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					Teaching Students with Sensory Impairments
Accommodations and Teaching Strategies

            Ellen Tacchi, M.A.T. and Angela Peake, M.A.T.

                               Trinity University

                 VIII. Foreign Language Instruction

       Foreign language instruction can be an important part of the day for all

students, especially for students with hearing impairments. By learning a foreign

language, the students will be able to learn about another culture through

exposure to vocabulary, as well as improve their language skills in their native

language. Since most foreign language classes are taught only using aural

methods, some adaptations can be made to the presentation of the material,

including using more visuals and written assignments. Instead of participating

orally, the student might be asked to respond to a question with a written

response or through the use of an interpreter. In order for there to be successful

inclusion of a student in a foreign language class, the student, teacher, and

interpreter must work together to find the best way to incorporate the student into

the classroom learning environment. One way to make the integration

successful is for the interpreter to be provided with all materials used in class

prior to the class session so he/she has time to prepare for the next lesson

(Davis, 2000).

       The foreign language teacher will need to make some accommodations in

presentation methods when teaching a student with has a hearing impairment.

The teacher may need to use a slower-paced form of instruction and provide
more visual information to the class. When a student is having difficulty with the

learning of a new language, the teacher should provide further explanations in

the student’s native language. The teacher may also need to provide extra

practice drills for the student, information in smaller segments, and cultural

comparisons. Teachers can also highlight differences in language patterns

through the use of colors, such as identifying the different placement of

adjectives in English and in Spanish with different colored pens. Teachers may

also want to include videos with closed-captioning, email correspondence with

students from other countries, and foreign language newspapers in the

classroom (Davis, 2000).

       Interpreters who are working with a student in a foreign language class

should be very involved with both the teacher and the student to make the

inclusion successful. The interpreter should have the opportunity to attend other

sections of the class to become familiar with the material being presented and

the manner in which it is discussed. In addition to this, the interpreter should also

complete any classroom assignments along with the student to further enhance

learning of the foreign language. Many of the foreign words being taught to the

student will be new and may need to be finger-spelled, which will require

additional time for the interpreter and the student to master. The teacher will

need to plan this additional time accordingly into lessons to provide the student

with the best education possible (Davis 2000).

				
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