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November 27, 2013

Speech and Language Impairment

The British Council's Teaching English website has an informative article for any teachers of students with speech and language difficulties.

‘How can I teach English to a learner who has difficulty speaking and understanding their own language?’

As teachers we know that good communication is vital for successful learning, so it is not surprising that this is a worry for English language teachers across the world. Communication skills help children to understand and explain the world around them, share their ideas and feelings and make friends. Good language skills enable a child to reason and learn. They also help to develop a sense of self and the feeling of belonging to a group or community.

If we discover that there is a learner with speech and language difficulties in our class we might wonder how to help them to get the most from our lessons. By understanding the different kinds of speech and language impairment and knowing some useful teaching strategies we can really make a difference to these learners and help them to experience enjoyable and successful learning.

What is speech and language impairment?

Speech and language impairment varies from person to person and can range from mild to severe. A learner may have difficulty with speaking, ‘expressive language’ or understanding, ‘receptive language’. They may have problems expressing feelings and interacting with others. This can cause low self-esteem and frustration, and may lead to behaviour problems in the class. As speech and language problems are not always obvious, we have to think about what lies behind the behaviour and the need the learner may be trying to express.

Read the full article from TeachingEnglish.

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