Learning English gives many children with SENs opportunities to learn important skills such as listening, taking turns, working with others, waiting for attention, noticing things about other people, understanding social language and expressing opinions. These are skills which are often practiced in English language learning activities and can be done in a fun, non-threatening way. Reading and writing stories can give learners opportunities to explore issues in a safe, creative way. Learning English in this way can give a different experience of the classroom to learners with SENs . However, this type of planning will improve the learning of all the learners in your class. It can actually save you time if more learners engage in the work at an earlier stage and with better results. In order to have an inclusive society, we all need to learn more about the difficulties and differences of others. Teachers can learn a lot from learners with SENs and schools need to learn to adapt their teaching and mindset to promote inclusion. For example, instead of looking for a specialist to work with the child, the specialist could help with training for teachers to better understand ways to work with the child.
It is not our job as teachers to diagnose special needs and to give labels to learners. It is our job to get to know our learners and to pay attention to any factors which support or damage their learning. As a teacher, you may be the first person to notice that a learner is having a difficulty with learning in the group work. A common definition of a SEN is that the learner is having significantly greater difficulties in learning than the majority of children of the same age, or has a difficulty which prevents them for making use of general educational facilities provided for children of the same age .
The other challenge for teachers is the evaluation and assessment of the progress of learners with SENs. Children with SENs can find normal methods of testing difficult and de-motivating. They might have problems writing their answers in the required time, with sitting still for long periods of time in an exam and some might find it difficult to understand the test requirements. Learners with SEN can also lose confidence if they continually do worse than their peers in tests and assessments.
Teachers should find out what extra help is allowed for learners with SENs in state exams, summative assessment. It can be possible to get more time or to get someone to write for the learner, it can be possible to do the exam on a laptop or in a smaller room. Provide Braille, a form of written language for people with visual impairment, lip-reading as understanding speech by watching the movement of the lips. Sign language, which is communicating through gestures, facial expressions and movement, screen reader software that reads from a computer screen and dexterity skill in using the hands for communication.
It is important to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by learners with visual, hearing or physical impairment and encourage empathy. Teachers need to have a positive attitude and expect success from these learners. Identifying their special strengths and integrating them into the lessons can build self-esteem and help their peers to learn. Teachers need to be ‘sense sensitive’ in their teaching. It is important to enable learners with visual, hearing or physical impairment to be independent, facilitating their learning rather than ‘doing for’. Assistive technology can help these learners participate fully in the class. Good planning is essential to create the best classroom environment, removing obstacles to learning such as noise and clutter. Teachers need to be flexible in their approach and allow alternatives in all activities. Teaching learners with visual, hearing and physical impairments doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you are flexible. When you incorporate the strategies you have learned into your teaching practice, it is likely
that you’ll find a number of students who benefit from your efforts.
The main objective of the seminars is to develop the professional competence of teachers working with children with disabilities, to develop their personal motivational, cognitive and practical preparation for the implementation of an inclusive model at different levels of the education system.
New pedagogical technologies for teaching children with hearing impairment were shown in practice in the form of explanatory-illustrative and corrective cards and ways of adaptation materials to the learner’s needs.
Teachers have got acquainted with modern organizational bases and varieties of inclusion of children with SENs, as well as with technologies of psychological and pedagogical support, correctional and developmental training. The active program of the training seminars promotes the professional growth and systematization of teachers’ knowledge about the current conditions and patterns of the education and upbringing of children with Fatherland in the context of integration.
The collective of teachers of the boarding school showed professional skill in revealing the potential of children with special educational needs. It should be noted that the created favorable and comfortable atmosphere in the boarding school is one of the main conditions in the work of a teacher with children, in the process of which the development of the personality is ensured.
Here are some strategies offered for teachers:
- Turn off equipment that creates background noises, such as fans and projectors, when not in use.
- Give written notes to compensate for anything missed in class discussions.
- Use body language to get the learner’s attention before speaking.
- Raise awareness among classmates of the difficulties experienced by learners with hearing impairment.
- Write timetable and instructions on the board.
- Encourage reading at home.
- Look directly at the student and face him or her when communicating or teaching.
- Make sure your mouth is clearly visible when talking to the learner.
- Teach functional language in English for asking for repetition or clarification.
- Use facial expressions, gestures and body language to help convey your message.
- Work with ability to lip-read by asking the learner to teach the other learners how to produce specific sounds.
- Use videos with subtitles.
We usually plan our lessons to include visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities as we know this is the best way to appeal to all learning styles. However, if there is a child who has a visual, hearing or physical impairment in the class, we may wonder how best to include them without missing out on a significant part of the lesson. Classmates can give valuable help and support to learners with visual impairment if they are aware of their needs. While pair work is vital for such learners, remember to choose partners who offer support rather than those who might help too much and do the activity, otherwise the learner with visual impairment will not be achieving anything.
Teachers do not have to be a specialist psychologist or specially trained teacher to know how to teach these learners. Learners with SENs benefit from good teaching practice, particularly in the area of classroom management, planning and setting of tasks. For example, learners with SENs needs clear, consistent rules and instructions, they need short do-able tasks which give a sense of achievement, they need to feel the teacher cares about them and understands them as a person and they need multi-sensory presentation and practice of material. Good teachers do all of these things without specialist knowledge of SENs .
Children with SENs can teach other children to have empathy, understanding of difference and other important social and learning skills. Children naturally understand that some learners need more help. Adults need to understand this and work with it. Having an inclusive classroom experience can benefit learners and enrich their learning experience.
- Dittrich, WH and Tutt, R (2008) Education Children with Complex conditions. Sage Publications Ltd,
- Martin-Denham, S (2015) Teaching Children and Young People with special educational needs and disabilities, 36p.
- Sage Publications Ltd., Spooner, W (2011) The SEN Handbook. NASEN/Routledge 78p.
- Hull learning Services (2004) Supporting Children with Cerebral Palsy David Fulton, 65-74p.
- Knight, P (1999) The Care and Education of a Deaf Child – a book for parents Multilingual Matters, 67p.
- Lynas, W (1994) Communication Options in the Education of Deaf Children Wiley Blackwell,54p.
Yeleussiz Aigul Beibitkyzy
The branch of JSC NCPD “Orleu”,
Institute for Professional Development of Zhambyl region,