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EDUCATION: Inclusive
language learning for students
with special needs
What is inclusive education?
Inclusion is a belief system that all students are general
education students attending their neighborhood school with their
chronologically age-appropriate peers. The general education
curriculum and classroom is the starting point for planning for all
students and is based on the premise that necessary supports and
services for students with disabilities can be provided in the
general education classroom.
What is inclusive education?
Inclusion is one of many placement options for students with
Individual Education Plans (IEPS). Special education is viewed as a
support service to general education and not as a place where
students go to get remediated. Effective inclusive education
requires a high level of collaboration among general education and
special education staff and their services are viewed as seamless.
Everyone has the
right to education.
Universal Declaration of Human
Rights in 1948.
Why is it important for
learners with special
needs to learn English?
Benefits for Learners
Learning another language a right to meet with the world and
learn new cultures and people.

It helps children to become more aware of their own.

All children need to learn to accept and value people from

backgrounds different from their own.
Benefits for Learners
It's another way for children with delayed skills
development to revisit basic concepts and to learn social
skills in a way that seems more interesting and grown up.
What are the challanges?

Physical Barriers




Organization of the education system

Old attitudes die hard, and many
still resist the accomodation of students
with disabilities and learning issues as
well as those from minority cultures.
Physical Barriers
Many school do not have the facilities to properly accomodate
students with special needs, and local governments lack either the
funds or the resolve to provide financial help.
A rigid curriculum that does not
allow for experimentation or the use
of different teaching methods can be
enormous barrier to the inclusion.
Teachers who are not trained, who are
unwilling, or enthusiastic about working with
students with disabilities are a barrier to
successful inclusion. Training often falls shorts
of real effectiveness, and instructors already
straining under large workloads may resent the
added duties of coming up with different
approaches for the same lessons.
Adequate funding is a neccessity for
inclusion, and yet it is rare. Schools often
lack adequate facilities, qualified and
appropriately trained teachers and other
staff members, educational materials and
general support. Sadly, lack of resources is
pervasive throughout many educational
Many students are expected to learn while being taught in a
language that is new and in some cases unfamiliar to them. This is
obviously a significant barrier to successful learning. Too often,
these students face discrimination and low expectations.
Organization of the education
Centeralized education systems are rarely conducive to positive
change and initiative. Decisions come from the school systems
high-level authorities whose initiatives focus on employee
compliance more than quality learning. The top levels of the
organization may have little or no idea about the realities teachers
face on a daily basis.
Some tips for an inclusive
1. See the learner and not the label. Learners with SENs are people with
personality. Every person with dyslexia, for example, is not the same. The learner
might be introvert, extrovert, creative, not creative, humorous, not humorous,
musical, not musical etc. Get to know the learner.

2. Encourage and use activities which develop empathy and understanding in

your classroom at all times. . For example, many activities in ELT involve guessing
or remembering something about your partner, finding things you have in
common or which are different. Exploit this type of language activity.
Some tips for an inclusive
3. Create a learning contract where the inclusive ethos is clear. For example, set
rules which clearly state the underlying values of your classroom.

We help each other

We listen to each other

We understand everyone is unique

4. Give opportunities for learners to present and practice language in different

ways and in different senses.
Some tips for an inclusive
5. Develop a peer mentoring or buddy system, where learners help each
other and share skills.

6. Think carefully about how you give instructions. Make them clear, concise,
give them on a step-by-step basis. Give them in the order you want them
done and very simply. Avoid sequencers. For example, say look at the board,
open your books and not before you open your books, look at the board.
Check by giving an example and getting an example from the learners.
Some tips for inclusive classroom
7. Use positive classroom language. Say what you want learners to do,
not what you dont want them to do. For example say 'Look at the
board rather than 'Dont keep turning round

8. Use visuals to reinforce rules and routines. Have a set of pictures

showing different parts of your lesson listening (ear), speaking
(mouth), writing (pen) reading (book) and put these on the board at the
start of the lesson to show the order for the day.
Some tips for inclusive classroom
9. Think about your learners needs and have a seating plan. For
example, hearing impaired learners will need to sit near the
teacher, learners with ADHD need to sit away from distractions
such as windows and radiators.

10. And dont be afraid to ask other people, the parents/carers,

other professionals and above all, the learner. They will know what
Make it a collaborative
learning journey rather
than a fearful one!
asked questions about inclusive education,
stetson&associate, Inc.
Bishawand Javaprada, Inclusive teaching in the context of English
language teching