LANGUAGES WITHOUT LIMITS
This page is introduced and overseen by Vivienne Wire, formerly Principal Teacher of the Communication Centre at Loudon Academy in East Ayrshire, Scotland.
In recent years the number of pupils being diagnosed with autism has increased considerably. Some of them are included in modern language classes, perhaps with support, and some are withdrawn specifically from this subject. Yet all are young Europeans, entitled to an opportunity to learn a foreign language and to acquire some cultural awareness. My experiences have convinced me that pupils with autism should be offered the same opportunities as other young people and that they can benefit from them.
The material on this page provided the evidence which underpins my conviction and describes some of the strategies that have proved useful. I shall from time to time add links to other resources and information that might prove useful.
Since this page was started we have been contacted by a number of parents, students and teachers, all concerned to do their best for the autistic children in their care. We are grateful to those who have allowed us to tell their stories in the form of mini case studies.
Learning a second language - everyone's right, or not right for everyone?
Vivienne's dissertation can now be found on the Inclusive Practice in Language Learning website:
Special Educational Needs in Europe: The teaching and learning of languages
Support for Learning, the British Journal of Learning Support
Children with Asperger's Syndrome in primary school: difficulties with foreign language learning
Some questions we have been asked, and some answers
FAQ 2: What can I say to sceptical colleagues?
[Links last checked 22.5.11 unless otherwise indicated.]
Link to a discussion on the Times Educational Supplement forum about MFL successes by youngsters with Asperger's Syndrome:
Times Educational Supplement online staffroom. A thread about teaching languages to children with autism was started on 11th May 2007
Children with autism: strategies for accessing the curriculum: modern foreign languages
Supporting students with Asperger's Syndrome in general education
The National Autistic Society
Special Scotland: Working for Autism
[19.10.11] Autism Good Practice
[2.6.11] Do children with autism acquire the phonology of their peers?
[2.6.11] Severe developmental disorders and bilingualism
[4.10.12] Multilingualism, also for children with an auditive or communicative disability!
[11.3.16] Autism and bilingualism: Is bilingualism harmful for children with autism?