Young and Dyslexic, Benjamin Zephaniah



'no compassion, no understanding, no humanity' - Rule of 3 emphasises how dyslexia was seen in the past.

'idea of being kinda nd thoughtful and listening to problems' - another rule of 3, contrasting with the other one showing how things should've been.

'the past is a different kind of country' - metaphor to show how that type of kind approach was almost foreign.

'I was just being creative' - Short sentence to suggests Zephaniah's shock and dissappointment at the teacher's harsh response.

'local savages' - racism. Reported speech shows reality behind the anecdote. He remembers the exact words vividly, suggesting how they affected him.

'black fell apart, in trouble with the police...unable to read or write, with no qualifications and, on top of that, dyslexic.' -Shows what he has overcome. Extensive listing used to give hope to the reader that no matter what, it can be overcome.

1 of 5


'it's not you'- direct address used to communicate directly to reader and give hope and reassurance.

'Dyslexia is not a measure of intelligence: you may have a genius on your hands' - Use of colon to emphasise second clause that you could have a genius.

'creativity muscle' - Inverted commas used as this is an invented term. Adds physicality to statement. Ironically contrasts with the physical muscles thaty Zephaniah's teachers expected him to have ('go outside and play some football'). Also shows how he creates solution to problems.

'Us dyslexic people, we've got it going on' - 'us' collective pronoun. Sense of belonging and support. Urban idiom used to show despite his achievements in becoming a university professor, he still remembers his roots.

'Bloody non-dyslexics...who do they think they are?'- Colloquial, light hearted. Rhetorical question. Develops a rapport with the reader.

2 of 5


'We are the architects, we are the designers'- Inclusive, positive statement turning usual negative associations with dyslexia into positives.

'Shut up, stupid boy. Bad people would do one-third more bad.'- Shows harshness and rudeness of teachers. Also how they think so negatively of everything. Also gives a negative impression of the school system.

'Nazis weren't that bad'- Negative. Compared to nazis.

'But opportunities opened for me and they missed theirs, didn't notice them or didn't take them.' Maintains hope.

'I just had self-belief'- hints that is is self-beleif which brought him opportunity instead of prison.

'Brunel University...professor' - these words shwo how dyslexia didn't hold him back from achieving great things.

'Squiggle' - Shows non-dyslexic readers what it is like to see words.

3 of 5


  • Structural topic shifts
  • 'In many ways being dyslexic is a natural way to be.    What's unnatural is the way we read and write.' - Natural and unnatural linking paragraphs.
  • Circular structure 'We are the architects we are the designers.'
  • Gives direct adcice to reader at the end
  • Chronological.
4 of 5


  • Anecdotes
  • Clear, direct language
  • Colloquial langauge
  • Direct speech
  • Punctuation e.g. colon
  • Short sentences
  • Patterned sentences e.g. pairs of ideas, rule of 3
  • Inclusive pronouns. Direct Address
  • Encouraging, positive tone.
5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Language resources:

See all English Language resources »See all Anthology A resources »