Problems faced in spoken english among learning disabilities students

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Problems faced in spoken english among learning disabilities students

  1. 1. PROBLEMS FACED IN SPOKEN ENGLISH AMONG LEARNING DISABILITIES STUDENTS 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: 1. Articulation Speech impairments where the child produces sounds incorrectly (e.g., lisp, difficulty articulating certain sounds, such as “l” or “r”); 2. Fluency 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; 3. Voice Speech impairments where the child’s voice has an abnormal quality to its pitch, resonance, or loudness; and 4. Language 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 with disabilities.
  2. 2. 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 problems. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. 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.
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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 disorder. 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
  9. 9. 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 this directionality Letters and numbers Learning the alphabet Identifying the sounds that correspond to letters, making learning to read difficult Mixing up the order of letters in words while writing Mixing up the order of numbers that are a part of math calculations Spelling Memorizing the times tables Telling time

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