Learning Spanish with "difficulties"....

Learning Spanish with "difficulties"....


Hola a todos....

First of all, I would like to say that SpanishDict has been of huge help to me this past year. It is an excellent site and what makes it so good is the members who are always very patient, kind, tolerant and willing to help each other.

Reading some discussions between members I have noticed that there seem to be quite a few SpanishDict members who have what some refer to as "specific learning difficulties". I would be really interested in hearing from anybody who is currently learning Spanish who also has some of these "issues".

The reason I am so interested is I will be doing a research project about language learning and specific learning difficulties (as part of a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics). I found that I myself had a lot of problems in the traditional classroom envoironment while learning Spanish and Chinese at university and I would love to find out what issues other people have faced with their various challenges.

The aim of the the project is to explore some new ways to approach language teaching for those with specific needs. I would really appreciate and be extremely grateful if you would be able to share your experiences with me!

Some examples of SLD's (specific learning difficulties):

- dyspraxia - dyslexia - autistic spectrum disorders - ADHD

There are many others...

I do realise that this is an international site and the terminology or phrasing may be different in your country. I do not wish to offend! grin

¡Muchas gracias!

PS: I myself have dyspraxia and AS (Asperger Syndrome) so don't be shy! tongue laugh

If you are not comfortable posting here, please feel free to PM me...

EDIT: Just to clarify - when I say I have noticed some users have these difficulties I do not mean I am judging their writing or spelling or anything like that. I am referring to the specific occasions where someone has openly stated they have a condition!

updated JUL 9, 2010
edited by kirstenalexander
posted by kirstenalexander
Apologies for the long post! :) - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010
No te preocupes Kirsten, es un pregunta interesante. :) - galsally, JUL 9, 2010

6 Answers


I am 58 years old and although never had any diagnosed problems I think I would have fallen into the ADHD category if I were a schoolage individual in these modern times. I barely got through High School so further education wasn't even considered. Understanding English grammar (I am American) was, and still is a very difficult thing for me. Understanding Spanish is even harder. The only thing I have in my favor right now is the absolute desire to learn whereas I coulnd't even see the point of it as a youth. I have been dabbling in learning Spanish off and on for 8 years now. I joined Spanish Dict last August and finally feel that I am learning something. I hope this helps in your research.

updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by Yeser007
It does help - and if you would be willing I would love to ask you a few questions sometime if you would be comfortable to do so. :) - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010


Thanks for asking this question.

Some on this site may feel that this is not the right forum for such a question,but I think it has great relevance. We are all here to learn, and some, with much difficulty, for one reason or another. Please forgive the intrusion.

I am 57 years old, and was diagnosed with ADD only about 7 years ago. I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. I read very well,but, I don't read anything but an occasional article ( I have never, in my life, read a novel, nor written a book report). My vocabulary and spoken grammar is better than most college graduates I know,but, I have some difficulty with punctuation. And I,as the previous poster, don't know the multiplication table.

I am learning Spanish largely on my own. I've been working on it for about three and a half years. Because of ADD I tend to ping (bounce) from one book or program to another, so I'm not nearly as far along as I should be.

I don't function at all in a traditional classroom setting.

If this helps, I would be glad to have further discussion with you.

updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by canicos
It would be fantastic to chat to you about this - your point about 'pinging' really strikes a chord! :) - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010
Of course its relevent, this is supposed to be an educational site. - fontanero, JUL 9, 2010
Thanks for the support. - canicos, JUL 9, 2010
Wow, canicos, I think we have aa awful lot in common here. - Yeser007, JUL 9, 2010

I don't have any diagnosed syndrome, but I could have a syndrome that includes difficulty with numbers. I am 27 and I still don't know multiplication table and I usually add up with my fingers. In Spanish and English I have to make a little pause before I say some number, because I need a little time to think. With normal words I don't have that problem, if I know a word I say it immediately. I don't know is it any kind of disorder or a normal difficulty.

updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by KikeCS
maybe you should look up 'dyscalculia' - it is kind of like 'dyslexia with numbers' - it might give you some answers or shed some light on your situation but this is just friendly advice - I am not a professional or qualified to advise you! :) - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010
Thanks! You are right. It could be that, from this what I can read on the Internet I have some symptoms. - KikeCS, JUL 9, 2010
Please don't self-diagnose from the internet, see an expert. - fontanero, JUL 9, 2010
I don't think he is self diagnosing - rather discovering possible explanations for his difficulties. It is not like a medical condition that requires medication or could lead them to danger... the information may help them understand themselves better... - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010
It is good of you to point this out though - it is why I stressed I am not a professional! I think an educational psychologist is needed for a 'official' diagnosis so that is an avenue to explore if they feel it would be beneficial :) - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010
Yes, I am only discovering possible reasons for my difficulties I won't do any self-treatment. :) And I think it is little late to go to psychologist, my school is over and my university is over. - KikeCS, JUL 9, 2010
There may be some help available, give it some thought. It has to be your decision, but I wish you well, whatever you choose. - fontanero, JUL 9, 2010
Thank you! I will think about it. In Croatia, as far as I know, is really hard to find professional help if you are not in bigger trouble. - KikeCS, JUL 9, 2010

I have the utmost respect for anyone with these conditions.

I have the honour of knowing many people who have overcome their problems, and learnt many skills and subjects. Learning a job has been a struggle for some, let alone a new language.

I have no "learning difficulties", and still find it difficult.

You should be proud of your achievements, and be an inspiration to us all.

I think we should also salute those members who come forward and admit their problems. Many people are understandably shy about admitting it to others.

It also seems to me that, since this is an educational site, shouldn't we all help each other learn, in whatever way we can.

updated JUL 9, 2010
edited by fontanero
posted by fontanero
You make a good point about being shy - I think that is why SpanishDict can be so useful - there is time to process information as well as the safety of anonymity! :) - kirstenalexander, JUL 9, 2010

Hey Canicos!

You said:

Some on this site may feel that this is not the right forum for such a question,but I think it has great relevance. We are all here to learn, and some, with much difficulty, for one reason or another. Please forgive the intrusion.

You are completely right - it is very relevant. From what I can seen so far many people here on SpanishDict are here because 'traditional' education has failed them in some way (by not recognising or making accomodations for their way of learning, for instance).

That's why I believe SpanishDict is so important - because it helps to fill a gap and allows those who may have been denied previous opportunities to learn.

It also allows people to build confidence and make friendships which can only be beneficial to learning grin

Thank you to all you have answered - your honesty and openness is really appreciated!

Again, if you have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to PM me or post here....

updated JUL 9, 2010
posted by kirstenalexander


updated JUL 9, 2010
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
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