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It can be really difficult for teachers to pick up children with language impairment in a whole class full
and every child with a language impairment has slightly different difficulties and
strengths within language
but there are signs to look out for
and it's important that teachers are tuned into these.
A teacher may spot some difficulties or behaviours
that could indicate a language difficulty
so, for example, a child may have difficulties at break
negotiating with their peers or maybe understanding the rules of a game.
In the classroom
the teacher may feel that the child is forgetful or perhaps a poor listener because they
don't seem to be
listening to the instructions
or carrying out instructions that they've been given.
Those children who have
trouble getting down to their work might be an indication that the language is a
problem for them.
There are those children who
and sit there staring into space not finishing the task
because the language too difficult for them
and then there are those children who
are always looking around the room
copying what the others are doing to make sure that they
are on track
and also copy beautifully
but don't produce the written work on their own that you might expect them to do.
If a teacher notices
a child is blank
with some questions
sometimes that means a child doesn't understand
or doesn't get it, I guess
and also if a
sees that a child can be quite distracting to other students
it's also - maybe it might just be behaviour - but sometimes it means that
the child doesn't get it so he gets distracted and wants to do other things
and might just lose interest in the subject.
There was some occasions when I got really angry that
I'd just walk out the class or something like that.
It just came to a point when I just didn't want to do homework because I just felt
stupid and I just looked at the paper
and if I didn't understand question one, I would just
put it back in my bag
and just go off to my room.
A child with language difficulties might be that child who is very quiet in the classroom
and this could be because the child's struggling to understand or perhaps is
having difficulties explaining and expressing what they want to say.
and really annoyed and annoyed with myself
because I don't really understand so I just gave up.
As a teacher
you see the child
perhaps with a language difficulty, who nods at you, who looks as though
and then they come back with a piece of work that bears no resemblance to what
you've asked them to do
that child could well have
an underlying language difficulty.
You want to fill in the gaps and you want to understand what they're trying
but if you really listen carefully
you can see when they are not quite making sense, when some of their words are
mixed up or when they get words in the wrong order.
Talking...yeah it is easy but people doesn't really understand it.
It all gets jumbled up and
in their writing
who often leave off endings for tenses
might be those children with some language difficulties
The children who find it difficult to construct longer, more complex sentences
using conjunctions - that might be a sign that they have an underlying language problem.
appear to get words in the wrong order, not just missing out words,
those also might be ones that you would need to consider as having a language impairment.
The kind of grammar difficulties I had was
sometimes I mix up words
originally instead of saying 'taken' I would say 'tooken' because
because most people say 'took'
but I added the 'en' at the end because I thought it made more sense.
Examples of the kind of difficulties you might spot
is a child saying
'I wanted some sweets because I went to the shop' when actually they mean 'I went to
the shop because I wanted some sweets'.
'I can buy the toy until the shop opens'
rather than 'I
can't buy the toy until the shop opens'.
Children with language impairments
usually have great difficulty with vocabulary -
it might be to do with the subject, so, in science, some of the more abstract words -
they find it difficult to say them, they find it difficult to remember them and
they find it difficult to, definitely to,
sometimes pin a meeting
to the words.
Sometimes, with words,
I forget the meaning of a word but I kind of understand what to do -
for example, with a factor, I can't really remember what it means but I've an
idea what you need to do in a maths question for it.
Well, because I didn't do my homework
teachers began to get a bit angry with me
and then it'll come to a point when they shout at me
which would make me even more upset
as I'm already a bit depressed as it was
so going to school wasn't the best thing.
There are always frustrations for the teacher when a child doesn't seem to be understanding
what you have said many, many times
but there is usually a reason for it.
It's very important to stop and think
that a child wants to do well, is keen to succeed
and therefore that it's something cannot help and you might look for an underlying
It's really important that teachers are tuned into these signs of SLI
difficulties with language impairment have been identified,
with the right support, it can make a big difference
to the child's ability to learn in the classroom.
I understand that it might be difficult for teachers to spot but
if they do, it can be really helpful for the student's future and career.