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Strategies for Language Processing Problems

Teaching for Language Processing Problems

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Updated June 17, 2014

Mother and daughters (4-5,8-9) using tablet pc, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
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Effectively accommodating the needs of students with language processing problems, receptive language disabilities, dyslexia and listening comprehension weaknesses may involve strategies such as:
  • Presenting written material in brief and direct terms;
  • Omitting non-essential details and double negatives;
  • Avoiding multiple choice items that require complex analysis of language should be limited. Focus instead on essential details and facts required to master the subject matter;
  • Allowing extra time for students to listen to, think about, and form their own thoughts about written and spoken materials used in class;
  • Allowing students to discuss assignments with each other and with teachers to get clarification; and
  • Using visual models and hands-on projects when possible to allow students to gain understanding of material using their visual learning skills.

Accommodating Language Processing Deficits - Ways Teachers and Parents can Implement Accommodations:

  • Tape lectures and lessons for playback at home during study and homework sessions;
  • Have a teacher, aide, peer tutor, or other appropriate person paraphrase instructions in writing or on tape;
  • Simplify words in text. Paraphrase by eliminating non-essential words and phrases, and double negatives;
  • Help the child summarize what he has read and write it down in brief, easy-to-understand terms;
  • Provide examples of good work, and point out features of the work that contribute to its quality. Check to ensure the student understands what characteristics distinguish good work from poor work;
  • Break large reading assignments into smaller sections;
  • Note the most important parts of text and instructions. Use a highlighter, and write these down in simple, concise terms;
  • Create a study guide that includes key vocabulary with definitions, guiding questions, and a clear statement of learning goals for the reading or task;
  • Make liberal use of visual models, pictures, videos, computer generated models, or any other means available to allow students to use their visual reasoning skills to understand materials and to express their own understanding; and
  • Allow students to use visual models and projects as alternatives to written assignments or spoken presentations when possible.
  • Allow students to use multisensory materials and strategies.

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