Special needs

From Teflpedia

Special needs, also known as special education needs (SEN), refers to the individual requirements and circumstances of students with hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech impairment, or other physical or mental disabilities, where such circumstances may influence either those students' participation or the running of classroom activities.

While teachers will want to level the playing field as much as they can for such students, teachers should try to avoid teacher talk as much as possible and make sure they use authentic language.

Classroom activities and adapted materials[edit]

Teachers teaching students with special needs have to take into account other, non-English language related aspects, especially as regards material preparation (handouts, etc.), boardwork, drilling, listening exercises, writing exercises, seating arrangements, testing and assessment, etc.

Handouts may need to be in large print for people with visual impairment. Computer-generated work shown on a projection screen or large-screen TV may need to be in contrast, etc. and the duration of such activities may also need to be considered, as some visually-impaired people cannot concentrate for very long on certain objects or at certain light intensities for example.

Seating arrangements, lighting and assistive technologies[edit]

Classroom seating needs to be taken into consideration so that students who are hard of hearing or visually impaired are able to sit nearer the teacher and/or the board. Wheelchair users might not be able to fit their wheelchairs under the desk and such situations need to be considered for writing activities or pairwork.

Lighting, whether artificial or sunlight entering through a window, is particularly important. If students bring their own assistive technologies, such as laptops, Braille displays, etc. to the classroom they may need access to the teacher's computer, a power source, and so on.

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