Dyslexia and Learning English (English Language Teaching)


We are more and more becoming aware of a need for provision for dyslexic learners in the English language classroom. Dyslexia not only affects core literacy skills, such as reading and writing, but it can also result in wider issues relating to study and learning.

To be able to make provision for and provide accommodations for learners with dyslexia, we as teachers first and foremost need an understanding of what dyslexia is and, importantly, what dyslexia isn’t. We also need to be aware that all individuals with dyslexia are different in terms of how dyslexia affects them and which accommodations and adaptations are and aren’t helpful.

To this end, this course aims to provide you with an understanding of what dyslexia is and how we can modify and adapt our lessons and classroom materials to ensure inclusivity and successful learning for all learners with dyslexia.

This course is part of the Oxford Teachers' Academy (OTA), a collaborative programme offering continuing professional development for English language teachers. The courses have been developed by the Department and Oxford University Press.

This OTA course has been specially designed for teachers whose students do not speak English as their first language, and is intended for secondary school teachers and teachers of adults.

Course Objectives

During this course you will:

  • gain a deeper understanding of what dyslexia is and how it can affect the individual
  • consider the implications for learners with dyslexia when it comes to learning English
  • learn how to adapt lessons and classroom material to accommodate learners with dyslexia
  • look at and assess examples of published dyslexic-friendly material and produce your own

Programme details

Course structure:

The summer course comprises an introductory session and five content modules delivered over a four-week period.

There will be live tutor-led interactive workshops each week, as well as a number of engaging asynchronous tasks that you complete in your own time.

The asynchronous part of your course will allow you and your fellow participants to extend the learning from the live sessions. Typically, this will include follow up quizzes, extra readings and materials. You will also benefit from opportunities to discuss aspects of each session with your peers in pairs and in small groups, allowing you to reflect on how you might tailor the content of each session to your own teaching context. 

We expect you to devote at least 5 hours each week to your course. Outside the scheduled live sessions, you can study at times that are most convenient for you.

We have capped class sizes at 25 students to maximise opportunities for interaction. 


During your weekly live workshops, you will be expected to participate actively in discussions and exchanges with your tutor and fellow participants. You will be encouraged to continue your discussions through additional online interaction throughout your course.

The first day of your course will begin with an introductory session to introduce you to the structure, expectations, and goals of an Oxford Teachers' Academy course. You then follow a series of five modules over four weeks. Each live session will last around 90 minutes. All times are UK time (UTC+1).

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here: https://bit.ly/3bSPu6D

Introductory Session - Tuesday 29 June 1pm-2.30pm

Module 1: Literacy and wider issues - Thursday 01 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • what dyslexia is and what dyslexia isn’t
  • how dyslexia can affect an individual both in and out of the classroom

Module 2: Dyslexia and the English Classroom - Monday 05 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • how dyslexia can affect learning English
  • inclusivity and accommodating the needs of dyslexic students in the classroom

Module 3: Designing dyslexic-friendly materials - Thursday 08 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • selection and design of material and tests suitable for dyslexic learners of English
  • dyslexic-friendly materials that ELT publishers have made available

Module 4: Teaching grammar and vocabulary - Monday 12 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • the specific difficulties students with dyslexia may have in learning grammar and vocabulary
  • approaches, activities and materials to support the learning of grammar and vocabulary

Module 5: Assessment and adaptation of published  ELT material - Thursday 15 July 1pm-2.30pm

  • analysis, assessment and  adaptation of a lesson from a published course book
  • course participants’ presentation of their adapted course book lesson


Oxford Teachers’ Academy courses are certified by the Department for Continuing Education. In order to receive a Certificate of Completion, course participants must submit an Evidence of Learning Journal  which will be evaluated against established criteria. If all criteria are met, participants will receive an electronic Certificate of Completion within six weeks of submitting their journals.

You will also receive a University of Oxford Certificate of Attendance on successful completion of each OTA online summer course.



Description Costs
Dyslexia and Learning English £300.00


The Department is, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships or reduction in fees for the Oxford Teachers’ Academy online courses at present.


Jon Hird


Jon Hird is a teacher, teacher trainer and ELT materials writer based in Oxford. He teaches at the University of Oxford and frequently gives teacher-training talks and workshops in the UK and overseas. He has written and contributed to many ELT publications for a number of publishers. His most recent publications include Oxford Learner’s Pocket Verbs and Tenses and components of the Language Hub, Roadmap, Navigate, Keynote, Oxford EAP and Life course book series. He has also written and adapted a range of materials for learners with dyslexia. 


Please click on 'Book Now' to reserve a place.

Subject to the availability of places, the closing date is Tuesday 22 June 2021.

Further course information notes will be emailed to participants shortly before the start of the summer school.

Any queries?

Please contact the Programme Administrator by email at ipota@conted.ox.ac.uk

Alternatively, you can read through some frequently asked questions here.

Level and demands

It is expected that participants will have experience of teaching English language.

This course is for primary and secondary school teachers, and teachers of adults.

All participants must speak English to a minimum of a high B2 CEFR level of proficiency.

IT requirements

This programme is delivered online. To participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.