Background colour

Text Size


You are here: Home > Information > Information for Teachers, Schools and Colleges > Useful Help at Secondary Level

Call: 01 877 6001 Email:

Useful Help at Secondary Level

Teachers need to be well informed generally about dyslexia.  All teachers are responsible for catering for the diverse learning needs of their students.

Teachers also need to be aware of the individual profiles and specific needs of each student with dyslexia in their class, as each child will be different.

Teachers wishing to learn more may want to do a course on dyslexia, such as one of the Teachers’ Courses run by DAI (information on upcoming courses can be found in the Events Section).  Schools are also encouraged to avail of whole-school in-service  training provided by SESS, the Special Education Support Service (

The Factsheets for Teachers on Dyslexia at Second Level contain a wealth of relevant information and advice. The complete set of Factsheets is downloadable here: Factsheets for Second Level Schools (PDF file).

General Advice:

Be as understanding as possible.

Multi-sensory learning techniques should be used whenever possible, which involves using visual, aural, oral and kinaesthetic senses.  The classroom should be interactive and involve lots of discussion, and opportunities for active learning.

Avoid asking a student with dyslexia to read aloud in front of the class. However, if you really need to get the student to read, discreetly let them know the previous day what section they will be asked to read so they can prepare it.

Make learning achievable!  Don’t give a student with dyslexia a long list of words to learn every week.  Give them a short list of words from a word family, e.g. boil, coil, spoil.

If giving students sequential information to learn off, be understanding. Some people with dyslexia find rote learning very challenging.

Remember that over-learning is essential. You can never assume that the student will remember a topic covered only once or twice.  Build in lots of opportunities for repetition and consolidation of knowledge.

Take time to correct written work and focus on content rather than presentation.  Do not correct every error, but instead concentrate on a small number of errors and set manageable targets.

Don’t ask a dyslexic student to copy out corrections/mis-spellings. This will be of no use.

Some students will need to use the computer.

Note-taking can be very difficult, so provide worksheets or arrange for notes to be photocopied.  Avoid tasks where students are asked to copy from the blackboard, including homework assignments.

Any worksheets given should be carefully presented, with large clear text, bold headings and diagrams to aid visual learning.

Ask the student to repeat back instructions given.  This can be a useful memory aid.  Instructions given should be clear and concise.  It can also be useful to ask students to summarise what has been learnt at the end of the class.

Careful consideration needs to be given to lesson planning to ensure that the interest level is high, but the literacy levels are adapted to suit the students’ needs.  Differentiated teaching is very important (must, should, could): first the basics, what every student must know; then what they should know to get a good grade; and finally, what they could know if they are aiming for a high grade.

The student with dyslexia should sit near the teacher, so that the teacher can monitor progress and be available to provide any necessary assistance.

Never compare the work of a student with dyslexia to the rest of the class or a sibling. The work presented will often not be indicative of the effort put into producing it.  Ability should not be judged solely on written answers, but on oral, recorded, computer and project work.

If the student is likely to receive reasonable accommodations in state exams, then allow the same accommodations for homework, end-of-term and mock exams.

Rewarding effort is as important as rewarding accuracy.  Students with dyslexia can become very disheartened if their effort is not acknowledged.

Encourage students to build up their stronger abilities in sports, technology, drama, science, maths, etc. This is an important way to build self esteem.

Work closely with parents. They are a valuable source of help and information.


Useful websites for study skills and revision (Junior Cert. and Leaving Cert.)

There are many  useful web resources available providing study skills advice and revision aids – the file below contains further information.

Student study skills handout – 2020 

Useful websites for teachers 2020

Teacher resources 2020


Accessing Digital Copies of Textbooks:

Access to digital copies of second level textbooks is constantly improving, and digital copies can be used with screen reading software to have the textbooks read out to students – the file below contains further information.

Accessing digital copies of books 2019 (PDF format)


Find us on...

DAI activities are part-funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019 administered by Pobal), the Special Education Section of the Department of Education and Skills, SOLAS and KWETB.