Students with Special Needs in the Language Classroom
Students that show the need for special education are those who have
more difficulties that the rest of the students in understanding
curriculum that is at their age level. Reasons for the difficulties
could be the result of a series of internal causes or the result of an
inadequate educational approach. To overcome these deficiencies, the
student needs a series of conditions that offer special adaptations to
ordinary curriculum, such as including a list of specific resources
that the students can use that differ than those which the school
offers on a daily basis.
The language teacher has to pay special attention to the use of
written and oral language in the foreign language in the classroom.
There are effective motivation devices that, with correct use, help
the slower learners include themselves in the progress of the class,
as well as ensure that the gifted students do not lose time or get
bored. There are also useful devices for those studetns with special
needs; in carefully selected materials they can find the help
necessary to reach the objectives layed out for their situation. The
teacher should pull the maximum benefit from the interaction among
students through performing and acting out role-plays, readings,
recordings or songs, description of illustrations, photographs, etc.
Also the teacher could find beneficial the oral comprehension
exercises, in which the students must find some particular
The teacher must consider that the student's learning difficulties
mainly have interactive origins. This means that the difficulties
depend as much on the student's own characteristics as on the
environment in which the student develops, and his or her response to
it. The pedagogical adjustments that those responsable of education
have suggested go in two directions:
a) Adaptations to curriculum access: modifications of the spatial and
material aspects of the educational intervention allow the students
with special needs to study regular curriculum.
b) Curriculum adaptations: modifications in planning objectives,
contents, activity methodology and criteria, and evaluation processes
that take diversity of needs into account.
We talk about curriculum adaptation when the modifications done reach
the point of eliminating basic skills taught. If the case is that in
which the skills eliminated are a complete area, then we talk about
curriculum diversification (only in second cycle of ESO).
Another criteria that allows a teacher, or any expert, identify if a
student has special needs is that the student requires significant
curriculum adaptations, or reinforcement, which are not forseeable in
ordinary students during a particular period of the educative process.
Above said adaptations can have a larger or smaller degree of
realization, as explained in the following:
1. Curriculum Adaptations in the School: All of the...