Publication Date

2001

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

Abstract

This paper reviews the latest research on the struggles learning disabled (LD) students have in the foreign language (FL) classroom. Over the last ten years, there have been significant advancements in recognizing the fact that LD students do in fact face greater obstacles when acquiring a FL than their peers do. Over the past five years, advances have been made taking the information garnered from these discoveries and developing appropriate solutions. The paper attempts to summarize the most significant comprehension, reference, and implementation.

The paper begins with an overview of second language acquisition learning disabilities and how they may surface in the classroom. The literature has much to say about how and why students with diagnosed learning disabilities struggle in the FL classroom. Equally important are findings for students whose learning disabilities are not yet diagnosed. Their hidden or unrevealed disabilities often limit their learning in a traditional FL setting. Options are considered that eliminate the need for LD students to suffer through and often fail a FL class via practical educational alternatives that one can implement in the classroom. Other, more global, options ranging from altered curriculum to language waivers are also investigated. Finally, I offer conclusions and suggestions from this research, enriched by my several years of experience as a Spanish teacher at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Disciplines

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | First and Second Language Acquisition | Special Education and Teaching