It matters little if you are supporting dyslexic individuals, third country nationals, multilingual learners or working in a community where teaching quality does not reflect current literacy learning theory, the issues are largely the same. Despite the diversity of context, there are more similarities than differences. In most cases, the learners want to learn, the teachers want their pupils to learn, and the solutions are simple.
What is not so simple is the statistics. For example, most sources suggest there are around 700 million illiterate people in this world, yet there is no consensus on what is illiteracy. Even in the UK, government sources suggest that 99% of the population is literate. Yet 4% are severely dyslexic. Reconciliation of the numbers is difficult, at best.
In a webinar presented on 8 September 2015 for International Literacy Day, Dr Smythe outlined the problem and its potential solutions, building upon his talk from 2014 (listen to it on Soundcloud here), highlighting what has changed in recent years, and how UNESCO’s monitoring and evaluation programme needs to turn from rhetoric into practice at the one-to-one level as well as the national (and international) level.