This SLLAT talk will be delivered by Bimali Indrarathne on 'Dyslexia and English language teaching in Sri Lanka: A teacher training project – impact and challenges'.


Dyslexia and other learning difficulties are minimally addressed in pre- and in-service English language teacher training programmes in Sri Lanka although it is an important aspect in language teacher education. Therefore, a teacher training project on dyslexia and English language teaching was conducted in Sri Lanka under ESRC’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) scheme. The project trained 100 teacher trainers, 172 English teachers, 19 policy planners/ textbook writers/ language testers and 20 speech therapists in a series of workshops. Immediately after each workshop, the participants provided feedback and two to three months after the workshops a group of participants was interviewed to see the impact of the training.

The immediate feedback revealed attitude and knowledge change among the workshop participants on learning difficulties. The interview data reveals that there are changes introduced into classroom practices as well as national level textbook writing projects and language tests. The data further shows dissemination of knowledge at different levels of education management. The feedback and interview data indicate institutional barriers as the major challenge to implement inclusive practices in Sri Lanka.  

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