I attended a Reading Dyslexia and the Brain workshop, where I learned the definition of dyslexia and that dyslexia is not what I had thought. Dyslexia is unexpected poor reading and underachievement in reading. I never before realized that reading is the most difficult task a student has to learn to do in school, because reading came so easily to me. Dr. Lyon clarified that many students who cannot read cannot do so due to several factors such as poor teaching practices and illiteracy in the home.
While listening to Dr. Lyon speak, I could not help but to think of my client in reading clinic. He fit the profile of a student with dyslexia. He is very bright and achieves at high levels in comprehension. However, he only read at a first grade level when we began the Spring 2009 semester. Before meeting my client and before attending this conference, I doubted that I would need to teach phonemic and phonological awareness at the secondary level. However, my client helped me realize that I will come across a student with dyslexia every now and again. Dr. Lyon’s workshop helped me realize that I will most likely come across students with dyslexia on a regular basis.
I never before thought of how important teaching nonsense words to students is. Dr. Lyon stated, “If a kid can read nonsense words tells us they can generalize and apply their skills to a new text.” Because of this statement, I will find ways to teach my secondary students who have reading difficulties to read nonsense words. I will also remember that reading is the basis for everything. If a student cannot read in my classroom, then they will not be able to do well in math, science, and history. Therefore, I will work on phonics and phonemic awareness in my classrooms if I have students with reading difficulties.