When ones to the less able students both


When
teaching language comprehension, it is important to consider that not everyone
in the class will have the same level of understanding. Some children with
learning disabilities find it harder than others to pick up comprehension and
understand what is happening around them, both academically and socially.
Research by Kristin Stanberry and Lee Swanson in 2009 demonstrates some ways to
improve language comprehension skills. It is imperative to direct the teaching specifically
to the individuals needs, this is often best done through observing the child
in a mainstream lesson and establishing which aspects they struggle with the
most. Teaching language comprehension could be done through cues such as images
on the page or by reading words known to the pupil and making educated guesses
of other words to fit in the sentence. Modelling other pupils is also an
effective way of helping less able students to understand the text, having
other members of the class give some suggestions and leaving the simpler ones
to the less able students both involves them and increases their confidence.

Drama can
be a very effective way of helping children understand the text and interpret
it in a different way. Bolton et al 1983 found that “drama helps to improve
students’ reading, speaking and listening abilities as well as vocabulary acquisition”.
It provides “specific opportunities for literacy development giving students
the chance to use all skills in decoding meaning and expanding vocabulary” (Kempe
and Nicholson 2007). Getting children actively involved in the dialog they are
reading or working on helps them to understand the context and feelings within
the story on a personal level.

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Phonics
forms the base of all development within early years and is an essential framework
to be built upon in order to recognise common words used in every day
situations. In 2010, Education Secretary, Michael Gove introduced a year 1
phonics-based progress check so teachers can identify any students not reaching
their expected reading level to help those in need of extra support. Gove said “too
many primary school children were failing to reach the expected standards”.
Figures released showed in 2010, 15% of 7 year-olds failed to reach the
expected level in reading at key stage 1, and this increased to 19% of 11
year-olds.

The Rose
Report by Sir Jim Rose, published in 2006, resulted in Synthetic Phonics being
made mandatory in English and Welsh primary schools in 2007. “Synthetic Phonics
offers the vast majority of young children the best and most direct route to
becoming skilled readers and writers” (The Rose Report 2006). The Rose Review however
has been criticised by Hall (2007) who said the review is “an individualistic
approach to learning”. It is important therefore, that teachers take into
considerations the individual needs of their pupils and do not simply rely on
the review itself. 

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