Bilingual Dyslexic Child: How Can We Manage Dyslexia?

Bilingual Dyslexic Child: How Can We Manage Dyslexia?

In this article, we will focus ondyslexia in bilingual children. What are the effects of bilingualism on dyslexia, does bilingualism make it worse, how do you manage dyslexia in a bilingual child? These are the themes we will be looking at.

les difficultés d'apprentissage d'un enfant bilingue dyslexique

Distinction between early bilingualism and late bilingualism

Before going deeper into the subject, it is important todistinguish between early and late bilingualism. Indeed, these two contexts have very different implications for the bilingual dyslexic child. With regard to early bilingualism,i.e when the child is exposed to two languages early on, or from birth when he / she learns them simultaneously (simultaneous bilingualism), bilingualism has no effect on dyslexia. Indeed, if the acquisition of language is done on these 2 bases, there is no translation effort to make. Bilingualism does not accentuate dyslexia, it will manifest itself in both languages.

The situation is different for late bilingualism. A late bilingual is a child who first learned a language and was exposed to a second language at a later stage in their life. In this case we can break it down into to sections by saying that the child has a mother tongue and a second language. Dyslexia will be complicated by thephenomenon of the "non-natural" learning process of the second language.

Promoting language learning for a dyslexic child

Enfant bilingue dyslexique apprend à lire

For a dyslexic child learning a language, there are ways to help him or her. Need to know:

  • Prioritization of the oral over writing in the first instance.
  • Learning texts by heart
  • Working on the writing and the separate pronunciation of each word
  • Comparison of languages (common points and differences in terms of grammar, syntax, etc.)

Bilingual dyslexic child: when can we make a diagnosis?

Dyslexia is difficult to diagnose before age 6, at the age when the written language is being learned. The speech therapist's diagnostic chart must be adapted when the child is bilingual. It must also take into account from when the bilingual dyslexic child has been exposed to 2 languages (simultaneous bilingualism, consecutive, early or late).

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