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Quick Guide on How to Teach Students Online with Dyslexia

Creating a supportive and accessible learning environment for all students is critical, especially for individuals with dyslexia. When teaching English online (and other languages), teachers and tutors have various tools at their disposal to help them achieve their goals.

Here are some top tips for tutors teaching students with dyslexia with their online classes:


1: Prioritise Dyslexia-Friendly Fonts and Sizes 

When setting up your online language class, consider the needs of dyslexic learners with these suggestions.

  • Opt for sans serif fonts like Helvetica, Arial, Comic Sans, Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Trebuchet, Calibri, or Open Sans, as they offer better readability.
  • Use font sizes between 12-14 points or equivalent for comfortable reading. If your platform allows you to, zoom up the text to help readers focus
  • Some learners may find larger line spacing beneficial, so increase the letter spacing and inter-word spacing if possible.


2: Enhance Navigation with Clear Structure and Headings 

To facilitate easy navigation within your online language class, adopt these helpful practices.

  • Use headings to establish a consistent structure. Ensure titles are at least 20% larger than the standard text.
  • Allow extra space around headings and between paragraphs for improved readability.
  • Differentiate hyperlinks from headings and regular text.


3: Make Use of Colors and Layout for Accessibility 

  • Opt for single-colour backgrounds and avoid patterns or distracting images. You can create and upload your own coloured Whiteboard with an alternative background colour, like a soft beige, so your students can focus more easily,
  • Select dark-coloured text to ensure sufficient contrast for better visibility.
  • Left-align the text without justification to enhance readability.
  • Avoid multiple columns
  • Favour short, straightforward sentences for clarity.
  • Utilise white space strategically to declutter the text and group-related content on the Whiteboard


4: Take Advantage of Your Virtual Classroom Features 

  • Offer materials in different formats: alternate text with images and audio content.
  • Try changing the class mode to conversation-only when possible. 
  • Offer the student to review the class afterwards so they can reinforce what was learned at their own pace.


Teachers can reach out to professionals or have a friendly chat with their students to understand their unique needs better. Online resources from organizations like the British Dyslexia Association offer valuable insights and evidence-based strategies for creating an inclusive learning environment. If in doubt, these organizations can also be contacted for guidance and support.


As teachers, we want to create classes that are as inclusive as possible, ensuring every learner can thrive. By implementing these steps, we can create online language classes that accommodate dyslexic learners and offer a more inclusive and positive educational experience for all.


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