Dyslexia and oral skills

A student’s journey


  • Rose Stanton Otago Polytechnic




tertiary education, learning advising, dyslexia, oral assessment, viva voce


This case study outlines the three-year journey of an occupational therapy student, as she developed strategies to achieve success with the viva voce (living voice) assessments of her course. Because of failing these assessments in her second year, she enlisted the help of a Tertiary Learning Advisor (TLA) to work towards overcoming the difficulties, and during that year she was formally assessed as having dyslexia. This study identifies and analyses themes from three sources of data: the TLAs notes made following each session; the student’s Cognitive and Educational Assessment; and an interview with the student some months after course completion. The aim was to identify key elements of the work with the TLA that helped the student to achieve positive outcomes in academic oral assessments. 

The research contributes to the discussions of issues for adults identified as dyslexic and also to the growing awareness of positive dyslexia. 

Author Biography

Rose Stanton, Otago Polytechnic

Learning Advisor
Student Success