A classroom should be the place where all children regardless of disabilities receive the most appropriate education. Children with speech and language impairments have the right to receive efficient education. Thus, the task of the professional school staff is to adapt a classroom environment and educational curriculum in such a way that they make the studying of students with disabilities effective. The need for adjustment is predetermined by the fact that both receptive and expressive language disorders prevent students from efficient comprehension and learning. The first task of the teacher is to consult a speech-language pathologist of the student. The collaboration is crucial for the achievement of particular goals. The adaptation of the classroom curriculum presupposes the choice of proper tasks and instructions. Finally, the classroom environment should have all the necessary resources (devices, additional graphs, tables) for students with speech and language impairments.
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The primary aim of every classroom is to provide students with the best environment that promotes the acquisition of knowledge. Nowadays, many students with speech and language impairments receive education in general settings. Nevertheless, one should understand that any disability may prevent the child from efficient participating in the process of learning and classroom activities. In the following paper, the strategies for the improvement of the classroom environment will be evaluated.
Although children with speech and language impairments study in usual social settings, they require additional assistance. Children with such disorders may have problems with expressive and perceptive areas of language. For instance, students who have problems with expression may find it difficult to use proper words, follow the rules of grammar and syntax, and formulate questions. Those who suffer from receptive language problems cannot follow oral directions, understand humor, figurative language, and meanings of compound sentences (Gargiulo, 2014). These examples demonstrate the need to create an efficient classroom environment for children with speech and language impairments.
The proper intervention should refer to different dimensions of the school environment. According to Bauer, Iyer, Boon, and Fore (2010), “collaboration among classroom teachers and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) is crucial to delivering effective treatment and services” (p. 333). Thus, both teachers and SLPs should share their vision of particular goals that should be achieved. They should also develop a strategy that strengthens the achievement of set goals. It is advisable to encourage the student to use techniques that are taught with pathologists in the classroom.
The following practices are useful for the adaptation of the curriculum and the learning process:
- Adjust tasks and activities to the student’s level of development;
- Complex materials should be divided into small and easy tasks;
- Gain the attention of the student before giving directions (Gargiulo, 2014);
- Use clear and simple sentences that are pronounced distinctly;
- Use intonation patterns and body language to make the message understandable;
- Provide different examples in case of misunderstanding.
The last area that should be addressed in the classroom environment. Thus, the task of the teacher is to provide pupils with comfortable settings for studying. First, the teacher should put the child in place with minimal distractions. It is also useful to sit a pupil close to the teacher. All potential distractions should be minimized. For instance, it can be advisable to install a device that transmits the teacher’s voice directly to the pupil’s ears for students with auditory processing problems (Gargiulo, 2014). Depending on the type of impairment, a teacher should ask the school to provide the classroom environment with all necessary adaptations.
Bauer, K., Iyer, S., Boon, R., & Fore, C. (2010). 20 Ways for Classroom Teachers to Collaborate with Speech-Language Pathologists. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45(5), 333-337.
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Gargiulo, R. (2014). Special Education in Contemporary Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.