How can I use Word Banks to help Students with Dyslexia?

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Check Out the New Blog Students with dyslexia make a lot of spelling mistakes while writing assignments. They may spell a word differently in different parts of the text and when shown both the words, may struggle to choose which one is correct. They also tend to spell words as they sound. For example, they may spell learn as ‘lern.’

The first step to helping students who have dyslexia with their spelling is to play the role of a proof-reader and spot mistakes. This is where word banks come in handy. A word bank may be defined as a collection of words that the student has been learning compiled together to allow his quick access to the spelling of a word while he is writing an assignment.

A word bank gives the student independence, and they no longer require the teacher to breathe down their neck but should be able to refer to the word bank if unable to recollect the spelling of a particular word. This gives students with dyslexia a sense of confidence and lets them proof their own pages and rectify their own mistakes before the assignment is evaluated by the teacher.

In addition to a personalized word bank, there are various other tools that a student with dyslexia can use to keep a watch on their spelling.

Text reading features

Many computers have this feature that allows students to hear the content as they are being typed out. This helps the students determine the accuracy of the text with ease. The one major drawback of this feature is that a lot of students find the voice irritating or difficult to understand.

Write Out Loud

This has a compiled word bank of its own regularly used words. It allows students to listen to words on the list simply by pointing at it. They can then just insert the word into their text by clicking on it. This tool helps save writing time and eases spelling worries.


Most word processors have automated spellcheckers that scan the text and highlight the spelling or typing errors. One major limitation of this tool is that it isn’t very helpful in suggesting the right word. Most word processors provide sample words based on the first two letters of the word entered. So if the spelling error is in the first two letters, the suggestions may not be helpful.

Additional on-screen word banks

There are a number of on-screen word banks that can be used to help the student while writing an assignment. Most of them are easy to use and words can be inserted into the text with a simple click. Users can also create their own grid of words based on what they use regularly.

Voice or speech recognition software

There is software that allows you to simply speak out words and it types the text out for you. This helps students with dyslexia be concerned with the content and not be bothered by spelling mistakes. It is also a major advantage for slow typers. The software is, however, not as easy as it looks. One needs to ‘train’ the computer to recognize ones voice and often one may need to proofread the word to ensure that the machine used the right word. In this method, the computer needs to be able to hear the speaker carefully. Therefore, it is better suited to be used in a quiet environment, and not necessarily in school.

Which of these methods is best suited for students with dyslexia in your classroom?


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