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Advice for teaching Year 11 Dyslexic punctuation

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Oliviae2012, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Oliviae2012

    Oliviae2012 New commenter

    I have a boy in Year 11 that I have never taught before. He is dyslexic and uses a laptop but cannot punctuate at all. Mum says that this has been an issue for years and that the school have done nothing to support him (not sure that's true!) but I have said I will try and found out what methods may work for him.
    Can anyone advise anything? Parents supportive and will do things at home. I have not come across such a bad case before and time is running out for him.
    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.
  2. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    Have you spoken about punctuation to whoever taught the boy English in Year 10? Have you read his SEN file to see whether whoever diagnosed him as having specific learning difficulties has made recommendations about literacy development in their accompanying report? Has any of the boy's other subject teachers found ways of improving the punctuation of his written work? Has the school SENCO any advice/opinions?
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Cannot, or will not?

    Spend some time with him going over the rules of punctuation to make sure he's clear on them. Repeat as necessary.

    Give him a punctuation placement in lessons, and one for homework - make him check all work against it. Large images, no text. Build checking time into his work.

    Can he practise writing emails or blogs at home, as a hobby, to get used to using punctuation? I mean, this is the key, isn't it; the punctuation needs to be embedded.
    Oliviae2012 and pepper5 like this.
  4. Oliviae2012

    Oliviae2012 New commenter

    Hi , that's the problem. We have a very frustrated parent who says this issue has been brought up each year and nothing was done. File simply says dyslexic and uses laptop. Other teachers have mentioned it to mum but not done anything about it. I teach English so can make it part of his homework.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I assume the frustrated parent can punctuate? What steps has she taken to solve this problem?

    I would see if the pupil understands the rules of punctuation. If you read a short text tonelessly with no extra pauses for punctuation can he listen and identify where the full stops should go? Verbally, can he explain how a contraction works? If so, it's just matter of getting them in there.

    One of the problems I find is that laptops are issued without any time spent on strategies for making the most of them. Pupils don't know how to consider and select the right word from lists offered (I get them to check the meaning matches what they meant) or how to interpret the grammar and punctuation suggestions.

    If all else fails, can he work with a scribe? If he knows the theory of punctuation but his dyslexia prevents him from putting it on the page, that's the good argument for special arrangements.
  6. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    Who exactly decided that this boy was dyslexic and considered that a laptop was the appropriate access arrangement? If he has specific learning difficulties, there must be a report with the diagnosis in it and a set of conclusions and recommendations to follow. Where is the school SENCO in all this? When the mother attended school meetings about her son, was this a normal parents' meeting or a SEN annual review? If the latter, it's very serious if the mother's concerns were not followed up.

    My first response was intended to emphasise the need for consistency across the curriculum now that the boy is approaching his GCSEs. It's not enough to focus on punctuation just in English, the rules need to be applied in all subjects requiring the deployment of punctuation skills. This is something that a SENCO has the authority to do.

    If you are just looking for materials to practise punctuation, I have a couple of booklets on my website that I created to help students with literacy issues come to grips with punctuation at my secondary school. Go to http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/home/inclusion. Follow the "Intervention Units" link next to the subheading "Skill development" under the main heading "Classroom-ready materials" and have a look at the resources with the filenames "Punctuation.pdf" and "Proofreading Punctuation.pdf". You can access the files directly by clicking https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw7z_4bLjOOEcWV2WEZ4V3dqak0 and https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw7z_4bLjOOEU2JjWGI4eFZtRm8 respectively.
    ParentA and Oliviae2012 like this.

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