Accommodating learning disabilities


16-Nov-2015 23:12

While it has long been recognized in the learning disabilities field that foreign language study would be a terrific challenge to learning disabled students, somehow this fact has been widely ignored in the field of foreign language instruction and in schools in general until very recently.

Teachers of ESL students have also recognized that there are students who have great difficulty mastering English because of learning disabilities.

For the student unencumbered by a learning disability, foreign language study is indeed an enriching and rewarding experience.

The field of second language acquisition has historically blamed language learning failure on a number of factors.

Anxiety in the foreign language classroom (anxiety about making mistakes in grammar and pronunciation, about understanding the teacher, about remembering vocabulary) has been prominent as a purported cause of the failure.

Among other causes cited in the literature have been lack of effort, lack of motivation, poor language learning habits and low "ability" in language learning. Kenneth Dinklage of Harvard University was compelled to find out why some of Harvard's brightest and best were not passing their language classes.

He quickly dismissed lack of effort, seeing that most of these students were putting other courses and their degrees at major risk by devoting unusual amounts of time and effort to their language classes.

Schwarz Foreign language study is an increasingly prominent part of education everywhere.Not only are high school students nearly always required to study a foreign language, but many lower and middle schools have added foreign languages to their curricula, whether as an enrichment or a requirement.



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