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Understanding and helping students with special needs within the ESL classroom Denise PontbriandGwenn Gauthier Translation: Gwenn Gauthier, Julie Proteau.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding and helping students with special needs within the ESL classroom Denise PontbriandGwenn Gauthier Translation: Gwenn Gauthier, Julie Proteau."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding and helping students with special needs within the ESL classroom Denise PontbriandGwenn Gauthier Translation: Gwenn Gauthier, Julie Proteau and Cindy Stern

2 Factors that may affect student learning Individual Factors School-related Factors Family and Social Factors A

3 ·Pedagogical practices ·Perceptions and expectations of interveners ·Classroom management, school structure or classroom environment ·Interpersonal relationships or positive interactions ·Emulation School-related Factors

4 verbal visual receptiveexpressive attention memory planning fine gross senses

5 Differentiated interventions… Differentiated interventions… Winning conditions. Winning conditions.

6 Student with behavioural difficulties

7 Under-reactive behaviour withdrawn fearful depressed Over-reactive behaviour hostile Oppositional defiant thoughtless

8 I can express myself easily but I may use an inappropriate tone of voice.

9 I have problems getting organised. I may refuse to do a task: refuse to start it, to pursue it or to end it (ext.). I lack commitment and perseverance when doing assignments (ext. and int.). My comprehension is concrete and literal.

10 I have good motor skills. I may act in an unpredictable manner.

11 I have problems learning from my previous experiences. My reactions are linked to my emotions: complaining, crying, getting angry, being sensitive or touchy.

12 I may be withdrawn; isolate myself; I need adults to protect me. (int. behaviours). I have difficulties relating to others. I may defy, argue, be demanding; create a disturbance (ext. behaviours).

13 Make sure I am aware of the daily schedule and transitions. As a precaution, let me know about any changes to the schedule.

14 Have a place in the classroom where I can calm down, decompress or be alone. Place my desk strategically in the classroom taking into account the group dynamics.

15 Encourage me to check my agenda or work planner. Let me know all the material required to do the task at hand. Limit the use of certain objects on my desk.

16 Establish clear expectations in regards to the work to be done: time, quantity, resources and help. Plan activities for me to do when I’ve completed my work.

17 Clearly present your expectations: constance, coherence. Establish nonverbal cues to remind me to stop engaging in a negative behaviour. Intervene discretely. Regularly remind me of the clearly defined rules of conduct in the classroom or the school, and enforce the pre-established consequences.

18 Teach me the rules to different games. Provide me with the means to relax (ex. reading corner, sress ball, listening to music whith headphones, walking).

19 Student with attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity

20 I have an idea, I must share it right away (impulsive) I will delay responding because I am distracted.

21 I have good ideas, I’m funny and imaginitive. I make careless mistakes and I forget even when I apply myself. I have a poor sense of time and space: I’m all over the place, I have trouble finishing what I start. I am distracted by noise, and even by my own thoughts.

22 I squirm, I talk, I need to burn energy.

23 My emotions can get the better of me so I may become unusually upset or spontaneously say whatever is in my head.

24 I have problems integrating different social activities.


26 Use visual cues to setup a classroom routine. Tell me how much time I have to do my work. Separate a task into manageable chunks. Encourage me to show what I have done. Warn me when there are 5 minutes left till the end of the class. Encourage the habit of using an agenda to plan the week (cycles 2 and 3)

27 Place my desk far from busy or noisy places such as doors, windows, classroom sharpener. Allow for movement in between important tasks (time for moving, stretching) Assign tasks, such as erasing the board, distributing papers, opening windows, messenger Offer digital music player or CD player to do individual tasks. Limit the number of objects hanging from the ceiling which constantly move.

28 Place all necessary material on my desk. Remove objects that are not relevant to the task.

29 Make sure you have my attention before giving short and clear instructions. Ask me to rephrase the instructions in my own words in order to verify my comprehension. Display pictograms on the wall or on my desk to help me visualise instructions (stop, look, listen) Assign me teammates that can serve as models.

30 Use non-verbal cues that we have agreed upon: standing near me, hand on my shoulder, point to photo of object on my desk Emphasise important elements Alternate periods of intense work and tasks that allow for movement and reenergising Allow me to: ­drink from a bottle of water in between two tasks ­chew gum ­fiddle with an anti-stress ball

31 Recognise that I may need time in order to participate in the process of conflict resolution Guide me towards a peer that could help me with an activity or task Play soft music during certain activities

32 Student with dysphasia

33 It’s a language disorder for which the following aspects: Receptive understanding the “oral” message Expressive production and organisation of the oral message … are affected

34 I often demonstrate a strong need to communicate. Understanding the meaning of words or sentences is difficult. I express myself with difficulty: sounds, words, sentences, ideas.

35 Planning, organising, and orienting myself in space and time can be challenging. I have an acute sense of observation. Generally I am aware of my difficulties.

36 I have a certain lack in fine and gross motor skills. I tire quickly during a task or during explanations.

37 When I do not understand, I have a hard time controling my emotions.

38 I want to socialise. I have a hard time perceiving, understanding and resolving certain social situations.

39 Present the “Menu of the day”. Specify the time allotted for an activity (ex: Fun Tac on the clock). Inform ahead of time when there will be changes in the schedule. Plan for pauses during longer tasks. Allow for necessary time to express my message.

40 Place yourself in front of me at my level when communicating with me. Diminish sources of noise (a corner with screens, individual pencil sharpeners)

41 Provide me with visual aids to help my understanding. Place all necessary material on my desk. Remove objects that are not relevant to the task.

42 Use gestures when giving explanations. Give short instructions at a slow pace. Repeat activities so that I may understand, memorise, use and integrate them.

43 Repeat words that I have incorrectly pronounced without asking me to repeat them. Ask me to say the steps and strategies “out loud” when carrying out a task.

44 Help me settle conflicts in an appropriate way. Explain the social language of my age group, such as expressions and jokes.

45 dyslexia Dys : difficulty Lexia : use of words Trouble with reading and writing No code Normal intelligence dysphasia Dys : difficulty Phasia : speech, language Language disorder Code 34 Normal intelligence but reveal weakness: language is impediment


47 Student with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD)

48 I don’t understand the need to communicate. My understanding is concrete and literal. I use stereotypic language. I want to communicate to satisfy my needs.

49 I have problems processins and filtering information. I have problems planning and getting organized. I have a photographic memory. I have enhanced perceptual discrimination.

50 I am hypersensitive or hyposensitive to certain evironmental stimuli. I lack certain fine and gross motor skills.

51 I have limited interests. I process information from my point of view only. I have few facial expressions. I am often stressed.

52 I have no reciprocal skills. I am very predictable. I like routine.

53 Set up a daily routine with visual support. Give me my own schedule with pictures, words or meaningful photographs. Announce changes to the schedule to help me deal with the unscheduled. Use an audio cue or visual reference so I can know the timeframe of the work that needs to be done. Give me a reasonable delay to react to a request. Allow me to take brief breaks during the task to maintain my availability.

54 Time-Timer

55 Assign me a strategically placed permanent seat in the class-away from windows and traffic. I prefer to be near a wall or a bookshelf. Offer me a place where I can withdraw to when I become overstimulated (quiet corner). Give me enough space so I can move without any mishaps.

56 Let me use the tools that work best for me. Help to minimize stimuli (ex. CD player, tennis balls on chairs, headphones) Give me tangible reinforcement.

57 Chunk the task into smaller parts intersperced with activites that interest me. Divide the task by illustrating or writing the different steps. Give me a checklist and encourage me to check off what has been completed as soon as it’s done.

58 Closed questions or multiple choice work better for me. Use short, precise and familiar sentences that I can manage. Let’s agree on a non verbal cue to get my attention or to encourage me to get back to work. Look at what I am doing rater than trying to get my attention. Give me one instruction at a time. Stop between instructions to monitor my comprehension.

59 Help me get into rank by asking me to leave an arm’s length distance between me and the other student. Provide me with means to relax (quiet corner, reading corner, anti-stress ball, listen to music with headphones, walk).


61 Student with mild handicap

62 I want to communicate with others. I have a limited vocabulary that I use in many situations. I have trouble initiating and maintaining a conversation. I don’t understand play on words (puns) or sentences that are too long.

63 I am a slow learner. I have cognitive delays or arrested development. I have trouble memorising, retaining and producing information. It’s difficult for me to use new knowledge in a different context from the one I learned it. I have little knowledge and they are poorly organized.

64 My movements may lack finesse and precision. I may have problems with balance, dexterity or coordination. I may have sensory dysfunction.

65 I have problems putting a name to and repeating what I feel. I am convinced I can’t do a task before I even begin it. I am aware that I am different and my self-esteem is affected by this. I can contemplate my future, but I need help in developing a realistic life scenario.

66 I want to make friends and keep them but I don’t know how. I don’t deal well with delays which causes problems with others. I seek instant gratification.

67 Give me one instruction at a time and wait a few seconds for my response. Let me know when the task starts and ends. Let me know in advance how much time I have to do the task. Chunk the task into multiple sequences. Give me short breaks during the task.

68 Eliminate or control stimuli that can distract me. Personalize certain visual references and make them accessible to my space. Place my desk near an adult or a peer that can help me.

69 Use ICTs and visual support. Adapt material to match my abilities Provide me with concrete material to facilitate understanding and to encourage the learning of new concepts. Chunk tasks.

70 Favour an approach that lets me SEE, TOUCH, and DO. Give me a reasonable challenge. (modify the task). Adapt the requirements of written tasks so my fine motor skills can manage. Suggest tasks based on my interests, my prior knowledge, that are relevant to me.

71 Monitor my understanding by asking precise questions or by restating differently. Use signal words: Attention! Ready! Look. Encourage my efforts as well as my successes. Use concrete language, short sentences and speak slowly.

72 Clearly explain the requirements of the task and the different steps needed to do it. 1- First, you…. 2- Then, you…. Help me to become aware that I have strategies that can help me do the task.. Help me make links to a similar task I have done- whether successfully or not- and ask me to explain how I did the task.

73 Establish a link. Be interested in the other for what he is. Display ROUTINES and daily SCHEDULES. Some basic ingredients Set up CLEAR and SIMPLE RULES. Give regular REINFORCEMENT. Use VISUALS. Photos Drawings Pictograms Words

74 Some sources REFERENCE: At Risk Students and Students with Special Needs ments/Various/ReferenceSp-Ed.pdf ments/Various/ReferenceSp-Ed.pdf Gagné, P.-P.,Pour apprendre à mieux penser, La Chenelière, Montréal, 1999, ISBN 2-89461-261-3 MELS: Learning difficulties, Reference framework for intervention MELS: Organisation of Educational Services for At-Risk Students and Students with Handicaps, social Maladjustments or Learning Difficulties

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