Understanding and helping students with special needs within the ESL classroomDenise PontbriandGwenn GauthierTranslation: Gwenn Gauthier, Julie Proteau and Cindy Stern
Factors that may affect student learningIndividualFactors School-relatedFactorsFamily and Social Factors A
Pedagogical practicesPerceptions and expectations of intervenersClassroom management, school structure or classroom environmentInterpersonal relationships or positive interactionsEmulationSchool-relatedFactors
Differentiated interventions Winning conditions.
Student with behavioural difficulties
I can express myself easily but I may use an inappropriate tone of voice.
I have problems getting organised.I may refuse to do a task: refuse to start it, to pursue it or to end it (ext.).I lack commitment and perseverance when doing assignments (ext. and int.).My comprehension is concrete and literal.
I have good motor skills. I may act in an unpredictable manner.
I have problems learning from my previous experiences. My reactions are linked to my emotions: complaining, crying, getting angry, being sensitive or touchy.
I may be withdrawn; isolate myself; I need adults to protect me. (int. behaviours).I have difficulties relating to others. I may defy, argue, be demanding; create a disturbance (ext. behaviours).
Make sure I am aware of the daily schedule and transitions.As a precaution, let me know about any changes to the schedule.
Have a place in the classroom where I can calm down, decompress or be alone. Place my desk strategically in the classroom taking into account the group dynamics.
Encourage me to check my agenda or work planner.
Let me know all the material required to do the task at hand.
Limit the use of certain objects on my desk.
Establish clear expectations in regards to the work to be done: time, quantity, resources and help.
Plan activities for me to do when Ive completed my work.
Clearly present your expectations: constance, coherence.Establish nonverbal cues to remind me to stop engaging in a negative behaviour. Intervene discretely.Regularly remind me of the clearly defined rules of conduct in the classroom or the school, and enforce the pre-established consequences.
Teach me the rules to different games. Provide me with the means to relax (ex. reading corner, sress ball, listening to music whith headphones, walking).
Student with attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity
I have an idea, I must share it right away (impulsive)I will delay responding because I am distracted.
I have good ideas, Im funny and imaginitive.I make careless mistakes and I forget even when I apply myself. I have a poor sense of time and space: Im all over the place, I have trouble finishing what I start.I am distracted by noise, and even by my own thoughts.
I squirm, I talk, I need to burn energy.
My emotions can get the better of me so I may become unusually upset or spontaneously say whatever is in my head.
I have problems integrating different social activities.
Use visual cues to setup a classroom routine.Tell me how much time I have to do my work.Separate a task into manageable chunks.Encourage me to show what I have done.Warn me when there are 5 minutes left till the end of the class.Encourage the habit of using an agenda to plan the week (cycles 2 and 3)
Place my desk far from busy or noisy places such as doors, windows, classroom sharpener.Allow for movement in between important tasks (time for moving, stretching)Assign tasks, such as erasing the board, distributing papers, opening windows, messengerOffer digital music player or CD player to do individual tasks.Limit the number of objects hanging from the ceiling which constantly move.
Place all necessary material on my desk.Remove objects that are not relevant to the task.
Make sure you have my attention before giving short and clear instructions.Ask me to rephrase the instructions in my own words in order to verify my comprehension.Display pictograms on the wall or on my desk to help me visualise instructions (stop, look, listen)Assign me teammates that can serve as models.
Use non-verbal cues that we have agreed upon: standing near me, hand on my shoulder, point to photo of object on my deskEmphasise important elementsAlternate periods of intense work and tasks that allow for movement and reenergisingAllow me to: drink from a bottle of water in between two taskschew gumfiddle with an anti-stress ball
Recognise that I may need time in order to participate in the process of conflict resolutionGuide me towards a peer that could help me with an activity or taskPlay soft music during certain activities
Student with dysphasia
Its a language disorder for which the following aspects: Receptive understanding the oral message
Expressiveproduction and organisation of the oral message
I often demonstrate a strong need to communicate.Understanding the meaning of words or sentences is difficult.I express myself with difficulty: sounds, words, sentences, ideas.
Planning, organising, and orienting myself in space and time can be challenging.I have an acute sense of observation.Generally I am aware of my difficulties.
I have a certain lack in fine and gross motor skills.I tire quickly during a task or during explanations.
When I do not understand, I have a hard time controling my emotions.
I want to socialise.I have a hard time perceiving, understanding and resolving certain social situations.
Present the Menu of the day.Specify the time allotted for an activity (ex: Fun Tac on the clock).Inform ahead of time when there will be changes in the schedule.Plan for pauses during longer tasks.Allow for necessary time to express my message.
Place yourself in front of me at my level when communicating with me.Diminish sources of noise (a corner with screens, individual pencil sharpeners)
Provide me with visual aids to help my understanding.Place all necessary material on my desk.Remove objects that are not relevant to the task.
Use gestures when giving explanations.Give short instructions at a slow pace.Repeat activities so that I may understand, memorise, use and integrate them.
Repeat words that I have incorrectly pronounced without asking me to repeat them.Ask me to say the steps and strategies out loud when carrying out a task.
Help me settle conflicts in an appropriate way.Explain the social language of my age group, such as expressions and jokes.
dyslexiaDys : difficulty Lexia : use of wordsTrouble with reading and writingNo codeNormal intelligence
dysphasiaDys : difficultyPhasia : speech, languageLanguage disorderCode 34 Normal intelligence but reveal weakness: language is impediment
Student with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD)
I dont understand the need to communicate.My understanding is concrete and literal. I use stereotypic language. I want to communicate to satisfy my needs.
I have problems processins and filtering information. I have problems planning and getting organized. I have a photographic memory. I have enhanced perceptual discrimination.
I am hypersensitive or hyposensitive to certain evironmental stimuli.I lack certain fine and gross motor skills.
I have limited interests. I process information from my point of view only. I have few facial expressions. I am often stressed.
I have no reciprocal skills.I am very predictable. I like routine.
Set up a daily routine with visual support. Give me my own schedule with pictures, words or meaningful photographs. Announce changes to the schedule to help me deal with the unscheduled. Use an audio cue or visual reference so I can know the timeframe of the work that needs to be done. Give me a reasonable delay to react to a request. Allow me to take brief breaks during the task to maintain my availability.
Assign me a strategically placed permanent seat in the class-away from windows and traffic. I prefer to be near a wall or a bookshelf. Offer me a place where I can withdraw to when I become overstimulated (quiet corner). Give me enough space so I can move without any mishaps.
Let me use the tools that work best for me. Help to minimize stimuli (ex. CD player, tennis balls on chairs, headphones) Give me tangible reinforcement.
Chunk the task into smaller parts intersperced with activites that interest me. Divide the task by illustrating or writing the different steps. Give me a checklist and encourage me to check off what has been completed as soon as its done.
Closed questions or multiple choice work better for me. Use short, precise and familiar sentences that I can manage.Lets agree on a non verbal cue to get my attention or to encourage me to get back to work. Look at what I am doing rater than trying to get my attention. Give me one instruction at a time. Stop between instructions to monitor my comprehension.
Help me get into rank by asking me to leave an arms length distance between me an