers, courseware content may include set-up information, a course plan, teaching notes and exercises (Margaret Rouse, August 2005).

Interactive Multimedia

“The interactive use of audio, still image and motion video in addition to text and graphics” (Jeffcoate, 1995). According to Angus Reynolds (1996, p, xi) in his book titled ‘Multimedia Training’, he defined interactive multimedia as a metaphor for the technology-based simulation of a process that takes place between a learner and collection of the subject matter. Interactive multimedia provides the ability of the learner to concentrate on the related task, allowing them to attend specifically to those parts they may be having a problem. The learner has possible to access information as they wanted. It also provides self-paced instruction for students.

The same approach was used by Keates in 2000. She believed that ICT (Information and Communications Technology) can support and facilitate learning in dyslexic students. She reported that dyslexic students use ICT because it is an area where they generally have not previously failed. supportive, facilitating and motivating. The existence of an interactive system changes the perspective of the worlds in the digital era. Interactive art is presented as a form of art that involves the spectator in different ways In new media artwork, the activity is not only emotional but is also comprised as conversations that occur materially between a human and an artwork. The audience and installation are having an interchange to produce a unique artwork experience for each individual encounter (Muller et al.,2006). Interactive art explores the behavior of human bodies and the behavior of artificial systems, offering temporary connections during people’s relationships with technologies and modifies the cultural scene (Domingues, 2002).

The technology development invokes the integration of several forms of art, which provides the platform that leads us beyond the boundaries of creativity. Aside from the interaction between information and visitor, interactive installation should encourage a visitor to communicate with one another. A well-desgined installation whose visitor’s interacting enables them to become involved in the process of knowledge transfer and experience (Novakovic, 2004).

Computer Technology

Computer technology has transformed society in many ways. According to Rozita and Azizah (2011), in their report said that the current traditional teaching methods are not suitable for dyslexia. Dyslexia children need to be taught using alternative teaching technique to attract their attention. Rozita and Azizah have come up with their own courseware using Adobe Flash for children with dyslexia in Bahasa Malaysia.

Mobile Applications

The mobile learning applications of interactive comics become an effective tool of learning, Fadilahwati & Ronaldi (2000) found that children with dyslexia are very interested in the application based on the animation approach. In addition, dyslexic children have no problem in identifying the character and read the words on the screen mobile phones. According to Keates (2000), people with dyslexia do not fail in using information technology tools such as computers. Beacham (2007) also believe that the use of multimedia has the potential to promote children’s learning dyslexia.

Mobile communication is so cohesive into our lives that many people feel uncomfortable without a mobile phone in their hands or either in their pockets. Once, the purposes of having phones were to make a call or sending text messages. From times the phone has evolved from being a normal plain phone until it becomes what it is now, a smartphone. A smartphone is a multifunctional gadget that not only connects, but it aids to learn, earn and at the same time to have fun (Oxford, 2007). All of these features are made possible by the development of mobile applications (Clark, 2012).

Mobile applications began in the late twentieth century (Clark, 2012). Usually, there is an arcade game, music maker and editor tones, calculator, notes and so on. Beginning of the new millennium saw the rapid evolution of the market of mobile content and applications. The operating system for smartphones is also growing like mushrooms after rain, an operating system such as Windows Mobile, Symbian, RIM, Android, Mac, IOS, now exposed to the growth of third-party software.

Visual Communication

There is no equivocal and cogent definition of what visual communication is. The conceptual framework of communication, in general, will be used to explain visual communication as visual communication is but a part of communication as a whole. Baldwin and Roberts (2006) described that structured explanation (as opposed to the definition, p.23). Baldwin and Roberts (2006) believed that visual communication should be looked from two angles i.e, from the perspective of information technology and from the perspective of linguistics (p.22). The field of information technology views communication in general, as a linear process in which a message or idea as passed from A to B. The approach whereby the emphasis is on the sender and the channel or medium used for the message is called ‘process theory’. The field of linguistics, on the other hand, view communication as the production of meaning and posits that a message is, depending on lots of factors, open to several interpretations. Baldwin and Roberts (2006) described this approach as semiotics and focuses on the receiver and the external environment in which the communication takes place (p.35). Rhodes and Rogin (2010), and Kenney (2009) believe that the working definition used for his research is the combination as a social process where the transmission of information and meaning from one individual or group to another and this exchange of messages include visuals (p.112).

In almost all appearances of prints such as films, digital media, and advertisements, visual communication plays a key role. By combining speech, written language and imagery messages, besides providing important information, an effect which is pleasing can be created and there will be a connection with the audience intellectually and emotionally. The application of the design process which creates the look and structure of objects to visual communication is known as graphic design. It is also used as a visual language to convey a message to its viewers. Resbick (2005) stated that in order to ensure that the right message is given to the viewers, ideas are also presented by creating, selecting and organizing specific visual elements (p.12).

With the right solution, different levels of meaning can be expressed, engaged, located, roused, branded, enhanced, convinced and motivated by a graphic designer. It is a way that is more memorable if we use visual communication, this is because viewers can be connected emotionally and intellectually. Neumiur M (2001) found that: ‘there are seven types of depth communication, there is perception, sensation, emotion, intellect, identification, reverberation and spirituality’ (p.20) Visual communication is often used in many ways to help society, such as from driving the economy to giving information to the public. It works in various settings such as corporations, design studios, branding firms, interactive agencies, companies with in-house design sections, marketing firms, advertising agencies, and integrated communication firms. It is important for visual communication professionals to be well educated with the right arts background and exceptional training in writing and design apart from being conversant in ethics.


Another effective tool use in communication is color. Collins (2009) explained that it has the ability to bring out emotions and behavior from people. A color is an important tool for communicating. It’s an element of visual language that people process almost immediately. Color ‘jumps out’ at viewers especially for children before they even begin to process what they are looking at. This is because of this immediate impact, color plays a large role in how we visually communicate.

Space and Place

McCullough (2004) presents the idea of place as integral to the idea of the design of architecture; it is the phenomenological quality of space that enables us to retain memories, weave stories, and describe our experiences. Thus, the design of space is the design of structural elements that encompass place, while the design of the place is the design of interaction between humans and their environment. A recent reading (Ciolfi and Bannon 2005) of the seminal works by Tuan, however, presents a slightly more nuanced stance.

Ciolfi et al. suggest that ‘place’ is more than just a location by describing how a place is inextricably linked to people and meaningful activities in that location. Place, they claim, is a composite of many layers of human experience: sensory perception, memories, feelings, social connections and the presence of others, cultural rules and conventions.

A visual rendering offered by Cioffi et al. shows but the place could also be unpacked into social-political personal and physical attributes that a user brings to that location. these dimensions they claim don’t exist as a series of abstract categories but emerge through peoples actions and activities apply and information and recollections in locational space. will|this will|this could|this may} be in synch with Harrison and Dourish 1996 argument that spaceless place cannot exist as the sense of place can alone emerge through physical immersion within a neighborhood.

Rohrer’s (2005) reading from Merleau‐Ponty (1945) provides another interesting way to think of the manner in which infrastructure can provide deep connections to the body of the situated actor. He claims that embodiment is that the social and cultural context during which the body, cognition, and language square measure constantly set, a context that embraces the user, cultural artifacts, and physical infrastructure – house, technology, computers, displays, motion sensors, all of that aid and manifest psychological feature.

Spatial Saving

The application and function of the foldable design are more related to spatial saving. McGee (p,17, 1979) defined the spatial visualization as the ‘ability to mentally manipulate an entire spatial configuration, to imagine the rotation of depicted objects, to imagine the folding or unfolding of flat patterns and to imagine the relative changes of position of objects in space, ‘According to Linn & Petersen (1985), complex mental transformations of visual images occur during spatial visualization processes.


Learning disabilities refer to a disorder that may affect learning activities. Every person has different types of learning disabilities and most children with learning disabilities have difficulties in reading, writing, and spelling. It has been suggested that up to 10% of the population show some signs of dyslexia. Sometimes, teachers at school can’t recognize a student with a learning problem. The teaching approaches also unsuitable for children who had learning disabilities. Some of the teachers didn’t know how to teach because they not exposed to this problem.

In our country, there are some teachers and parents still at low rate knowledge about children with disabilities. ‘Every child, every individual likes to have positive reinforcement, instead of people thinking that they are not smart’, (Dr. Richard Kwok, 2016: I not stupid, The Star Online). Parents in Malaysia mostly they just think that their children were normal if they can’t spell, write or read because of the mentality of our people just like that. The statistics for dyslexic children at primary school, not the actual percentage, this is because some of the parents didn’t try to diagnosis their children. In primary school, there’s a lot of campaign to give additional information or awareness. However, a campaign such as bully, recycle and so on always have their impact on students. Dyslexia children have talent and specialty in arts because they are identified as having the inclination towards using their right side of the brain has an association with emotion, face recognition and determining the object structure. Therefore, the way these children think is always different from the normal ones. As a result, the dyslexia children will have difficulties in reading, spelling and writing (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2003).

Ronaldi Saleh et. al (2011) in his research on ‘Usage of Animation in the Special Instruction for Dyslexia Children’ has given the approach to create animation in the development of a learning object instruction which is based on interactive multimedia. The importance of the research involved the assessment on the learning objectives (LO) for the dyslexia children that have problems with numbers. The findings of the research showed that 90% of the students agreed to say that the LO has made them easier in understanding the multiplication concept through story-telling activities. Whereas the other 90% of the respondents agreed to say that the content of the LO is suitable for their needs. He also suggested that before a module can be developed, the researcher must refer to the characteristics of the dyslexia children, understand the statement of the problem carefully and identify the teaching methods.

In Malaysia, the awareness campaign was spread internationally by Vince Low with a stunning portrait of famous personalities. Low’s dyslexia and he trying to share his own journey being dyslexic. Low’s work as an illustrator with an advertising agency and he come out with ‘scribble art’ for dyslexia awareness. He doesn’t want anyone else goes through what he did. According to Low’s he feels that reading was difficult for him although it seems so easy to everyone else (Vince Low, 2017, The Star Online). The more he learned about what dyslexia person saw words, the more he starts to realize about itself, without knowing that he was dyslexic left him anxious to accept that dyslexia was part of him.

Multi-Sensory Approaches

The learning process for dyslexia has to include the main sensory which is using touch, sound, and sight to complete their inquiry. Past research shows the multi-sensory approaches was the right method to teach dyslexic children. This method combines other sense such as audio, visual, oral, and kinaesthetic. Dyslexia children need to learn the alphabetic slowly and not being a push to fast because they have to recognize every each sound from alphabetic. Children sometimes easily attract with color and visual. Color is a big part of their world, Dyslexic children see an image with the right brain and it’s connecting to visualize an image of what the word represents. Dyslexia children need a special education that more specific to overcome their weakness.

Visual Outcome Approaches

The important of visuals, space on a page, font style and size are all important to ensure understanding of the content. Waymack and Hendrickson conducted a study which attempted to analyze both the reaction to pictures made by 2,219 fourth through sixth-grade children and their reactions to a new set of pictures after an art appreciation lesson. A unique feature of this study was that in addition to making choices, subjects also wrote briefly the reasons for their choices (Eunice Waymack and Gordon Hendrickson, 1932). According to this statement, the visual it’s as important as an added input to ensure children more understanding. Apart from that, a good visual has come with a suitable color to distract them from the subject of the picture.

Impact of Visual Aids Approaches

The uses of visual aids encourage the body movement and it’s may strengthen the control (Jain, 2004). There is famous Chinese proverb ‘one sighted is worth, a hundred words’, it’s is a fact that we take the knowledge through our intellects. The uses of visual aids in teaching-learning will enhance understanding the text. Using visual aids in teaching can give children additional ways to process subject information. Visual aids which are used in the classroom will encourage the learning process and make it easier and motivating. This method also arises the interest of learners and help the teachers to explain.

Synthetic Phonic Approaches

Synthetic phonics is a method of teaching that uses the letter sounds and then blending these sound together. Mostly, this method used in countries that adopt English languages only. Many countries in Europe use a synthetic phonics approach where children learn very early to blend letter sounds and to interpret unfamiliar words (Feiteson, 1988). Most of the letter sound include the consonant and vowel, can be taught a few months at the start of their first year at school. This is a learning approach provide more effectiveness other than analytic phonics. The differences between analytic and synthetic phonics are reading strategy which is children able to recognize every phoneme and as a result children will able to read faster than the traditional method.

Psychology in Color Approaches

Color is a part of the human learning method and also it’s can affect the mood every person each person, children easily attract with color. Unfortunately, parents assume that every child likes something colorful. From birth to 3 years old, their eyes do not like to see something that so colorful. Some of the children prefer more variety of color in their food. This is part of their learning process to recognize the color.

Target Group 6 to 8 years old

From this research, the researcher has chosen to focus on the group of people from 6 years old to 8 years old. This is because according to Dr. Khatijah (Coordinator PDM) that kind the ages basically a common or stages one for detect dyslexia disorder. Besides that, based on the observation, the researcher has identified that the children have a symptom of dyslexia. Once the children reach school age, that child’s teacher may be the first to notice a problem. Severity varies, but the condition often becomes apparent as a child starts learning to read.


The nature of the research-based interactive practice described in the chapters of this research is very much a process of exploring new forms of interaction from an aesthetic perspective, of exploiting emerging technologies for aesthetic purposes and, perhaps most of all, trying to come to a fuller understanding of the implications of the many new developments in interactive systems in the sense in which they represent new media with which and within which to make art. Consequently, this research is the purpose the interactive video is applied learning for dyslexia children to learning and memorize the basic form of the alphabet by using the visual image. This application is to attract children interest and help children to know about the alphabet, by using visual image combined with application game equipment is an effective way to attract children attention to learn while playing. In the next chapter, a discussion of this mode of research is given in the context of the visual communication was apply to learn process and practice that the contributors are engaged in from one perspective or another.


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