Strategies to Support Students with Language Difficulties

The following classroom strategies have been found to help students with language impairments.

  1. Seat the student close to the teacher and the board, and away from the window and door. This will reduce visual distractions and help the student to focus on the teacher’s instruction.
  2. Display word walls covering important terms that will be used during a unit so that the teacher can quickly point to them and repeat their definitions as they come up. Students with receptive language impairment need to hear the definitions over and over.
  3. Model full sentence responses, and if the student responds with incomplete sentences during conferencing, prompt the student to offer full sentences. This should be done selectively so that the student does not feel discouraged by repeated corrections.
  4. Use positive reinforcements. Give praise and rewards to encourage continued use of correct language. Always specify the reason why the student is receiving the praise or reward.
  5. Often students experiencing difficulties with communication also suffer from low self-esteem. Leverage the student’s strengths to assign “special” classroom responsibilities or to peer teach others so that the student feels valued in the classroom.
  6. Incorporate drama into instruction and assessments so that the student is able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in other ways besides language.
  7. Cultivate phonological awareness through auditory, visual, and word games. This will help the student to connect words with sounds and images.
  8. Offer a variety of positive reading experiences such as independent reading, shared reading, guided reading, read alouds, and “reading buddies” Also, keep high-interest story books accessible in the classroom.
  9. Provide assistive technologies such as text-to-speech software so that the student is able to effectively communicate.
  10. Practice, practice, practice! Incorporate the student’s interests into speech to motivate the student to participate in interactive oral communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *