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Learning Disabilities and Adult English Language Learners

Professional Developent Day September 15, 2012

Susan Watson

on 29 June 2015

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Transcript of Learning Disabilities and Adult English Language Learners

Created a definition of LD
Learning Objectives
Neurologically based disability
Lifespan disability
Normal to above normal intelligence
Recognized disability by ADA
Heterogeneous group
Affects 5-10% of adult population (estimate)
What is LD?
1. Reads well but does not write well, or the opposite
2. Misinterprets social cues
3. Difficulty with schedules and being on time
4. Learns in one way but not another
5. Spelling problems
LD Checklist
Do any of these characteristics sound familiar?
Hidden and misunderstood
As adult educators we want to increase our awareness of LD:
No ceiling on their success
Adults with LD
1. LD in adulthood
2. LD and Adult ELLs
3. Teaching Strategies
Robin Lovrien Schwarz, MSpEd:LD, Ph.D.
Reference for LD and ELLs
Difficult to test adult ELLs for LD
No special education for adult ESOL
LD label good or bad?
No known rate of learning for low literacy students*
LD and ELLs
Adults age 18-65+
50 countries
diverse cultures
low to high literacy in L1
0-12+ years formal education
men and women
undocumented to citizens
integrative learning orientation
Who are adult ELLs?
1. Health
Vision & Hearing
Now what?
Many ESOL best practices are appropriate for learners with special needs.

Many best practices for learners with special needs are appropriate for all learners (universal).
1. Be highly structured and predictable.
2. Take a multi-sensory approach.
3. Build on prior knowledge.
4. Simplify language not content.
Teaching Strategies for all ELLs
Let's share our ideas!
VDOE Policy
Teachers never diagnose LD
Is it LD or language learning?
Examined a whole-person approach to LD and adult ELLs
Described how to use a teaching strategy with their students
Runs in families
2. Phonological processing skills
3. Adult language learning needs
4. L1 influence
5. L1 literacy
6. Culture
7. Teaching
If you single someone out and suggest vision/hearing check, you must inform them WHY both verbally and in writing - VDOE Policy
Instead, inform the entire class as part of a health literacy lesson or in an informational handout
One way of approaching the issue of LD and ELLs is to consider the whole person and rule out other possibilities.
Whole-Person Approach
Seven Points to Consider
Culture shock
1. Health
3. Recognize and build on learners' strengths and prior knowledge.

What are some examples of this strategy?
one idea
how you would use it as an activity with learners.
Building blocks of language learning.
2. Phonological Processing Skills
Sounds of spoken language
Phonemic awareness
Predictor of later reading skills
Skills transfer from L1
Phonological Awareness
Phonological Memory
Storing in memory
Vocabulary building
By the end of the presentation participants will have:
Adult ELLs
(Schwarz, 2012)
Lions Club or Free Clinic
Teaching Strategies
Revise LD definition?

6 months - 2+ years
2-5+ years
Estimated rate of learning
Learning Disabilities and Adult English Language Learners
February 22, 2013
Susan Watson

Graffiti Activity
Brainstorm ideas of how to use these 4 strategies with your learners:
1. Be highly structured and predictable
2. Take a multi-sensory approach
3. Build on prior knowledge
4. Simplify language not content.
Full transcript