Dyslexia is the most common learning disability that majorly affects language development and reading. In India, dyslexic children despite being moderately intelligent and good with English alphabetic knowledge perform poorly in Hindi. These children find it very difficult to recognize and remember the shapes of the Hindi alphabets because of its complex features such as the curves, matras (dependent-forms), halants (half-form), etc. The importance of learning Hindi cannot be ignored especially in India where all the major day to day activities are carried out in the Hindi language. After knowing the problem, the authors revisit the Hindi Alphabets (Varnmala) and tries to find out how the complex features of the Hindi alphabets can be taught efficiently. The data and insights were gathered through observation sessions, video recordings and behavioral studies of 5 dyslexic children aged 8-12 years. Open-ended interviews with teachers and parents helped to understand the problem better. A deeper analysis of the Hindi language led the authors to reconstruct all the 48 alphabets of the script (36 Consonants and 12 Vowels) using combinations of just 10 basic shapes. Findings from these sessions helped authors to design and develop an interactive touch-based digital application that helps these children to recognize and form Hindi alphabets efficiently and also provides audio-visual feedback to the children which makes learning fun. Testing the application with 12 dyslexic children revealed that the average time to learn a new Hindi alphabet got reduced from 2-3 weeks to one week.
Abhishek Bose, Gojek, India
Jyotsana, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
Stream: Learning Experiences
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