Teach English in Honghe Zhen - Huhehaote Shi — Hohhot

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A person with a learning difficulty can be described as someone who has problems with processing certain types of information. It is more difficult for them to learn than it is for the average person. The most common types of learning difficulties are ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and dyslexia. Around 10% of the population in the UK (and other western countries) have either dyslexia or ADHD, which makes it very likely for teachers to at some point of their career teach a student with a learning difficulty. That is why it is very important for teachers to know how to teach such students. (Mental Health Foundation, 2020) Children with ADHD can express symptoms such as being off task, difficulty controlling impulses, lacking focus, and being disorganized. These children can also experience rejection or neglect from their peers. Teachers can find it difficult to teach children like these, who often disturb the lessons. However, research shows that certain teaching methods can help the student with ADHD stay more focused and calm. First of all, for the students who have low impulse control, conflict resolution training with their family members and teachers can be helpful. It can better their communication and lower potential tensions in the classroom. Secondly, something that can help students with both severe and mild ADHD is classroom modification. Flexible seating, rearranging seat placements, or an assistant could help the student and improve his or her focus. Thirdly, organization is very important. Clear and concise notes, instructions, and schedules can help the student stay on track better. Lastly, medication can also be very helpful for the students. It is up to the family to seek help from a medical professional if they would like to try medication for their child. (Hamilton & Astramovich, 2016) Aside from ADHD, dyslexia is one of the most common learning difficulties. A student with dyslexia has difficulties learning how to read, write, and spell. Students with dyslexia often describe reading as the letters “jumbling together”, making the text very difficult to read. This makes it especially difficult to learn a new language with new rules for grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. According to Herbert, Kearns, Baker Hayes, Bazis, and Cooper (2018) there are some ways students can improve their dyslexia. In general, the key to success is practice. Practicing phonics, sound-spellings, phonograms, analyzing words, and practicing word memory can improve reading, writing, and spelling skills over time. However, the teacher can also do things in the classroom to help the student succeed better in his or her school work. Such things can be providing the student with spell-check, giving them texts that are easier to read, texts in bigger fonts, and allowing them more time during tests. It is important for teachers to be aware of the potential challenges a student with a learning difficulty can bring. It is up to every teacher to know how to teach students who do not necessarily fit into “the norm”. There is also a lot more to it than what I have described in this text, I could go on about this for ages. I chose ADHD and dyslexia because they are two of the most common learning difficulties, and they can cause problems to the student’s ability to learn a new language, which is what we as ESL-teachers teach. In conclusion, I think it is important to research this topic and be prepared for potential challenges. Also, be open-minded and willing to adjust the lesson so that everyone in the classroom has a chance to learn. Sources: Hamilton, N. & Astramovich, R. (2016). Teaching Strategies for Students with ADHD: Findings from the Field. Education 2016, Vol.136(4), p.45. Hebert, M., Kearns, D., Baker Hayes, J., Bazis, P., & Cooper, S. (2018). Why Children With Dyslexia Struggle With Writing and How to Help Them. Language, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools (LANG SPEECH HEAR SERV SCH), Oct2018; 49(4): 843-863. (21p). Mental Health Foundation. (2020). Learning difficulties. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilities/a-to-z/l/learning-difficulties