Practical suggestions on what you can do to meet the needs of children.
Think about how to give instructions. Give them step-by-step and use gestures and pictures to reinforce them e.g. a picture of an ear for listen and point to your ear.
Involve all the class in drawing up rules. Ask them ‘What rules do we need in class so that everyone can have fun and learn well?’ The rules should be based on the values you want in your class of inclusion and helping each other. They should begin with ‘We’. For example, ‘We give people extra time if they need it’, ‘We listen to each other’.
Smile! Think about your non-verbal messages. Your body language and your facial expressions will show learners how you feel about them. You can show them that you care and want to understand them by smiling and being a reassuring presence.
Think about low risk to high risk activities. For example, describing a person in a story or character from the coursebook is lower risk than describing family members because a refugee might have lost family members.
Get to know every learner as an individual. Do not see a child as ‘a Syrian refugee’. Everyone is unique. Get to know their interests, personality and show interest in them as a person.
Notice and acknowledge the strengths of everyone in your class. For example, if your learner cannot speak very well but can draw, ask them to draw pictures for your lessons or on the board to explain something to other learners.
Use collaborative learning tasks where learners have to work in groups and help each other. Mix the groups so that learners have to work with different people and no-one is isolated.
Use buddy systems. This means learners pair up and help each other or help learners new to their class or country.
Build in time to allow learners to express their feelings, and acknowledge them. For example, ask them to show you non-verbally how they feel in the lesson or about part of the lesson. ‘Show me with your fingers on a scale of 1-10 how you are feeling – 10 fingers means you are feeling great, no fingers means you are feeling very bad’.
Use a multi-sensory approach to teaching. Learners need to see it, hear it and do it. For example, tests do not always have to be written. Learners could make up a role-play, make a poster or make up a song which shows what they have been learning.
Build in different ways for learners to show that they understand. For example, they can hold up a card – a red card means’ I don’t understand’, an green card means ‘I do understand’ and an orange card means ‘I understand some of it’.
Ask the child to teach you and other learners some of their language to show all of you how difficult it can be to understand another language.
Make sure you give the learner more time to answer if they need it and that you show the class how to be patient.
Use an assessment for learning approach which means that the progress of the learner is measured, not their attainment. For example, the learner might not get a high mark in a vocabulary test but can be praised for getting more correct than the week before.
Use games and play in class
Do things sometimes ‘just for fun’.
This content is taken from Future Learn online course:
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