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Robert Bloomfield

Pupils with general learning difficulties

Pupils with learning difficulties have:

• difficulty acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills

• their speech and language development may be delayed in comparison to the majority of their peers

• pupils with learning difficulties will acquire and retain new concepts and ideas slowly

Implications for classroom practice

• break lesson down into small steps

• ensure that written text and spoken language is appropriately differentiated to take into account the pupil's learning difficulties

• base teaching on everyday experiences that the pupils will readily understand

• ensure that key concepts and vocabulary are revisited and reused

• encourage pupils to present information in a variety of ways

• recognise and reinforce effort and success by rewards and praise


Recommendation to support general learning difficulty:


• consider the possibility of paired reading at home to develop confidence

• maintain a reading record book that monitors the pupil's miscues and records phonic errors in word families

• encourage the pupil to expand his reading

• give technical vocabulary prior to the introduction of topics • consider the readability of the text.

• ensure that key vocabulary is recorded on the board before reading a text

• differentiate texts. With textbooks check the length of sentences and the number of polysyllabic words.

• draw the pupil's attention to important sources of information other than the prose, e.g. maps, diagrams and photos

• simplify instructions, summaries or diagrams which accompany written tasks

• teach study skills, i.e. ways of extracting information, eg 5-point plan, highlighting and word matching, spider diagrams sequencing, highlighting and prediction



• ensure that the pupil is using a multi-sensory method to learn spellings: read the word say the letters

• aloud, cover the word, write the word saying the letters aloud, check the word

• when learning spellings at home encourage the pupil to learn the spellings using the multi-sensory

• method and to check the words again 10 minutes later to ensure that the words go from the short term

• to the long term memory

• identify high-frequency words being mis-spelt and proof read for these

• encourage the pupil to proofread for approximately 3 new words each week

• ensure that the pupil is recording own high frequency word errors

• use a range of ways of learning to spell words



• check pencil grip, the pupil may benefit from using a triangle to correct hold

• encourage larger cursive writing

• if writing is slow, encourage the development of keyboarding skills

• give a range of ways of representing large chunks of information. For example, storyboards, resequencing activities, writing frames, cloze procedure and multiple choice

• use scribing to ease frustration if appropriate