Classroom Challenges: Working with Pupils with Communication Disorders.
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AbstractThe challenge of actively involving students with communication disorders in the formal education systems prompted this desktop study on some of the challenges and problems associated with students with communication disorders in the classroom. This paper examines the relationship between communication disorders and learning from a very basic and simplified point of view. The intention is not to get deep into the jargon of disability studies, but to assist teachers in having basic understanding of pupils with communication disorders so that they also actively engage them in their teaching approaches. As such, the paper does not claim to be a professional and expert point of reference. It is derived from and built on simple desktop literature study and document analysis. The thrust of the paper is simply to make sure that students with communication disorders are fully and actively involved in their classroom learning activities. It argues that teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. We thus conclude that when people talk about teachers’ effectiveness, they are talking about actual student learning. Generally there are as many teaching and learning methods as there are teachers. These have been grouped into basically two philosophies of teaching and learning: the traditional teacher-centred philosophy and the contemporary student-centred philosophy. In the modern world, the most accepted criterion for measuring good teaching is the rate and level of learning taking place among students. It has been established that people largely learn by doing, hence the widely accepted belief that between the above two philosophies, the student centred approach is the best. This paper argues that, if this is the case, then there is a risk of students with communication disorders being excluded from effective learning that goes on, unless measures are taken to make sure they are fully and actively involved in the learning process.. Keywords: Challenges, communication disorders, classroom, pupils, teachers, students, teaching, learning.