LANGUAGES WITHOUT LIMITS
Why learn a foreign language if you have speech, language
Anecdotal evidence suggest that children and young people with SLCD are amongst those most likely to be withdrawn from foreign language learning classes. At the same time, many children with just those difficulties are enjoying and benefiting from their MFL classes. So is withdrawing them justified?
Some professionals, including speech and language therapists, argue that better awareness of language is exactly what learners with SLCD need, and so MFL is the last subject from which they should be withdrawn. They point out that, at least in terms of conceptual content, the early stages of language learning are actually less difficult than than some other subjects where students have to learn large amounts of specialised vocabulary just to understand what lessons are about.
In a survey into young people's views conducted by Afasic Scotland (see below), the young people said they had particular difficulty with history, geography, science, maths, English and home economics. They said they enjoyed and had less difficulty with physical education, computing, technical studies and modern languages.
A publication that offers guidance for professional working with pupils with SLCD in secondary schools notes that:
In the early stages, learning a modern language can be a rewarding experience for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties, and the value of intercultural activity for personal and social development should not be underestimated. However, because of the special learning demands, success within a second language should be carefully monitored. If this is problematic or causing undue frustration for the pupil, a decision needs to be made about whether it is appropriate to continue.
The same publication sets out the pros and cons of second language learning for pupils with SCLCD:
Introducing new vocabulary
|Introducing new concepts|
[Links last checked 23.5.11 unless otherwise indicated]
The Afasic survey mentioned above is described in the 2000 Conference booklet New Voices - New Language available to download from Afasic Scotland: http://www.afasicscotland.org.uk/pubs.htm
Also from Afaisic Scotland:
Makaton multi modal communication programme
Talking Point:the first stop for information on children's communicztion
The Daily What
[2.6.11] Severe developmental disorders and bilingualism
[13.6.11] Symbol support for KS2 French
[15.9.11] A new Scottish voice
[17.6.12] What is Comprehensible Input?
[4.10.12] Multilingualism, also for children with an auditive or communicative disability!