Integrating everyone in your classroom (useful links on working with students with SEN)

There are a lot of wonderful blogs out there, but sometimes it can be a bit hard to find what you’re looking for when you need it.

I found this when I started teaching a student who was almost completely blind, which is why I wrote my Rethinking the Visual posts. I also came across English With Kirsty, and was happy to get help from her with my classes. She later wrote a post called The Inclusive Classroom with tips on working with blind and partially sighted students. In the first part of the 22nd July 2015 episode of the Teflology podcast one of the podcasters talks about how he integrated a blind student into his classroom.

Naomi Epstein writes one of my favourite blogs. She teaches deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and shares lesson plans and reflections on her teaching, among many other things. Some of the categories which you might find useful are:

Matthew Turner wrote about his experience of integrating a deaf student into a communication class on the iTDi blog.

Chris Wilson has collected a set of dyslexia resources on his blog. He’s also written about how dyslexia affected his own language learning. This website simulates the experience of reading with dyslexia. The Dyslexia Daily site contains useful advice and resources, as does the Dyslexia Online Toolkit (thanks for recommending these, Chris). Julia Shewry shared her experience of teaching students with dyslexia on the BELTA blog. Jade Blue has written two guides for Cambridge with ideas for helping students with dyslexia to prepare for Cambridge exams. Jon Hird did an excellent presentation at the IH AMT conference in 2016, including lots of practical tips for adapting materials and has also shared 10 ways to help dyslexic students in the classroom. Martin Bloomfield has created the Dyslexia Bytes online community – he wrote a guest post explaining how the community was created which contains all of the links to the various branches of the community.

Joanna Malefaki has written about how colour blindness affects her life and her teaching, from which you can gather suggestions about what (not) to do to help colour-blind students in your classes. She also pointed me in the direction of the Colour Blind Awareness YouTube channel, particularly the Rainbow Song, which is the first time I’ve really understood how different the world looks to someone who’s colour blind.

Looking at various areas, Educators Technology has a list of recommended iPad apps divided into apps for dyslexic learners, autistic learners, visually impaired learners and learners with writing difficulties. Marie Delaney’s book Special Educational Needs contains useful tips for working with a variety of learners. Finally, Leo Selivan shares 8 things he has learnt about Special Education Needs.

Three students chatting
Image taken from ELTpics by @yearinthelifeof under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence

I know there must be many other posts out there to help you integrate more students into your classes, so what have I missed?

I’d particularly like to know about helping students with ADHD as I’ve recently had a trainee with it and I didn’t know enough about it to advise them. All help appreciated!

Update

There is now an IATEFL Special Interest Group dedicated to Inclusive Practices and Special Educational Needs.

10 thoughts on “Integrating everyone in your classroom (useful links on working with students with SEN)

  1. Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for this. It is really helpful. As someone who has had some ‘difficulties’ with colours in class (and outside class), I really think that it is important that teachers get as informed as possible. This post helps us know where to look.
    I really appreciate it. Great work.
    Joanna

    Like

  2. Would love to see any thoughts on having people on the autistic spectrum in classes. I’m afraid I don’t have one to offer, but it’s something I’ve really struggled with an could do with pointers.

    Like

  3. Hi Sandy, thanks for your post.
    Several years ago I was asked to teach a hard-of-hearing students and refused, because at that time I was not completely aware and confident of how to do it. Thanks for references, Naomi’s blog seems to be very though-provoking.

    Like

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