Problems faced in spoken english among learning disabilities students
PROBLEMS FACED IN SPOKEN ENGLISH AMONG LEARNING DISABILITIES
There are many kinds of speech and language disorders that can affect
children. In this fact sheet, we’ll talk about four major areas in which these
impairments occur. These are the areas of:
Speech impairments where the child produces sounds incorrectly (e.g., lisp, difficulty
articulating certain sounds, such as “l” or “r”);
speech impairments where a child’s flow of speech is disrupted by sounds, syllables,
and words that are repeated, prolonged, or avoided and where there may be silent
blocks or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns;
Speech impairments where the child’s voice has an abnormal quality to its pitch,
resonance, or loudness; and
Language impairments where the child has problems expressing needs, ideas, or
information, and/or in understanding what others say;
These areas are reflected in how “speech or language impairment” is defined by the
nation’s special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, given
below. IDEA is the law that makes early intervention services available to infants and
toddlers with disabilities, and special education available to school-aged children
Characteristics of Speech or Language Impairments
The characteristics of speech or language impairments will vary depending
upon the type of impairment involved. There may also be a combination of several
When a child has an articulation disorder, he or she has difficulty making
certain sounds. These sounds may be left off, added, changed, or distorted, which
makes it hard for people to understand the child.
Leaving out or changing certain sounds is common when young children are
learning to talk, of course. A good example of this is saying “wabbit” for “rabbit.” The
incorrect articulation isn’t necessarily a cause for concern unless it continues past
the age where children are expected to produce such sounds correctly.
a. Fluency refers to the flow of speech. A fluency disorder means that
something is disrupting the rhythmic and forward flow of speech—usually, a
stutter. As a result, the child’s speech contains an “abnormal number of
repetitions, hesitations, prolongations, or disturbances. Tension may also be
seen in the face, neck, shoulders, or fists.”
b. Voice is the sound that’s produced when air from the lungs pushes through
the voice box in the throat (also called the larynx), making the vocal folds
within vibrate. From there, the sound generated travels up through the spaces
of the throat, nose, and mouth, and emerges as our “voice.”
A voice disorder involves problems with the pitch, loudness, resonance, or quality of
the voice. The voice may be hoarse, raspy, or harsh. For some, it may sound quite
nasal; others might seem as if they are “stuffed up.” People with voice problems
often notice changes in pitch, loss of voice, loss of endurance, and sometimes a
sharp or dull pain associated with voice use.
c. Language has to do with meanings, rather than sounds.A language disorder
refers to an impaired ability to understand and/or use words in context. A
child may have an expressive language disorder (difficulty in expressing ideas
or needs), a receptive language disorder (difficulty in understanding what
others are saying), or a mixed language disorder (which involves both).
Some characteristics of language disorders include:
improper use of words and their meanings,
inability to express ideas,
inappropriate grammatical patterns,
reduced vocabulary, and
inability to follow directions.
Children may hear or see a word but not be able to understand its meaning. They
may have trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to communicate.
These symptoms can easily be mistaken for other disabilities such as autism or
learning disabilities, so it’s very important to ensure that the child receives a
thorough evaluation by a certified speech-language pathologist.
SPECIAL TEACHING SITUATIONS
1. Students with Disabilities
On the University of Georgia campus, there are a number of students with a
variety of physical and learning disabilities. Working with such students
provides you the opportunity to make the learning environment more effective;
you will become a better teacher for all students by increasing the variety of
your instructional approaches. The University of Georgia adheres to a policy
of equal educational opportunity for all students with disabilities as provided
by federal regulations. The Disability Resource Center, an affiliate of the
University's Division of Student Affairs, can be reached at (706)-542-8719 and
supplies transportation and other services for students with disabilities.
Learning disabilities, which are officially listed as a handicap covered
by federal regulations, are not always obvious to the teacher. In some
cases, students may have learning disabilities of which they are not
even aware. The Disability Resource Center advises that a learning
disability may be suspected when there is a consistently inordinate
discrepancy between a student’s ability and performance. Additional
information concerning the nature of learning disabilities or other
disabilities is available from the Disability Resource Center.
2. Notification of Special Needs
Whenever possible, the Disability Resource Center will give instructors
advance notice of a student’s special needs. In most cases, you will have time
to make any accommodations before your class begins. In some instances,
however, you will have to assess the situation and initiate the necessary
arrangements on the spot. The University’s provisions for assisting students
with disabilities are thorough and effective, and chances are, you will not
encounter any problems. If you do run into difficulties, however, contact your
graduate coordinator and the Disability Resource Center immediately, and
they will gladly assist you.
The Disability Resource Center can provide a student with access to the
educational site as well as some operational assistance in the classroom; but
as with any other student, the ultimate learning success of a student with
disabilities is directly dependent upon effective student-teacher interaction.
Despite the best efforts of all concerned, feelings of discomfort or
awkwardness toward a student can cause problems. The following
information and suggestions will help to alleviate any concerns you may have.
3. Effective Student-Teacher Communication
Students with disabilities are as diverse as any other group of UGA students.
They are bright, talented, motivated, positive, enthusiastic, goal-oriented, and
academically prepared. It is important to remember to focus on a student’s
individuality rather than on the student’s disability. Get to know your student,
discuss the student’s concerns openly on a personal basis and turn your
attention to the accommodation of his or her learning needs. The more quickly
you can establish open channels of communication, the better. Once you get
to know the student, it is likely that any feelings of pity or awkwardness you
originally felt for them will be replaced with respect and appreciation for the
individual’s determination and resourcefulness.
Positive recognition and acceptance of a student’s disability are essential first
steps to establishing effective student-teacher communications. A disability is
a personal matter and should be treated as such. On the other hand, do not
ignore a student’s disability or pretend that it does not exist, as this can cause
problems. Given acceptance and reasonable accommodations, students with
disabilities can realize their learning potential as well as other students.
4. Reasonable Accommodation
Reasonable accommodation indicates flexibility in adjusting the educational
environment and instructional methodology to the student’s needs. While
students with disabilities, instructors, and the Disability Resource Center
share a collective responsibility to settle on reasonable accommodations,
listed below are some suggestions of ways that you can design and run your
class to help students with disabilities achieve academic success.
Students with hearing impairments can be accommodated with an alternate
source of information, such as copies of the lecture notes or a transcript of the
audiovisual presentation. Many students with auditory disabilities read lips;
therefore, face a student with a hearing impairment when speaking. If you
have a beard, it may partially mask your lip movements. Be careful to speak
slowly and carefully, but don’t exaggerate or overemphasize lip movements.
Also, be sure that the student is located where she or he can clearly see you,
the board, and any other instructional equipment. Try to avoid standing in
front of windows or other sources of light. The glare from behind you makes it
difficult to read lips and other facial expressions.
Students with visual impairments will need special arrangements to receive
information presented in charts, diagrams, handouts and displays. If you have
any students who will need the reading assignments on audiotape or in
Braille, it is always helpful to have your syllabus completed a month in
advance and available for Disability Services to access.
Students with a mobility impairment will need access to the classroom and will
need to make special arrangements before field trips. In the event that your
classroom is inaccessible to a particular student, contact Disability Services.
Students with learning disabilities may require unique accommodations for
notetaking and/or testing. Your syllabus should include a disability and health-
related statement. Review the statement with your students
on the first day of class.
The development of spoken/oral language normally occurs without formal
teaching. It develops as a result of exposure to spoken language. Problems with
language development may not be recognized for a long time unless the child simply
fails to begin talking. Oral language is the basis for learning reading and written
language and for benefitting from instruction in other areas. It is important to identify
children whose language is not developing normally so that more specific stimulation
and actual intervention can begin as early as possible.
Language problems, like other learning disabilities, are called by several
different names including: delayed language, language disorder, language disability,
specific language disability, etc. Some people distinguish between children who
appear to be developing all aspects of language at a slower rate (delayed language)
and those who do not appear to be developing language in the expected way or
have uneven language development (language disability). Regardless of the label,
language problems should be assessed. A language evaluation must include a
hearing test since hearing loss is one reason for delayed language acquisition.
Speech-language pathologists typically do the testing for spoken language
disabilities. When children are of school age, the evaluation must include the
language of instruction and reading and written language.
Like other types of learning disabilities, language disabilities differ in type and
severity. In young children there are many known milestones that can be observed
by parents and preschool teachers. Some of these are listed on the enclosed sheet
along with some activities to encourage language development.
Even mild problems in spoken language can have an impact on learning in
school. A child should enter first grade with the majority of the language needed for
learning. Problems in understanding language will affect almost every aspect of
school: following directions, learning vocabulary, understanding instruction, reading
comprehension, etc. Problems in using language are often seen in children who do
not understand. Some children understand spoken language but have difficulty
expressing them. A common problem seen in expressive language is difficulty
recalling words they know (word retrieval problems). These children understand the
word, know it when they hear it, but cannot always call it up when they need it.
These children may say, "you know that thing you sweep the floor with"; "I know it,
but I can't think of the word"; "Umm,umm, I forget"; etc. Retrieval problems can make
children unwilling to participate in class because they interfere with a child's
demonstration of what he/she has learned. For example, children may have learned
color or letter names, but are unable to give the names when asked. These children
can point to the color or letter when the name is said to them.
Some children have difficulty with spoken grammar. They omit words or word
endings or get words in the wrong order. Some have difficulty putting their ideas into
words in an organized way.
Problems in pronunciation of words can be the result of mishearing sounds
(Starvation Army/Salvation Army), getting sounds in the wrong order (aminal/animal),
or difficulty producing specific sounds (fum/thumb). Problems with the sound system
of language have been reported in many children who have difficulty learning to
read. While some speech sounds are acquired later than others, children who have
many sounds they cannot make and are difficult to understand may have later
problems with phonics.
Language activities with young children are fun for them and can stimulate
more language. Reading to children and talking about the pictures and the "story" is
an important activity. Making certain new vocabulary is used in many ways and in
different situations helps children learn new words.
It is important to have children's language evaluated if there is any concern.
Too often, parents are told "he'll outgrow it" or "just wait, she'll talk when she's
ready". This is not good advice when the child is not doing what is expected for
his/her age. Speech-language pathologists can determine what the problem is, if
any, and make recommendations for working with the child. Oral language is
important for social development and effective communication, as well as being the
foundation for school learning. Problems should not be overlooked or disregarded.
Speech and Language Disorders and Diseases
When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or
has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder.
Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders, and stuttering are
examples of speech disorders.
When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or
sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or
she has a language disorder. A stroke can result in aphasia, or a language
Both children and adults can have speech and language disorders. They can
occur as a result of a medical problem or have no known cause.
What are some signs or symptoms of a language-based learning disability?
Dyslexia has been used to refer to the specific learning problem of reading.
The term language-based learning disability, or just learning disabilities, is better
because of the relationship between spoken and written language. Many children
with reading problems have spoken language problems.
The child with dyslexia has trouble almost exclusively with the written (or printed)
word. The child who has dyslexia as part of a larger language learning disability has
trouble with both the spoken and the written word. These problems may include
difficulty with the following:
Expressing ideas clearly, as if the words needed are on the tip of the tongue
but won't come out. What the child says can be vague and difficult to
understand (e.g., using unspecific vocabulary, such as "thing" or "stuff" to
replace words that cannot be remembered). Filler words like "um" may be
used to take up time while the child tries to remember a word.
Learning new vocabulary that the child hears (e.g., taught in lectures/lessons)
and/or sees (e.g., in books)
Understanding questions and following directions that are heard and/or read
Recalling numbers in sequence (e.g., telephone numbers and addresses)
Understanding and retaining the details of a story's plot or a classroom lecture
Reading and comprehending material
Learning words to songs and rhymes
Telling left from right, making it hard to read and write since both skills require
Letters and numbers
Learning the alphabet
Identifying the sounds that correspond to letters, making learning to read
Mixing up the order of letters in words while writing
Mixing up the order of numbers that are a part of math calculations
Memorizing the times tables