Special education students are unique because teachers have to do more to teach them than regular students. They already have issues that impair their learning, so it is important that teachers work to individualize instruction as much as possible. This will help ensure the most success. Students who are from another culture, those who do not speak English as their first language, pose additional obstacles for the teacher. First, the teacher has to figure out what part of the student’s delay is caused by limited English proficiency, and what part is caused by the actual disability.
This can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if language development is part of their disability. This will affect the way the teacher presents the material. Visual instruction would be most beneficial since there is no language barrier. Second, the teacher has to learn how much English is spoken at home. If the parents speak fluently, then they can take part in helping the student. If the parents are learning themselves, the teacher will have to adapt homework so that they will be able to assist their child.
Collaboration is the key for students, parents, and teachers to feel they are doing the most and getting the best results for special needs, ESL students (Collaboration, para 3). If another language is spoken at home, it will take the student even longer to catch up. The teacher could send home material to help parents talk to their child. Students who come from other cultures also may not be prepared for the schedule of a typical school day here in the U. S. A full day of school might be too taxing at the beginning, so the teacher would have to have many breaks built in to the daily activities.
It is important that teachers pay attention to the student’s needs since they may not be able to communicate them. Students will also not know what to expect when they are first learning the routine of school here. Picture schedules could be vital in ensuring the student’s feel the safety of a daily routine. The native cultural traditions will also affect how teachers teach in this environment. Some students may be absent for religious holidays when school is in session. Some students may talk about upcoming holidays that we do not have. Teachers should be thoughtful and try to include as many of the customs and traditions as they can.
A Cinco de Mayo party may be just the activity to make the student feel welcome and wanted. A final way that ESL students affect the class is their interactions with the other students. The ESL student may try to talk with another student, but because of the language barrier, the student may not be able to understand. The teacher needs to be available to let the student know they did a good job in initiating conversation, and then try to translate so the other student remains engaged. There are so many different factors that make up a special needs class.
The delays in development can be ever further hindered if the student is not fluent in English. While there are more obstacles if students do not speak English as their native language, there are also opportunities. The teacher can help ensure the students feel at home here, and that the other students learn to appreciate their culture as well.
“Collaboration in Schools Serving Students with Limited English Proficiency and Other Special Needs. ” Web. 11 May 2009. <http://www. apples4theteacher. com/resources/modules. php? op= modload&name=News&file=article&sid=48&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0>.
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