Do me a favor will you? Click the picture below and try to read the text. Keep track of the time while reading. Don’t give up too soon and don’t scroll down to the answer, give it a try first.
Dyslexia in a CLIL environment
“Dyslexia is defined by an unexpected difficulty in learning to read.” – dyslexia.yale.edu
People with dyslexia read a lot slower than people who are not. We all know that, that is why regulations allow for more time during tests and teachers should make sure dyslexic students can also read the text by using a larger or different font.
This is nothing new.
However, in a language based environment like CLIL, dyslexic students encounter challenges more frequently.
Is that a bad thing? No, absolutely not.
Can it be a problem? Yes, it can.
I know students who decided to leave bilingual education because of their dyslexia. I also know students who, despite their dyslexia, finished their bilingual education in a fantastic way.
Yet I do not know what it’s like to have dyslexia. I am a quick reader and switching from Dutch to English and back poses no challenge for me.
London-based graphic designer Daniel Britton developed a special font that simulates the way people with dyslexia read, to help non-dyslexic people to understand what it’s like to read with the condition.
Letters have been altered to make them appear less legible. The design uses about 40 percent of the original letter, which still makes it readable.
But it slows down your reading pace to almost 10 times slower than your regular speed.
Give it a try, can you figure out what the text below actually reads?
It took me quite some time to figure out what the text said. More than once, I was confused and had to read words or even whole sentences again.
For someone who has never had problems with reading before, this was quite an experience. It sure opened my eyes to what some of my students experience.
As Britton states, it’s not like this typography emulates what people with dyslexia see. That is probably something that is a lot harder to do.
However, slowing down the reading speed dramatically does help to realize the challenge some of our students face every day. I think it’s okay to be made aware of this every now and then, it’s easy to forget when faced with everyday business ‘as usual’.
Did you figure it out?
Below is the answer to the text in the picture. Be sure to try and read it before you look at the answer!
“This typography is not designed to recreate what it would be like to read if you were dyslexic, it is designed to simulate the feeling of reading with dyslexia by slowing the reading time of the viewer down to a speed of which someone who has dyslexia would read.”
What do you think?
How long did it take you to read the text? Was your answer correct? Let me know your thoughts!