My daughter is entering 9th grade in a few weeks. She has dyslexia. We have grappled with the foreign language course of study. Her high school offers Latin, and I’ve read on your site that Latin roots are helpful to students with dyslexia. Do you recommend Latin as a foreign language for students with dyslexia? I’ve also read that Spanish is a better course to study as well. She has tried French in middle school and that was a disaster. I’m concerned that Spanish will be just as difficult for her.

She is attending a small, private school instead of our large public high school to ensure that she has a community of teachers and resource specialists focusing on and encouraging her academic pursuits with lots of support and maintained accommodations.

Any advice is appreciated.

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

Indeed, we teach Latin and Greek roots and affixes (prefixes & suffixes), not to mention the Anglo-Saxon origin of English as a part of intervention with dyslexics. I do not have a personal experience with Latin over Spanish with any of my clients (although I've got two starting Spanish this fall, so we shall see....).

Here is a helpful piece from Understood, an organization that I trust, and the author advocates for Spanish. As noted -- there are only 5 vowels in Spanish. (Vowels and vowel combinations can be a real challenge for our dyslexic students.) It is also quite a phonetic language.

We've another good link on this page.

Here is some advice on study tips from a Spanish teacher.

I know I didn't give you a definitive answer, but hopefully this information will help you make a decision.