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Physically disabled student

 
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Sienna



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject: Physically disabled student Reply with quote

I teach middle school (12-13 years old) and in one class of 40, I have a male student without arms.

He sits at the back of the class (with the 'bad boys') and is rarely involved in this lesson, except to be noisy. He can't write but he's not short on intelligence.

I'm looking for ways to involve him (and for that matter, all the 'bad boys') in the lesson, while I'm aware its impossible to 'convert' all the masses, I want them to least know a little more English than they started with.

Also, I'm looking for tips on English Corner, having never organised it before.

All advice is appreciated, xie xie!
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it possible to get an English Room - that would be so much more effective but involves a lot more? For an English corner you will probably need books, magazines, posters, games, workbooks. We used to put up the words for a popular song along with pictures of the singer or band and played the cassette of the song during breaks so the kids could sing along. It would be great if you could get a karoke machine with English tapes for this corner. I am presuming you have tons of money. If you don't, you can raid the book cupboard and get old textbooks and workbooks, get old books from the library and magazines from the corner store (they will often give you the out of date magazines after they rip off the covers). Let the kids make posters of words in a Word Wall - you can have a theme - words for sports, music, etc. or words in a story they will be reading shortly, or words that rhyme and so on. Change it every week and leave a felt pen attached so they can add words. Have a pocket for word puzzles that they can take away. Put up pictures that show something usual and invite them to write stories to go along with it. Put those up after editing. Get free English movie posters. Get the students to design some word games and put them in small boxes with the label of the game - Scrabble like games. Put up a picture with many things in it and let them label the items on small cards with string and a pin. The card goes around the outside of the picture and then the string goes from the card to the item and is attached by the pin. Put up something interesting to read from a newspaper or the Internet and a cartoon, of course or comics.

As far as your student, get him help right away. He should be learning to write with his toes or have prosthetics. There is no reason he can't write with a pen in his mouth and he needs to be trained to do this outside of your classroom. He can learn to type with his toes as well or have a special computer that works with something he taps with his mouth. He should have a helper in the classroom - perferably paid of course, but otherwise, some student who gives him copies of his notes and writes down what he says for assignments done in the classroom.

Get to know that group in the back - go where they are after school and watch what they are good at - basketball, skateboarding, soccer and then refer to their prowess in the classroom. Reverse the classroom - put up a whiteboard or green or black board at the back of the classrom and teach from there the whole class so you are near them. You should have already made the rules for the class with the whole class at the beginning but it is not too late. What does everyone in the class want to do when someone speaks out of turn, or talks when the teacher is talking the groups? The students can decide on their own rules and will enfoso they can't hear, doesn't hand in their assignments, doesn't participate constructively in group work? The students will enforce their own rules much more strictly than you probably would but it shows that some students want to do well and don't appreciate the distractions of those in the "back".
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Sienna



Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:11 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips!

We did a speaking exercise last week where I would write two names on the board and those students would come to the front of the class to do a conversation. I included Sun, the disabled students and suprise, suprise, his English is quite good! It was also good to see him involved, I think part of the reason he is so noisy is that he wants attention (which comes as no shock).

I'll look into finding him a helper, I can't imagine what he does in other classes, perhaps Oral English is the only class where someone doesn't help him?

The monitors are probably the best at classroom discipline, as they can talk to the students in Chinese! It doesn't have quite the same effect in English. So together, we're working on a solution to get through to difficult students, namely, that their behaviour isn't appreciated.

The Chinese teachers claim it isn't their fault, that they don't know any better. I doubt that though, they can learn to be polite
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like things are improving! Good for you. Of course they can be polite, kind and caring. I am reminded of the public schools in Mongolia where the kids gave the native speaking English teachers a hard time but when you went to a Mongolian Montessori school you found completely civilized students who cared about one another and about learning. Often the trouble is that students from other countries see movies where the students in North America are behaving badly. It would be good if you could show them a video of some North American classes that were working together well and being reasonable human beings. There are a lot more like that than the other way around. We just don't hear as often from the satisfied teachers. I often sat in on my Mongolian students' other classes during my break, especially the classes where the teacher had good control of the students and they worked hard. They will tell you which teachers make them work hard. It seemed to rub off. You could even ask that teacher to come to sit in on your class when they have breaks. It is something you will have to deal with creatively for the whole year as they come up with different ideas to test you. Sometimes I just sat down and laughed and told them that I had never had "that" one tried on me and they had been very creative but I would, of course, prefer that they use all that energy to learn English. It helps to keep your sense of humour close to hand.
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