The Pilot e-Learning Course finished at the end of June. 55 of the participants successfully completed the course. As a final task the participants had to present a Study Case in which to show how they have implemented in practice the new knowledge. Following the wish of the participants to have an opportunity to share good practice among them Dyslexia Association – Bulgaria collected all the Case Studies and published a Good Practice Book, which the participants in the Pilot Course will get along with their Certificates. The Book will be also delivered to schools, recourse centers, educational authorities.
Dyslang Dissemination Event (15/8/2013)
The British Dyslexia Association and The University of South Wales ran a Dyslang Dissemination event in Shrewsbury on 24th July. Participants included language teachers, ESOL tutors, specialist dyslexia teachers and representatives from Dyslecsia Cymru (Wales Dyslexia). The day began with a look at the background to the Dyslang course and considered multilingualism in the UK and the estimated prevalence of dyslexia in the UK compared with figures quoted from Italy. Participants were provided with an overview of the course and received a booklet containing a summary of the modules. After lunch, participants were able to select one of two workshops. The first workshop focused on multilingualism in the classroom, looking at the cognitive benefits of speaking more than one language and the importance of maintaining the home language, as well as introducing the concept of translanguaging as a pedagogical method. The second workshop presented an overview of difficulties experienced by dyslexic and/ or multilingual learners and considered a range of strategies likely to be effective with these learners. Participants’ comments on the day were overwhelmingly positive with many saying that they would use the strategies to inform their teaching and that they would be registering for the Dyslang course.
Polish Education Society Conference, Guildford, UK (13/07/2013)
The Polish Education Society held their Polish Teachers' Conference on 12-14 July. This provided an opportunity to distribute copies of the Polish book for parents, and elicit feedback. The draft book was very well received, and the Society Manager asked to be informed off all future activities with respect to Polish and looked forward to the final version of the book for parents.
May – July 2013
As part of the dissemination activities Dyslexia Association – Bulgaria organized a series of Seminars, trainings, workshops and conferences in different places in the country to promote the ideas of the project Dyslang and the project results. Participants were presented the e-Learning Course, some of the modules were discussed in depth, a lot of questions were answered, some practical exercises were also provided. In the events took part participants of the Pilot Course, and they shared their experience and gave feedback to all interested.
End of the UK pilot (30/5/2013)
The UK pilot came to an end on 30th May 2013 with 46 participants successfully completing the course.
Mar 6 - PATOSS Ystrad Mynach (6/3/2013)
A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) day was held by the South Wales/De Cymru branch of the Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS) on March 6th 2013 in Ystrad Mynach, Wales. Dee McCarney was invited to speak on 'Recognising the benefits of multilingualism'. This was presented in the context of the EU aim that all should have the opportunity to learn 2 languages in addition to their mother tongue and this should not exclude dyslexic pupils. There were approximately 25 teachers in attendance, many of whom gave feedback that the presentation had raised issues that they hadn't previously considered but made sense when they thought of their own experiences.
Mar 2 - University of Wales, Newport - Caerleon Campus (2/3/2013)
A diverse group of interested professionals attended a workshop held at The Dyscovery Centre, University of Wales, Newport as part of the Dyslang pilot project. The participants included an MFL teacher and a Spanish language classroom assistant, as well as TEFL/ESOl and SEN support staff and Masters level trainee teachers coming from as far away as Bridgend in south Wales and Bath in England. The day had a packed programme including presentations by Dr Ian Smythe focusing on assistive technology and assessments, Jill Fernando with hands on activities provoking discussion on effective lesson plans to engage multilingual dyslexic learners and a session on the cognitive benefits of multilingualism by Dee McCarney. Although only a small group the exchanging of ideas was lively and all wished that they had had more time for each of the different areas covered. Dr Smythe's talks were filmed and are available in the UK eLearning section of this website. Jill and Dee's presentations were recorded at a later date as webinars and are also available in the eLearning section.
Dyslang workshop at The Wells Centre, east Manchester (9/2/2013)
On 9th February 2013, The British Dyslexia Association ran a Dyslang workshop at a Surestart children’s centre in east Manchester. The workshop was attended by local dyslexia association volunteers, the coordinator of a local group for French speaking parents, parents of multilingual dyslexic children and supplementary school teachers from the Noor Arabic School and Malaysian Community School of Manchester. The workshop started with an overview of dyslexia and co-occurring conditions and provoked lively discussion and questions among participants. This was then followed by a presentation which looked at the impact of dyslexia and multilingualism on language learning and suggested ways in which parents and teachers can support children with their studies. Feedback on the workshop was overwhelmingly positive.
After months of active contacts, face to face meetings and correspondence with the Ministry of Education the Dyslang e-Learning Course got an official approval from the Ministry. On 19th April the Ministry of Education sent an Official Letter to all regional Educational Authorities informing them about the Course and encouraging teachers to take part not only in the Pilot course, but in the next Dyslang Courses that will be provided after the end of the project period.
The UK Pilot (21/3/2013)
The UK partners have run two successful face-to-face workshops in March, the first taking place in Newport and the second in Manchester.
You can download detailed info here.
The DYSLANG Pilot Course in Bulgaria started on 5th February 2013 with 57 participants from all over the country. Among participants there are foreign language teachers, class teachers, recourse (SEN) teachers, psychologists, speech therapists, social workers, university students from the Pedagogical Departments, parents of dyslexic children. The Course will finish at the end of June.
Dyslang course accredited in Czech Republic (24/1/2013)
The DYSLANG course has been accredited in the Czech Republic by the Czech Ministry of Education.
The accreditation has been issued for the DYS-centre Prague who can award successful course participants with the nationally recognised certificates from January 2013.
The first Dyslang webinar (18/12/2012)
The first Dyslang webinar took place on 18th December 2012 and supplements the content of Module 2 (‘Understanding Dyslexia’)
The third partner meeting (13/11/2012)
The third partner meeting was held in Prague on 12th and 13th November 2012. Much of this meeting involved reflecting on achievements to date and discussing work still to be carried out. The most immediate focus was on the pilot courses which had already started in the UK, the Czech Republic and Italy and would be starting in February 2013 in Turkey, Switzerland and Bulgaria. All partners are adapting their courses to participants’ needs and this means that there will be significant differences in the delivery (particularly in terms of the amount of face-to-face teaching), the duration of the course and the level and methods of assessment.
In the evening, partners were able to relax over dinner at the Café Imperial with its impressive ceramic wall tiles and mosaic ceiling, its celebrity TV chef and traditional Czech cuisine.
Pilot course in Italy (9/11/2012)
The pilot course in Italy started on November 9th 2012 and will end at the beginning of February. It is being carried out in collaboration with the University of Turin, Faculty of Education Science. There are currently 15 language teachers enrolled. Most of the activities are done face to face and the course is very interactive. Teachers are very happy to share their difficulties and their practices. They show great interest in the course and have offered to provide materials and practical activities to be integrated into the course content. They have also offered to provide videos of class activities (without children being recorded, in order to avoid privacy issues). Many of the teachers have expressed their willingness to be actively involved in the exploitation and sustainability of the project.
There are other teachers (about 40) who have heard about the project and who have expressed their desire to participate in the pilot. It was not possible to include them in the current, ongoing pilot. However, ISAC-CNR is seeking a possible solution in collaboration with the Piemonte Regional School Office, which is one of the Associate Partners of the project.
THE UK PILOT (5/11/2012)
The UK pilot course was launched on 5th November 2012. Modules are being released at the rate of approximately one a fortnight. Course participants have been allocated an e-tutor to support them through the pilot and are being encouraged to complete the accompanying assessment questions at the end of each module and to receive on-going feedback rather than waiting until the end of the course. As many participants have indicated that they will be unable to attend face-to-face sessions, webinars are being offered. These are being conducted in collaboration with an Associated Partner, DO-IT Solutions Ltd. Participants on the UK pilot comprise foreign language teachers as well as learning support co-ordinators, teaching assistants, dyslexia specialist teachers based at Further Education Institutions and British teachers based at international schools overseas. Recruitment to the pilot course is continuing, so if you would like to take part, please contact Jill Fernando (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Professor Ian Smythe (email@example.com).
The second partner meeting (22/5/2012)
The second partner meeting took place on 21st and 22nd May 2012 in Locarno, Switzerland. Partners arriving in Zurich were able to enjoy the beautiful train journey through the Gotthard mountains and famous spiralling tunnels. Locarno is located at the northern tip of Lake Maggiore in the canton of Ticino and the official language is Italian.
At the meeting, the Newport partner presented feedback on the survey of needs questionnaire, providing information about the number and type (teacher, trainee teacher etc) of respondents in each context and highlighting the main areas that respondents felt that the Dyslang course should address. Much of the rest of the meeting was devoted to discussion about individual modules and varying terminology used in different partner contexts.
The kick-off meeting (17/1/2012)
The kick-off meeting was held in Bracknell, UK. Partners from different European organisations discussed issues relating to dyslexia and multilingualism in their individual contexts. An initial curriculum was drafted and different partners volunteered to lead the planning and writing of particular modules. There was discussion and agreement about the general structure of the website and the e-learning component of the course.