|Как да улесним учениците с обучителни трудности (дислексия)
в процеса на учене на английски език
За да подкрепите учениците с обучителни трудности в усвояването на чуждоезикови думи и изрази, първо се уверете, че ученето не създава негативни емоции, умора и напрежение у тях. Позитивното отношение към ученето и щастливите емоции са ключа към бързото и успешното усвояване на нови знания и умения.
Направете класната стая спокойна и уютна, отношенията между учениците, както и между вас и тях, приятелски. Помогнете им да видят ползата от положените усилия.
-> Какво трябва да имате предвид при преподаването на английски език на децата с дислексия:
Цветът на буквите има значение
Децата с дислексия много често се затрудняват да четат сложни или дребни шрифтове, да следят реда и да движат погледа си от дясно на ляво, да четат черни букви на бял фон или на гланцирана хартия. За да им помогнете да преодолеят тези затруднения, използвайте форматиране на текста според предпочитанията на детето или започнете да използвате цветни прозорчета за четене.
Обърнете достатъчно внимание на значението на думата
Децата с дислексични трудности много често бъркат подобно звучащи думи (хомофони). И тъй като четенето и писането на английски език не са фонетично съответстващи си, различаването на подобно звучащи думи се явява голямо предизвикателство пред децата с дислексия (и не само за тях, тъй като овладяването на чуждоезиковите фонеми изисква време и практика при всички учещи чужди езици), ако не се отдели достатъчно време за осмислянето на значението на думите и правилната им семантична употреба в изречение. За тази цел бихте могли да използвате софтуер за схематично представяне на семантичната употреба на думата или просто да подкрепите децата да направят сами такива карти на значението на думите. Като цяло, трябва да имате предвид, че децата с дислексия мислят по-скоро образно и в цялостни картини, а не линейно и с помощта на мисловна реч.
Мултисензорният подход е важен
Не на последно място, децата с дислексия, имат нужда от по-богата мултисензорна стимулация за усвояване на правописа. Ученето чрез визуализация и тактилни усещания би могло да се използва за подкрепа на ученето чрез слушане, четене и писане, които са по-трудни за тях. Често използван метод е, изписването на думата от пластелин.
Предложените методи са описани подробно по-долу. Освен че помагат на децата с дислексия, използвани в общата класна стая, тези методи ще улеснят ученето на всички деца.
А. Форматиране на електронен текст
Индивидуалните предпочитания за цвета, вида и размера на шрифта и цвета на фона могат да се реализират при електронните текстове. Бихте могли да покажете на своите ученици следните възможности за форматиране на текст в MS Word.
- > Format/Background – за смяна на фона на цялата страница
- > Format/Font – за смяна вида, размера и цвета на шрифта
-> Format/Parаgraph/Alignment – за подравняване на текста
Обикновено децата с дислексични трудности предпочитат тъмно син текст на бледо жълт или бледо оранжев фон (или обратното); избират опростени шрифтове като Arial и четат по-лесно дясно подравнен текст с малко думи на страница.
Ако учениците четат текст онлайн, могат да го увеличат чрез Ctrl и бутона за плюс (+) и съответно да го намалят с бутон Ctrl и бутона за минус ( - ).
Някои сайтове като този http://www.embeddyslexia.eu/ имат вградени инструменти за промяна на текста.
Б. Използване на цветни прозорчета
Цветните прозорчета (филтри) могат да се използват, както за принтирани текстове, така и за електронни.
Ако детето с дислексия, чете гланциран учебник с черни букви на бял фон, вероятно ще има допълнителни затруднения с четенето, заради светлинните отблясъци от страницата и големия контраст на буквите и фона. Ето защо е добра идея да използвате пластмасови цветни прозорчета, които имат и цветна линийка, благодарение на която ученикът ще следи текста по-лесно.
Цветни прозорчета за четене, можете да поръчате от он-лайн магазина на Център за приобщаващо образование www.slanchica.com (цена 4 лв).
Електронният еквивалент TBar на пластмасовите прозорчета за четене, можете да изтеглите напълно безплатно от http://www.fxc.btinternet.co.uk/tbar.htm.
След като инсталирате програмата, я включете и натиснете десния бутон на мишката Ще видите на екрана цветен филтър и меню като това на картинката. Чрез него детето може да избере цвета, който е най-подходящ за него. Преди да започнете изберете файл с черен шрифт на бял фон.
Хубавото на този тип филтри е, че веднъж избрани, характеристиките на филтъра, могат да бъдат запазени и няма нужда всеки нов файл да се форматира според индивидуалните нужди.
Бутонът Controls ще ви позволи да настроите филтъра според предпочитанията на детето.
Бутонът Minimize ще намали филтъра в долното поле на компютъра з апо-късна употреба.
Бутонът Lock прави възможно свободното местене на филтъра по страницата.
Бутонът Exit затваря програмата.
> Когато натиснете бутона Controls ще се отвори прозорец с три бутона:
Colour Options е първият от тях.
Чрез него се избира и настройва цвета на филтъра.
Line Options е вторият бутон.
Чрез него се избира броя, позицията и цвета на линията, благодарение на която детето може да следи реда на текста.
- >Пример с две линии
Bar Options е третият и последен бутон.
Чрез него се променят височината и ширината на филтъра.
Позволете на ученика си да опита различни цветове, докато намери тази комбинация, която най-добре отговаря на нуждите му за четене.
Използвайте, както електронни, така и пластмасови прозорчета, за да повишите резултатите при четене.
В. Схематично представяне на различното значение на думи с еднакво звучене
За целта можете да използвате безплатната онлайн програма на http://www.isheds.eu/mindmap/en.html. След като направи схемата детето може да я запази за по-нататъшна употреба, както и да я изпринти и допълни с картинки.
Освен електронни схеми, можете да помогнете на ученика с дислексични трудности да нарисува свои собствени карти на значението с различни цветове и картинки.
Г. Изписване на думите с пластелин
Освен с химикал и чрез компютърната клавиатура, учениците могат да изписват думите и от пластелин. Това ще включи още едно сетиво в процеса на учене – тактилните усещания и ще подобри паметовите способности на детето с дислексия.
International Dyslexia Association (2008)
How common are spelling difficulties?
Spelling is difficult for many people, but there is much less research on spelling than there is on reading to tell us just how many people spell poorly or believe they spell poorly. Less is known about spelling competence in the general population than is known about reading achievement because there is no national test for spelling and many states do not test students' spelling skills.
Almost all people with dyslexia, however, struggle with spelling and face serious obstacles in learning to cope with this aspect of their learning disability. The definition of dyslexia notes that individuals with dyslexia have "conspicuous problems" with spelling and writing, in spite of being capable in other areas and having a normal amount of classroom instruction. Many individuals with dyslexia learn to read fairly well, but difficulties with spelling (and handwriting) tend to persist throughout life, requiring instruction, accommodations, task modifications, and understanding from those who teach or work with the individual.
What causes spelling problems?
One common but mistaken belief is that spelling problems stem from a poor visual memory for the sequences of letters in words. Recent research, however, shows that a general kind of visual memory plays a relatively minor role in learning to spell. Spelling problems, like reading problems, originate with language learning weaknesses. Therefore, spelling reversals of easily confused letters such as b and d, or sequences of letters, such as wnet for went are manifestations of underlying language learning weaknesses rather than of a visually based problem. Most of us know individuals who have excellent visual memories for pictures, color schemes, design elements, mechanical drawings, maps, and landscape features, for example, but who spell poorly. The kind of visual memory necessary for spelling is closely "wired in" to the language processing networks in the brain.
Poor spellers have trouble remembering the letters in words because they have trouble noticing, remembering, and recalling the features of language that those letters represent. Most commonly, poor spellers have weaknesses in underlying language skills including the ability to analyze and remember the individual sounds (phonemes) in the words, such as the sounds associated with j , ch, or v, the syllables, such as la, mem, pos and the meaningful parts (morphemes) of longer words, such as sub-, -pect, or -able. These weaknesses may be detected in the use of both spoken language and written language; thus, these weaknesses may be detected when someone speaks and writes.
Like other aspects of dyslexia and reading achievement, spelling ability is influenced by inherited traits. It is true that some of us were born to be better spellers than others, but it is also true that poor spellers can be helped with good instruction and accommodations.
Diagnosis of spelling problems
If dyslexia is suspected, and the student is at the kindergarten or first-grade level, simple tests of phoneme awareness and letter naming can predict later spelling problems, just as they predict later reading problems. If a student is struggling to remember spelling words, a standardized test of spelling achievement with current national norms should be given to quantify just how serious the problem is. In addition, a spelling diagnostic test should be given to identify which sounds, syllable patterns, or meaningful parts the student does not understand or remember.
A spelling diagnostic test, such as a developmental spelling inventory, will tell a teacher exactly which consonant, vowel, syllable, and word spellings the student must be taught. Third, the student should be tested on his or her knowledge of the most commonly used words in English that are necessary for writing, as these, too, should be emphasized in instruction.
How do children learn to spell?
Children gradually develop insights into how words are represented with letters in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. This process moves ahead much more quickly (and successfully) if instruction in sounds and letters is systematic, explicit, and structured.
Spelling of whole words is facilitated when the child understands that words are made up of separate speech sounds and that letters represent those sounds. As knowledge of that principle increases, children also notice patterns in the way letters are used, and they notice recurring sequences of letters that form syllables, word endings, word roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Memories for whole words are formed much faster and recalled much more easily when children have a sense of language structure and receive ample practice writing the words.
Inventive spelling or spelling words the way they sound is common in preschool and kindergarten children and is a desirable step in understanding how we use letters to spell. However, inventive spelling is not sufficient for students to learn all of the conventions and patterns of Standard English writing. Encouraging students, beyond the beginning of first grade, to invent their spellings or to ignore correct spelling is not constructive.
Is the English spelling system predictable or unpredictable?
The English spelling system is not crazy or unpredictable. It can be taught as a system that makes sense. Nearly 50% of English words are predictable based on sound-letter correspondences alone (e.g., slap, pitch, boy). An additional 37% of the more common words are almost predictable except for one sound (e.g., knit and boat).
Other information, such as the language from which a word came (e.g., Old English, Latin, Greek, or French) and word meaning, also helps explain the spellings of words. Only 4% of English words are truly irregular and may have to be learned through whole word methods, such as tracing and saying the letters while the word is being memorized. Thus, it is possible to approach spelling instruction with confidence that the system by and large makes sense-an encouraging observation for students who have great difficulty forming memories for words.
What are the implications for teaching?
Spelling instruction that explores word structure, word origin, and word meaning is the most effective, even though students with dyslexia may still struggle with word recall. Emphasizing memorization by asking students to close their eyes and imagine the words, or asking them to write words multiple times until they "stick" are only useful after students are helped to understand why a word is spelled the way it is. Students who have learned the connections between speech sounds and written symbols, who perceive the recurring letter patterns in English syllables, and who know about meaningful word parts are better at remembering whole words. Classroom spelling programs should be organized to teach a progression of regular spelling patterns. After first grade, spelling instruction should follow and complement decoding instruction for reading. Children should be able to read the words in their spelling lesson; most learners can read many more words than they can spell.
Understanding correspondences between sounds and letters comes first. For example, before spelling a word, students can orally take the sounds of the word apart. Then, they can recall the letters that spell those sounds. Next, patterns such as the six basic syllable types of English should be taught because they represent vowel sounds in predictable ways. Third, students should be taught a few basic rules for adding endings to words, such as when letters should be doubled, when y is changed to i, and when the silent e is dropped.
A few irregular words should be practiced daily (e.g., come, they, their, who). Tracing and saying the letters, building the words with letter tiles, copying and writing in sentences, all help build memories for irregular words. Students may be able to handle only a few new words at a time, and they may need many opportunities to write words accurately and with supervision before they can remember them. As words are learned, exercises to build fluency, such as word and sentence dictations, are helpful. Having students keep a list of their own particular "spelling demons" for reference supports the development of proofreading ability and aids mastery of the spelling of those challenging words.
It is important that students learn to spell words for writing and not just for spelling tests. Transfer to spelling in everyday writing is essential. It helps if the student is taught to use a proofreading procedure that involves checking for one element at a time, such as punctuation, capitalization, spelling, sentence structure, and organization.
Computer spellcheckers are not helpful unless the student has already achieved basic spelling skill, at about a fifth-grade level, and unless the student receives other proofreading help. Spellcheckers do not identify all errors.
Important accommodations and task modifications for dyslexic students include the following:
grading written work primarily on content,
writing correct spellings over incorrect ones and limiting rewrites to a reasonable amount,
providing proofreading assistance,
encouraging students to dictate their thoughts before writing and giving them the spellings of key content words to use in writing,
allowing students in intermediate grades and higher to type exams and papers or to use a voice-translation device on a computer,
encouraging students to hand in early drafts of research papers and essays to allow for revision before grading.
CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT IDEAS
ESL and TEFL teachers often do not have class management training that their primary school colleagues benefit from. Without preparation it can be somewhat of a shock to take on a classroom of energetic children.
Here are some tips and ideas to help you contain your pupils' enthusiasm to a manageable level.
Have your pupils define the rules in the first lesson, and post them on the wall for reference. Knowing WHY a rule is in place makes it easier to keep. You must establish the rules on day one and stick to them!
Be consistent in applying your rules. If you are arbitrary about how you dish out your rewards or 'consequences', or punishments you will undermine the rules themselves.
Praise good behavior to generate love and self-esteem. Whatever you do, avoid being like so many parents who spend their whole time telling their children, "don't do this", and "don't do that". By focusing on the positive in order to draw more attention to it you apply the universal law of "you attract what you focus on".
If you are working in a school know the law and rules of your institution before you go into the classroom.
There is nothing so sweet as the sound of one's own name. So use an individual's name for praise and avoid using it when ticking someone off.
I would ask a naughty student, "Do you want me to speak to your Dad?" By asking them the question you give them the power to choose, whereas if you threaten them with "I will call your Dad if you do not behave", you take the initiative away and seem tyrannical.
Prevention is better than cure, so try giving boisterous students an important task BEFORE they start to play up. They may respond well to the responsibility.
Do not break your own rules by raising your voice to be heard. Instead talk quietly or stop and wait. Your pupils should know that for every minute you are kept waiting they will receive extra homework, or whatever consequence you have designated.
Hand things out quickly or use a system to have things handed out, such as giving the well-behaved students the task as a reward. Sing a song together or do some counting to occupy the class while materials are handed out. (I do give tips throughout my e-book of games on how to handle specific situations).
Instant Attention Getters
Play a mystery game and say that during the activity you will be watching out for 3 well-behaved students who will be rewarded.
Create teams and use peer pressure to encourage good behavior. Deduct or reward behavior points to a team's score during a game.
Start a song the children know and love – they will all join in with you and at the end you'll have their attention.
Clap out a pattern which they must clap back, or start a rhyme they know with actions.
Use quiet cues such as heads down or lights off. Vary these with other fun quiet cues such as "Give me five".
1 – on your bottom, legs crossed;
2 – hands folded in your lap;
3 – face the speaker;
4 – eyes and ears open;
5 – mouths closed.
You teach this repeatedly in the first lessons and after a few weeks, you only have to say "Give me five: 1,2,3,4,5", and they do.
For children aged 6 to 12 you could think up a fun 1 to 5 with actions such as clap your hands, turn around, sit down, eyes front, finger on lips". You would adapt this idea depending on the space you have in your class.
You can also use the Magic 1 2 3 idea. When a child does not comply start counting 1, 2,… The child knows that if you get to 3 there will be some sort of consequence, such as missing out on the next game. If you use this and you reach 3, you must follow through with an appropriate consequence consistently.
To summarise, establish the rules and consequences for good and bad behavior, apply them consistently, set a good example, use peer pressure and points, and use attention grabbing cues such as favorite songs, rhymes with actions and countdowns.
You can be firm and fun at the same time, and if you cannot manage your class, you should realize that, although it sounds harsh to say it, you are wasting their time.
Feelings, Nothing More than Feelings: Sensory Integration in the Classroom
Our senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) tell us about our environment. Our senses receive information from both inside and outside of our bodies. Sensory integration (SI for short) refers to how our senses work together to organize and process incoming information from the world around us. The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) controls our sensory system. When our sensory system works together, it allows us to interact with the environment in purposeful and meaningful ways.
In addition to the five senses, we also have two special senses, proprioception and vestibular. The proprioceptive sense gives us information about where our body parts are and what they are doing. The vestibular sense gives us information about our position in space and the movement of our head in relation to gravity.
“Sensory Smart” Classroom
Sensory integration plays an important role in the social, emotional, and cognitive development of a child. Sensory integration theory indicates that sensory processing difficulties can get in the way of a child’s ability to learn basic skills. Teachers routinely observe this in the classroom among children who “fall behind” because of their inefficient sensory systems. You may have observed a child who has difficulty staying alert to participate or a child who is in constant motion and unable to settle down to complete an assignment. These children may not know how to cope with the different sensory information they are receiving.
A “sensory smart” classroom provides children with many opportunities for heavy work, movement, and other calming or alerting sensory activities to improve their ability to attend and focus during school-related tasks. If you feel that one of your students may have a sensory processing disorder, you should refer the child to an occupational therapist for an evaluation. An occupational therapist can recommend sensory strategies and assist teachers in making changes to the classroom environment to support a child with sensory issues in achieving his/her academic goals.
Sensory Inputs and Adaptations for the Class
Heavy Work/Organizing Activities - Use these strategies as preparatory activities for desk time or at transition times throughout the day.
Allow for “movement breaks” and schedule structured movement activities for the entire class, such as stretching and yoga positions, to reenergize your students throughout the day.
Provide your “on the go” students with a weighted neck/shoulder wrap or weighted lap pad to help them stay in their seats and finish their work.
Give your students who seek out “heavy work” special jobs pushing or lifting weighted items in the classroom (e.g., chairs) or erasing the chalkboard or dry erase board.
Organize interactive indoor/outdoor activities during recess (Red Rover, Red Rover; hopscotch; leapfrog; parachute activities; ball games).
Introduce chewy and resistive snacks (gum, granola bars, and bagels) or mouth fidgets for your students who need oral sensory input to organize themselves. Consult with a child’s parents to determine if he/she has any food allergies prior to giving food to the child.
Alternative Seating Positions - Have your students sit on a therapy ball/ball chair if they need to move, or if they need space by themselves, have them lie on a beanbag chair or on their tummy.
Alternative Writing Utensils - Have your students use a wrist weight, or adaptive grips to provide more feedback and awareness to their hands during writing activities.
Environmental Changes and Equipment for a “Sensory Smart” Classroom - Design a quiet area with comfortable cushions and beanbag chairs, headphones with classical music, and a study table for students.
Minimize visual distractions by organizing materials in bins or cabinets. A natural environment with sunlight, green plants, and fish tanks, also promotes a calm learning environment.
Add equipment to your classroom that will provide both calming and alerting sensory inputs, including a rocking chair, net or hammock swing, and small exercise trampoline.
Based on article by Ann Stensaas
Making the Classroom Friendly for the Learning Disabled Student
Accommodating students with learning disabilities (LD) in the regular classroom setting can be challenging. It is important that the accommodations fit the individual child’s needs, but also be reasonable in relation to the regular educator’s time and effort. Types of accommodations involve student materials, instruction, and performance.
Accommodations for Student Materials
Present work in chunks (smaller amounts). Give three to four pieces of new information at a time. Be sure that the child understands these concepts before presenting more new information.
Cover parts of the whole (e.g., cover all the rows of math problems on a page allowing the student to complete one row at a time.) This will lessen the student’s level of anxiety concerning the task.
State directions in a variety of ways (orally and written). Ask student to rephrase directions in his/her own words to ensure that they understand the task.
Accommodations During Instruction
Maintain daily routines. Students with LD perform better when they know what’s coming next in their daily routine. If you anticipate a change in schedule, give plenty of advance notice! For example, “In about ten minutes, we are going to an assembly.”
For students with a written expression learning disability, provide a copy of class notes and study guides.
Present material visually, verbally, and with as much hands-on experience as possible.
Teach using small, sequential steps. Many students with LD require part-to-whole instruction. For example, when teaching a student long division, focus on each step in the process (for example, first decide how many times four goes into twelve).
Use mnemonic instruction. Mnemonics are strategies that help us remember information.
For example, when proofreading written work, teachers may encourage students to remember the “COPS” strategy (Capitalization, Organization, Punctuation, Spelling).
Prior to a lesson, write key words and new vocabulary on the chalkboard/overhead.
Go over these words and what they mean before presenting them in reading text.
Review, review, review! Daily review is essential to remembering and understanding information.
Repeat directions often. It is important to give a nonverbal (clap hands) or verbal (“Listen, everyone. This is something you need to know.”) clues before you give directions.
Accommodations for Student Performance
For older students, provide an outline of the lecture prior to the lesson.
Change the required response mode. Allow the student to tape record answers. Students with handwriting difficulty may require extra space between lines or a word processor.
Preferential seating – This means that the student is seated in the best position in the classroom for him/her to learn. Generally, this is the seat closest to the teacher.
Use assignment books; enlist a helpful peer to check assignments for accuracy.
Reduce copying requirements or use carbon copy paper when taking notes.
Allow students with writing difficulties to type responses.
Reduce assignments (e.g., modify a 20 vocabulary word list per week to a 10 vocabulary word list).
Allow students to complete oral projects instead of written projects or vice-versa, depending on his/her need.
Based on article by Wendy C. Ward