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Additional needs - introduction

Speech, language and
communication difficulties

Why teach languages to pupils who are experiencing difficulties in learning?

Workshop 1 Why should we offer opportunities for second language learning to learners who are already struggling to master their first?

Workshop 6 Working together: Planning support in MFL for learners in difficulty

With more children with Down's Syndrome being educated in mainstream schools, the question of whether a foreign language should be included in their curriculum arises with increasing frequency. As always, decisions will bre made on a case by case basis. Because a child has Down's does not automatically mean that he or she will not benefit from foreign language study. Having learning difficulties means just that –difficulties with learning – and no more; it does not mean that a child cannot learn at all, or even that a child cannot learn a foreign language. Many Down's children in Primary and Secondary schools in UK and elsewhere are involved in language learning, experiencing success and enjoying the experience.

Please see note on copyright


Case study
This case study is based on a research project carried out by a secondary school modern language teacher as part of the Chartered Teacher Professional Development Programme in Scotland. The work later formed part of her claim for accreditation of prior learning. She is now a Chartered Teacher.
Download case study



[Links last checked 23.5.11 unless otherwise indicated]

Allegro project
Teaching children with Downs Syndrome

Makaton multi modal communication programme
Anecdotal evidence suggests that where students with Down's Syndrome are already familiar with the Makaton signing syste, it's use can also support their foreign language learning. For further information about makaton and the Makaton Vocabulary Development Project:

Times Educational Supplement
An article about Edinburgh City Council's efforts to improve provision in mainstream primary schools for children with Down's Syndrome:
A report about German provision in a special schools for children with severe learning difficulties:

Making it work: Supporting Inclusion in Secondary Schools
Downloadable from Down's Syndrome Scotland website.

Down syndrome Online
Offers a range of information, resources and services for families, practitioners and researchers caring for, supporting and investigating Down syndrome. See, in particular:
Can children with Down syndrome learn more than one language?

Bilingualism in Children with Down syndrome in Germany

Bilingual children with Down syndrome

Bilingual children with Down Syndrome
Various abstracts and articles:

Making inclusion work for children with Down syndrome
General advice for mainstream and support teachers.



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