Welcome to Inclusive Education.


Speech, language and communication needs

http://inclusive.tki.org.nz/guides/speech-language-and-communication-needs/

Every situation and every student is different. Students with speech, language and communication needs may need support with understanding and using language, speaking clearly and fluently, and interacting with others.

This guide focuses on areas for specific support and on whole-class strategies that benefit all students. It includes links to in-depth resources and specialist support services.

Categories

Specifically about
Speech, language, and communication
Highly relevant to
Dyslexia
Also related to
Removing barriers to learning

Information about speech, language and communication needs

Effective language skills are essential for students to access the curriculum. Language development is accepted as being critical to cognitive development and learning and is seen by many as a social activity.

The ability to communicate is an essential life skill for all children and young people … It underpins a child’s social, emotional, and educational development.

Source: Bercow Review of Services for Children and Young People (0–19) with Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Suggestions and resources

Definitions (video)
Speech, language and communication

Dr Courtenay Norbury discusses the distinctions between speech, language and communication, and how children may have difficulties with some or all of these functions. For slides to accompany this video, see Slideshare: Speech, language and communication.

No captions or transcript available

Source: RALLIcampaign (UK)

Definitions
Support needs

Students with speech, language and communication needs may display difficulties understanding and using language, speaking clearly, and speaking fluently. This may mean that they need support to:

  1. say what they want to

  2. understand the words that are being used

  3. have a conversation.

Support needs
Explaining speech and language

Speech refers to:

  • speaking with a clear voice, in a way that makes speech meaningful and interesting
  • speaking without hesitating too much or without repeating words or sounds
  • being able to make sounds like ‘k’ and ‘t’ clearly, so that people can understand what is being said. 

Language refers to:

  • talking and understanding
  • joining words together to create sentences, stories, and conversations
  • knowing and choosing the right words to explain what you mean
  • making sense of what people say.
Explaining speech and language
Explaining communication

Communication refers to how we interact with others:

  • using language or gestures in different ways, for example, to have a conversation or to give someone directions
  • being able to consider other people’s points of view
  • using and understanding body language and facial expressions, such as:
    • knowing when someone is bored
    • being able to listen to, and look at, people when having a conversation
    • knowing how to take turns and to listen as well as to talk
    • knowing how close to stand next to another person.
Explaining communication

Resources and downloads

Misunderstood: Supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

An explanatory booklet about speech, language, and communication needs from The Communications Trust (UK).

Information about speech, language and communication needs

This resource from Early Support (UK) contains information about speech, language, and communication needs from preschool through to early adulthood.

Student perspective (video)
The way we talk

Students with speech, language and communication needs talk about their experiences at school and what it's like to have difficulty communicating.

No captions or transcript available

Source: Communication Trust (UK)

Student perspective
Types of communication needs

Speech, language and communication needs are different for each student. They may be:

  • a primary need – that is, speech, language and/or communication needs in the absence of any other impairment
  • a secondary need – that is, speech, language and/or communication needs occurring with other impairments (for example, cerebral palsy, autism or learning disabilities).
Types of communication needs
Primary student indicators

Sample of possible indicators (adapted from the UK’s Communication Trust)

  1. You often need to tell them several times or even show them before they understand what you mean.

  2. People who don’t know them well can’t follow or understand what they’re saying.

  3. Their speech is not clear, sentences are short or unusual or explanations get muddled and are difficult to follow.

  4. They might not want to take part in activities that involve talking or they might really want to join in games but don’t know how to.

  5. They might get angry or show frustration when they don’t understand.

  6. They may give no response to questions or may repeat back part of what you’ve said because they don’t understand.

Source: Misunderstood: Supporting children and young people with speech language and communication needs (p. 27)

Primary student indicators
Secondary student indicators

In older students it can be more difficult to recognise difficulties with speech, language and communication.

You might notice some of the things below:

  1. Students seem to ignore what you’ve asked them to do or they do the wrong thing because they’ve misunderstood what you meant.

  2. Students struggle to learn and remember new words and they might try to explain the word they’re trying to say. For example, for tripod they might say, “That science thing with three legs, it’s metal.”

  3. Students might have difficulty doing tasks because of the way they’re explained.

  4. Students might be fine in a conversation with one other person but in a group they appear very quiet and may even not respond as they struggle to keep up.

  5. Students find it hard to produce written work and what they manage is very basic.

Source: Misunderstood: Supporting children and young people with speech language and communication needs (p. 31)

Secondary student indicators

Resources and downloads

Signs of specific language impairment

This video describes possible signs of SLI in the classroom and is supported by a slideshow at: http://www.slideshare.net/RALLICampaign/signs-of-sli-in-the-classroom

Junior oral language screening tool

JOST is a screening tool that gives teachers information about building a class programme to support students, grouping students for language support, or making decisions about referral to a speech-language therapist.

Misunderstood: Supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

An explanatory booklet about speech, language, and communication needs from The Communications Trust (UK).

Communication development (image)
Communication Development Pyramid1
The communication development pyramid

Speech, language and communication develop gradually based on attention, listening and play skills.

Misunderstood: Supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs provides further information.

Source: Copyright © The Communication Trust (UK)

Communication development
Challenges and teaching approaches (image)
SLC
Every situation and every student is different

How speech, language and communication needs can affect learning summarises some of the challenges students experience at school. It outlines teaching opportunities to support learning.

Speech, language and communication needs: A resource for educators examines how speech, language and communication needs can influence learning and provides strategies teachers can use in the classroom.

Source: Ministry of Education

Challenges and teaching approaches
Illustrating needs

A secondary student describes the impact of langauge difficulties on his engagement with learning: 

There was some occasions when I got really angry that I'd just walk out the class or something like that. It just came to a point when I just didn't want to do homework because I just felt stupid and I just looked at the paper and if I didn't understand question one, I would just put it back in my bag and just go off to my room.

student ;

Source: Signs of SLI - RALLI Campaign (UK)

Illustrating needs

Resources and downloads

SLI & reading: 1. Decoding (phonics)

Professor Snowling explains the causes of reading difficulties in specific language impairment (SLI) and how they link to dyslexia and spoken language problems. This video focuses on the decoding aspect of reading.

Looking behind behaviour

In this video clip Jake and his parents describe his behaviour at school as a result of having language difficulties. Things changed for him once he gained focused support.

How speech, language and communication needs can influence learning

A summary of the challenges students with speech, language, and communication needs experience at school, with an outline of teaching opportunities to support learning. A Ministry of Education publication.

Speech, language and communication needs: A resource for educators

This Ministry of Education booklet examines how speech, language and communication needs can influence learning and provides strategies teachers can use in the classroom.

Back to top

Identifying needs and strengths, and accessing support

Get to know your student. Take an evidence-based approach to identifying where they need support and extension opportunities. Work in partnership with your student, their whānau, and those with expertise and experience.

Every student with speech, language and communication needs is different, and their needs change as they get older.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Suggestions and resources

Sample learner profile (image)
Learner profile
Who am I?

A learner profile can be created in any format including:

  • a document with photos
  • a slide presentation with a series of pictures
  • a video
  • a blog.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Sample learner profile
Benefits of learner profiles

It’s useful to develop a profile of all of your students, and to use this as the basis of a class profile.

A learner profile tells teachers about students. It sits alongside assessment data. It helps school staff to build relationships with students and to understand things from a student perspective. This can inform planning, classroom layout, timetabling, and supports to enable students to participate and contribute in all classroom learning.

Developing a learner profile means your students can:

  • express who they are
  • address assumptions
  • express their aspirations and passions
  • have a say in what goes on for them.

Senior students may prefer to just have a conversation. Take time to get the student’s views of what will support their learning.

Benefits of learner profiles
What to include in a learner profile

The purpose of a learner profile can be agreed by the student, their whānau, and the teacher.

Depending on its purpose, a useful profile (whether an official document or simply inquiry on your part) can include:

  1. important people

  2. cultural connections and experiences

  3. languages spoken

  4. things the student is good at

  5. memorable life experiences

  6. how they like to unwind and relax

  7. likes and interests

  8. dislikes and things they avoid

  9. how they like to learn and what helps

  10. things that make it hard for them to learn

  11. what they do when they need help.

What to include in a learner profile
Surveying students

 

In the video, Student Profiles, Canadian secondary teacher, Naryn Searcy describes how she asks students about how the learn most effectively. She also asks students what is important to them beyond school.

She uses this information in her planning:

"I personally do a survey at the beginning of every class every semester, just everything from personal background to their history in the subject area to things they like to do outside of school, usually put a whole bunch of activities down there that we would potentially do in the class and ask them to rank it, you know what would you enjoy doing, what would you not like doing.

So just to get an idea of who is in the classroom to begin with and what they would benefit, or what they want to see in the class, what would work for them."

Source: UDL supporting diversity in BC schools (Canada)

Surveying students
Knowing learners at Silverstream School (NZ) (video)
Knowing your learner to create an inclusive class

Linda Ojala describes how knowing students strengths, interests, and motivations helps her to create a flexible space that offers them choice in how they learn.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Knowing learners at Silverstream School (NZ)

Resources and downloads

Rachel's learner profile (NZ high school)

An example of a secondary student’s learner profile.

Laiza’s transition

An example of a primary school student’s learner profile, developed by the adults around her.

Student profiles

A resource from UDL British Columbia Schools providing information to support developing student profiles. It contains a video with teachers sharing strategies they use to get to know their students each year.

Developing learner profiles

This document provides general support and guidance when developing a learner profile. It includes prompts and questions, along side purpose and benefits for students.

Most effective when used together

Overview

Your student’s family/whānau know them best and will be key sources of information. 

Talk to them to build a good understanding of your student’s practical, emotional, and learning needs.

  1. Share with parents and whānau the knowledge you gain about teaching their child.

  2. Encourage them to support learning at home.

  3. Share their child’s success with them.

  4. Involve them – and your student – in key decisions.

Overview
Questions to ask parents

Connect with the family to understand the strengths and needs of students.

Practical elements:

  • the language/s spoken at home
  • medications and allergies
  • equipment used at home
  • what they do at home to support learning.

Student’s likes and dislikes:

  • likes, interests, what they’re good at, need help with, can do independently
  • dislikes, what can upset them, how they express this, calming skills
  • favourites (TV programmes, hobbies, books, songs, sports).

The people in the student’s life:

  • parent and whānau hopes and priorities
  • important people in the student’s life
  • best methods and times to communicate with the family
  • professionals working with the family
  • questions they have and support they would like from the school.
Questions to ask parents
Suggestions for working with parents

Suggestions for working with parents, caregivers and whānau

  1. Communicate and share information in a meaningful way, demonstrating understanding and support for parents’ concerns.

  2. Value what parents and caregivers have noticed or assessments they have had done outside school.

  3. Involve parents and caregivers in determining strategies to support student learning and well-being.

  4. Work with any programmes or materials they are using at home, to maximise consistency and support for the student.

  5. Develop systems for passing on information about a student’s needs, progress and next steps.

  6. Share information about out-of-school programmes that may help to boost the student’s self-esteem (for example, classes or groups for music, art, debating or sport).

Suggestions for working with parents
Transitions at Onslow College (NZ) (video)
Transition partnerships

Work closely with parents and whānau.

Find out what approaches and strategies have worked well for their children in their previous school.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education,inclusive education videos (NZ)

Transitions at Onslow College (NZ)

Resources and downloads

Summer talk: Games and activities to support children’s communication skills when you’re out and about this summer

Games and activities to support children’s communication skills. A resource created by The Communications Trust (UK).

Family/whānau file

A booklet published by the Ministry of Education to help parents of students with additional needs to brief their child’s school.

Working as a team

Identify people with specialist knowledge who are in your school or local area.

Start with your learning support coordinator. Work with them to connect with experts such as speech language therapists. Identify colleagues who have experience teaching students with speech, language and communication needs and who can provide advice, guidance, or support.

Build a team and work collaboratively.

  1. Share your concerns, questions, and ideas.

  2. Take an inquiry approach – evaluate assessment data together, then identify teaching strategies.

  3. Take a team approach to providing support – meet with the student, their whānau and support staff.

  4. Identify what each student needs to learn and to succeed.

  5. Ask about recommended resources and online communities.

Working as a team
Gather data

To help you to personalise their learning, build a picture of the student’s:

  1. language and communication skills

  2. gross and fine motor skills

  3. literacy skills

  4. numeracy skills

  5. successful learning strategies

  6. ability to act independently

  7. social skills and ability to form relationships.

Gather data
Teacher inquiry

Be a learner as well as a teacher. Inquire into and reflect on the impact of your practice and actions.

  1. What is important (and therefore worth spending time on), given where my student is at?

  2. What strategies (evidence-based) are most likely to help my student to learn this?

  3. What has happened as a result of my teaching and what will I need to do next?

Teacher inquiry
Using e-portfolios to collaborate (NZ) (video)
Collating and sharing infomation

John Robinson from Onslow College, reflects on sharing information about students among staff and the value of e-portfolios.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Using e-portfolios to collaborate (NZ)

Resources and downloads

Supporting students with communication needs

Information about the Ministry of Education’s Communication Service, which employs speech-language therapists who support children with high communication needs in schools.

Assistive technologies (image)
Laptop and adapted technologies
Access assistive technologies to support learning

Assistive Technology's blog keeps teachers up to date with technologies and resources available to support students with additional needs.

Source: Enabling e-Learning

Assistive technologies
Ministry of Education resources

Ministry of Education information and resources to support speech, language and communication need

Ministry of Education resources
Community organisations and resources

These community organisations and resource publishers can provide information and support for families and teachers of students with speech, language and communication needs.

Resources for teachers are available from Speech Language Resources for Education Professionals and Speechmark.

Activities and resources for parents are available from Speech and Language Kids and Talking Point.

Resources for teaching phonics are available from Starfall.

Community organisations and resources

Resources and downloads

Assistive technologies

Enabling e-Learning offers school stories, snapshots of learning, and resources to support assistive technologies in the classroom.

Resources for practitioners

A series of useful downloadable resources (from the UK) to support teaching students with speech, language, and communication needs.

DTSL: Assistive technologies available for order in NZ

A list of available software and technologies through Desktop Technology Services. See the categories menu on the left of the page.

Back to top

Supporting literacy, social interaction, and communication

Plan with the student’s experiences, needs, and strengths in mind. Regularly review what you do, and inquire into the impact of your practice and actions on the student.

In Alberta, Canada schools are using Universal Design for Learning to support the personalisation of learning.

Source: Alberta Education (Canada)

Closed captioning available in player

Suggestions and resources

Model reading strategies (NZ) (video)
Modelling reading strategies

Sandra Gillies, from Onslow College, explains the importance of thinking aloud to model the process of decoding, and facilitating students to connect with their own background knowledge to help them build meaning.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Model reading strategies (NZ)
Phonological awareness (image)
Students using headphones
Using podcasts, audio and multimedia to build phonological awareness

Students can make their own podcasts of examples of rhyming, alliteration, linking letters and sounds or segmenting and blending.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Phonological awareness
Reciprocal teaching (video)
Reciprocal teaching

Klingner and Vaughn (1996) modified traditional reciprocal teaching by including a strategy to activate prior knowledge. This helps students to connect what they already know to the new concepts.

No captions or transcript available

Source: James Colestock

Reciprocal teaching
Writing strategies

When writing, students may need to think of ideas, plan sentences, check grammar, check punctuation, spell words and organise the structure of the piece. Break these processes into a number of discrete activities that are done one at a time, or support some of these activities.

  1. Support a student by providing a scribe or using speech-to-text so they can communicate their ideas effectively.

  2. Use a recording device to record ideas orally.

  3. Use planning tools and strategies such as brainstorms and mind maps.

  4. Use storyboards to organise ideas and provide a structure.

  5. Use images and word or blends charts to support vocabulary.

  6. Use a checklist to focus on sentence structure or grammar.

Writing strategies

Resources and downloads

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR): Improving secondary students’ reading comprehension skills

Reading comprehension is a critical skill for secondary students with disabilities.It facilitates participation in mainstream content-area classes. This article introduces a research-based practice developed by Klingner and Vaughn.

Universal Design for Learning iPad strategies: Text-to-speech

A video with US educator Kit Hard demonstrating how to introduce text-to-speech to access digital text. No captions or transcript available

Popular movies help children improve literacy

A study by the University of Canterbury (NZ) showed that using captions not only significantly improved literacy levels, particularly among Māori and Pasifika students, but also reduced students’ truancy through engagement.

Special iApps

Apps designed to be suitable for typically-developing children and those with learning difficulties or poor fine motor control.

Literacy progressions

On this site you will find the reading and writing progressions in child friendly language. These have been put together by New Zealand teachers for teachers and students.

Using games (image)
Playing Guess my Shape
Using games to facilitate communication

Students develop questioning and listening skills as they play Guess my shape.

Source: Kathy Cassidy

Using games
Supporting conversation

Encourage conversations between students

  1. Cut down on the amount you talk.

  2. Comment on what students are doing – this is less pressured than asking questions.

  3. When students can’t think of what to say, help them. For example, if a student wants to join in a game say, “Ben, you could say, ‘Can I join in?’”

  4. Demonstrate how to say things. Should a student say, “Car blue school”, you can continue the conversation by adding, “So you saw a blue car on the way to school.”

  5. Expand on what students say – this helps them to build longer sentences.

  6. Expand students’ vocabulary. Instead of saying “Pass me the blue and red container”, say “Pass me the colourful container.”

Supporting conversation
Illustrating text with graphics (image)
infographic
Supporting understanding

Offer information in more than one way to support understanding.

Use symbols and graphics to illustrate text.

Keep the layout clean and uncluttered.

Source: CORE Education

Illustrating text with graphics
Adapting your language
  1. Break tasks into very small stages.

  2. Give one instruction, then time to complete action before giving the second instruction.

  3. Speak in short sentences, with a short pause in between to allow for processing.

  4. Use simple sentences, with simple vocabulary.

Source: Teacher tips 1: Adapting your language - RALLIcampaign

Adapting your language

Resources and downloads

Creating an anxiety-free environment

An advice sheet for parents, carers and teachers on reducing anxiety for students with selective mutism from The Communications Trust (UK).

Other ways of speaking: Supporting children and young people who have no speech or whose speech is difficult to understand

An information booklet about speech, language, and communication difficulties created by The Communications Trust (UK).

Listen up

A booklet explaining communication skills with lots of communication games and activities for students to do with a partner.

Teacher tips 2: Practical strategies

Students and teachers explain classroom teaching strategies to help students understand information and instructions in this video. Closed captions available.

Knowing your learner (NZ) (video)
Knowing your learner

Use your knowledge of students’ cultures, interests and strengths to create opportunities for them to share what they know, or teach others. Brayden, a student with dyslexia, created a short movie demonstrating his science experiment.

No captions or transcript available

Source: Brayden, Mangaroa School (NZ)

Knowing your learner (NZ)
Integrating social skills

Integrate social skills into teaching and learning

  • Create an environment where students can see one another clearly, identify social cues, and learn and practise turn-taking.
  • Explain that words, tone, and body language convey messages.
    • Look at the person who is talking and take meaning from the speaker’s body language and the way they say the words.
    • Most meaning is gained from tone of voice and non-verbal communication.
  • Teach students to recognise and interpret non-verbal language and the social rules of different settings. Have them observe and identify examples of staying on topic, moving off topic, and keeping a conversation going.
  • Set up exercises such as peer mediation to give students a framework for sorting out disagreements.
Integrating social skills
Creating an inclusive classroom
  1. Explain speech, language and communication needs to your students.

  2. Partner your students with speech, language and communication needs with other students for group activities. Aides or teachers can help, but shouldn't act as partners.

  3. Provide opportunities for students to identify their strengths.

  4. Encourage students to feel less stressed in social situations by using warmth, patience and good humour when you talk with them.

  5. Encourage students to share their interests. For example, create a class bulletin board featuring school-based and out-of-school interests.

  6. Provide a range of ways for students to express what they know. For example, some students who find it hard to get their ideas across in words may prefer to use digital tools or visual aids to communicate their understanding.

Creating an inclusive classroom
Creating social stories (video)
What are Social Stories™?

Carol Gray, developer of evidence-based “Social Stories™” teaching strategy, describes this tool and provides information for teachers who want to increase social understanding and effectiveness.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: LaurelFalvo (USA)

Creating social stories

Resources and downloads

Social stories creator and library for preschool, autism, and special needs

A free app for creating and sharing educational social stories and visual schedules. Download for iPhone and iPad.

Listen up

A booklet explaining communication skills with lots of communication games and activities for students to do with a partner.

Fact Sheet 15 – Social stories

Instructions on making social stories, comic strip conversations, and social scripts that can be used to support your students’ language skills, particularly those with ASD from Positive Partnerships, Australia.

Back to top

Using whole-class strategies to support students with speech, language and communication needs in years 1–6

Take a look at your classroom, including your teaching strategies, assessment procedures, materials and the ways you construct learning tasks. Consider how it works for students who have speech, language and communication needs.

Consider developing visuals and graphics in partnership with students. Select strategies and approaches that support understanding and independence.

Source: Kathy Cassidy

Suggestions and resources

Giving students time (image)
A student works at his own pace
Giving students the time they need to succeed

Break work into manageable chunks. Give on-going prompts and positive feedback, and provide students with strategies to help them when they get stuck.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Giving students time
Building language and communication skills

Encourage conversations between students

  1. Cut down on the amount you talk.

  2. Comment on what students are doing – this is less pressured than asking questions.

  3. When students can’t think of what to say, help them. For example, if a student wants to join in a game say, “Ben, you could say, ‘Can I join in?’”

  4. Demonstrate how to say things. If a student says, “Car blue school”, continue the conversation by adding, “So you saw a blue car on the way to school.”

  5. Expand on what students say – this helps them to build longer sentences.

  6. Expand students’ vocabulary. Instead of saying “Pass me the blue and red container”, say “Pass me the colourful container.”

Building language and communication skills
Using rhyme and repetition

Chant and repeat familiar stories, songs and rhymes to give students frequent opportunities to deepen their understanding and become familiar with language patterns and features. This is especially useful for developing self-confidence for students with speech, language and communication difficulties.

Using rhyme and repetition
Group and pairing activities

Provide frequent opportunities for students to learn and practise the skills needed to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others. Group or pair-based activities need careful organisation to achieve productive interaction and learning.

  1. Encourage students to listen actively to each other, share ideas, and recognise different points of view.

  2. Discuss the conventions of conversation, for example, maintaining personal space between people, using eye contact and facial expressions, opening and closing conversations, and taking turns. Talk about how these vary across cultures and contexts.

  3. Create social stories to support social interaction and participation. A social story breaks down a task or social situation into small and easy-to-understand steps, accompanied by descriptive pictures.

  4. Foster tuakana-teina relationships and create a culture where students provide support for each other.

Group and pairing activities

Resources and downloads

ClassDojo

An online tool to support positive and on-task behaviour in the classroom.

Social stories creator and library for preschool, autism, and special needs

A free app for creating and sharing educational social stories and visual schedules. Download for iPhone and iPad.

Teaching maths using a UDL approach (NZ) (video)
Taking a UDL approach to teaching maths

Offer students multiple representations of information and multiple ways to demonstrate understanding.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Teaching maths using a UDL approach (NZ)
Give instructions up close (image)
Teacher and students working in a small group
Limit direct instruction from the front of the class

Communication can be easier up close.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Give instructions up close
Illustrating text with graphics (image)
infographic
Supporting understanding

Offer information in more than one way to support understanding.

Use symbols and graphics to illustrate text.

Keep the layout clean and uncluttered.

Source: CORE Education

Illustrating text with graphics
Presenting content that supports understanding
  1. Take a multisensory approach – use real experiences, physical activity, and manipulatives.

  2. Provide multiple visual and concrete examples of information. Use infographics, real objects, images, video and interactives on devices.

  3. Support text with visuals and audio. Turn on the closed captions on videos.

  4. Present digital rather than printed text so that students can personalise the ways they access it.

  5. Use blogs, wikis, and online tools such as Moodle to bring together different versions of content in one place, for example, a YouTube video, a graphic and some text.

  6. Make instructions, demonstrations, or key content rewindable and accessible 24/7.

Presenting content that supports understanding
Finding videos with closed captions

How to find YouTube videos with closed captions using a laptop or desktop computer

  1. Search for YouTube and open the home page.

  2. Type search subject (for example “frogs”) into YouTube search bar and press return key.

  3. On left of screen, click the tab called “Filters” and a menu box will open.

  4. Select “subtitles/CC” under the Features list.

  5. Select a video from the selection of filtered videos presented by YouTube.

  6. Watch the selected video with the closed captions turned on to check for accuracy before sharing with students.

  7. Share closed captioned video with students.

Finding videos with closed captions

Resources and downloads

Case study 1: Jack 7

Classroom strategies to support speech, language, and communication learning needs.

Universal Design for Learning iPad strategies: Text-to-speech

A video with US educator Kit Hard demonstrating how to introduce text-to-speech to access digital text. No captions or transcript available

Use visual timetables (NZ) (video)
Using visual timetables

Linda Ojala uses the same visuals in a whole range of contexts across her classroom. They are a key part of supporting students to know what is happening and organise themselves.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Use visual timetables (NZ)
Supporting thinking and processing
  1. Explain new concepts clearly; take the time to order or sequence information simply and clearly.

  2. Use a mixture of telling, explaining and directing to convey information and instructions.

  3. Check to ensure that students have retained previously-learned skills before beginning new learning.

  4. Teach new skills using a variety of methods, materials and contexts, using concrete, practical and visual materials.

  5. Reinforce abstract concepts with visual and concrete materials.

  6. Encourage problem-solving by relating ideas to meaningful and practical everyday situations.

  7. Provide extra time and opportunities for additional repetition and reinforcement. Where applicable, involve a buddy, parents or a support teacher.

Supporting thinking and processing
Supporting shorter attention spans
  1. Break learning into short, focused and clearly-defined tasks.

  2. Vary the level of demand from task to task.

  3. Display clear, visual instructions and make sure that they can be easily referred to.

  4. Vary the level of support as necessary.

  5. Teach buddies how to provide support and have them practise doing this.

  6. Provide a variety of technologies to support learning, for example, iPads or computers.

  7. Create an activities box for times when the student needs a change of activity or time out.

Supporting shorter attention spans
Using mind maps (image)
A mind map
Supporting understanding

Model the use of colour, symbols, and images alongside text when using mind maps.

Encourage students to use mind maps to support thinking and organise ideas.

Source: Barrett Discovery

Using mind maps
Supporting thinking
  1. Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships using visuals, mind maps, 3-D manipulatives, outlines, flow charts and real objects.

  2. Give students multiple opportunities to engage with new ideas and concepts.

  3. Provide extra time for students to think and process before needing to respond in a discussion.

  4. Use mind maps to brainstorm ideas and make connections.

  5. Support group and class discussions with visual annotations to prompt later recall of key ideas.

  6. Offer students a variety of graphic organisers and flow charts to support thinking in all curriculum areas.

Supporting thinking

Resources and downloads

Special iApps

Apps designed to be suitable for typically-developing children and those with learning difficulties or poor fine motor control.

Representation

In this video on the UDL: Supporting diversity in BC schools website, Canadian teachers share some of the ways they prepare learning materials to address diverse student needs in their classrooms. No captions or transcript available.

Role playing (image)
Children enjoying role play
Provide lots of opportunities in the classroom to extend language skills

Allow time for role play. Provide imaginative play materials, dress ups, books to share, and other small group activities.

Source: Victoria Marienelli

Role playing
Ways to show what you know (image)
A list of ways to show what you know
Give students opportunities to choose how to communicate about a topic

Provide a range of ways for students to express what they know. Students who find it hard to get their ideas across in words may prefer to use digital tools and visual aids to communicate their thoughts and understanding.

Source: For the teachers blog (US)

Ways to show what you know
Using technologies (image)
Students using iPads to write
Use technologies as tools for students to express what they know

Specialised software such as Clicker, iPad Apps, or mobile technologies are tools that can support learning.

Source: Kathy Cassidy

Using technologies
Hands-on learning (image)
Students record their learning about bikes
Create hands-on learning opportunities

Hands-on learning in authentic contexts supports students with understanding, recording, sharing, and articulating their learning.

Source: Kathy Cassidy

Hands-on learning
Supporting success in assessments

Discuss with students what support they need to demonstrate their understanding in assessments.

Consider:

  1. possible barriers hidden in the physical environment, for example: unfamiliar layout of room, lighting, temperature

  2. possible barriers hidden in the resources and materials, for example: cluttered presentation, hard-to-read diagrams, unclear layout, hard-copies only

  3. approaches to managing time allocations such as calendar tools and visual timers

  4. approaches to managing anxiety

  5. approaches to maintaining concentration

  6. negotiating breaks

  7. use of digital technologies such as text-to-speech and predictive text

  8. pre-teaching specific assessment/exam skills, such as how to approach multiple choice questions.

Supporting success in assessments

Resources and downloads

Different ways to publish your stories: Using a variety of tools

UK teacher Jacqui Sharp illustrates some of the ways students and teachers can present digital stories and inquiries, using many different tools.

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Using whole-class strategies to support students with speech, language and communication needs in years 7–13

Take a reflective look at your learning environment, teaching strategies, assessment procedures, and materials. Organise your classroom, and design learning experiences in ways that remove barriers and work for all students.

Consider how you can use clear, uncluttered visuals to support understanding and independence. Discuss approaches with students.

Source: CORE Education

Suggestions and resources

Encouraging friendships (video)
Friendships in teenagers with specific language impairment

Professor Gina Conti-Ramsden suggests facilitating the development of friendships by building on students’ interests and talents.

No captions or transcript available

Source: RALLIcampaign (UK)

Encouraging friendships
Group language activities
  • Set up a small group activity on speaking and conversational skills. Ask students to rehearse ways to start and close a conversation, to keep the conversation flowing, to ask and answer questions or to practise how they plan to tell a story, using a beginning, a middle, and an ending.
  • Assign roles such as speaker, listener, and note-taker to the group members.
  • Monitor the discussions to ensure that all students understand the task and have opportunities to participate.
  • Give students an opportunity to reflect on and discuss classroom activities.
    • Suggest that they discuss the feelings, facial expressions, and voice differences that arose and gave clues about the communication.
    • Talk about how we use different sorts of language when we are talking to our friends, our teacher, or our grandparents.
Group language activities
Foster class discussion (image)
Students discussing work in a quiet environment
Make your classroom an optimum environment for discussion and language use and reflection

Deliberately create opportunities where students can practise agreeing, disagreeing, extending an idea and clarifying meaning.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Foster class discussion
Encouraging sustained participation
  1. Use your knowledge of the students’ interests to create opportunities for them to take the lead.

  2. Break work into short manageable chunks. Give ongoing prompts and positive feedback and provide students with strategies to help when they get stuck.

  3. Establish clear classroom routines and expectations. (Structure allows students to be able to predict “what’s next”.)

  4. Foster tuakana-teina relationships and create a culture where students support each other.

  5. Recognise avoidance strategies and provide support and encouragement.

  6. Schedule regular short breaks and, when required, provide additional time for students to complete their work.

Encouraging sustained participation
Utilising text-to-speech tools (video)
Introduce students to alternative ways of accessing text

In this video tutorial, US educator and UDL consultant, Kit Hard explains how to use text-to-speech to access digital text across the curriculum.

View transcript

Source: Kit Hard (US)

Utilising text-to-speech tools
Using technologies

Use technologies to enable learning

  1. A computer or a tablet provides language and visual support that can be revisited as often as required.

  2. Information can be presented in multisensory ways and presentation can be adapted to individual needs, supporting independence.

  3. A combination of visual and auditory stimuli is provided.

  4. Students can learn at their own pace and revisit to consolidate learning as often as they like.

  5. Differentiated work can be presented flexibly in order to meet individual learning requirements.

Using technologies
Ideas for presenting content

Ideas for presenting content in a variety of ways to support understanding

  1. Take a multisensory approach – use real experiences, physical activity and manipulables.

  2. Provide multiple visual and concrete examples of information. Use infographics, real objects, images, video, and interactives on devices.

  3. Support text with visuals and audio. Turn on the closed captions on videos.

  4. Present digital rather than printed text so that students can personalise the ways they access it.

  5. Use blogs, wikis and online tools such as Moodle to bring together different versions of content in one place, for example, a YouTube video, a graphic and some text.

Ideas for presenting content
Illustrating text with graphics (image)
infographic
Supporting understanding

Offer information in more than one way to support understanding.

Use symbols and graphics to illustrate text.

Keep the layout clean and uncluttered.

Source: CORE Education

Illustrating text with graphics
Finding videos with closed captions

How to find YouTube videos with closed captions using a laptop or desktop computer

  1. Search for YouTube and open the home page.

  2. Type search subject (for example “frogs”) into YouTube search bar and press return key.

  3. On left of screen, click the tab called “Filters” and a menu box will open.

  4. Select “subtitles/CC” under the Features list.

  5. Select a video from the selection of filtered videos presented by YouTube.

  6. Watch the selected video with the closed captions turned on to check for accuracy before sharing with students.

  7. Share closed captioned video with students.

Finding videos with closed captions

Resources and downloads

Case study 2: John 13

Classroom strategies to support speech, language, and communication needs.

Popular movies help children improve literacy

A study by the University of Canterbury (NZ) showed that using captions not only significantly improved literacy levels, particularly among Māori and Pasifika students, but also reduced students’ truancy through engagement.

The MindShift guide to digital games and learning

A guide to support educators using digital games for learning. From the page access the guide a downloadable PDF or the blog posts by Jordan Shapiro that it is based on.

Visual timers (video)
Using visual timers

For many students a visual representation of time passing can support their own time management. Access the Time Timer Apps, or visit the link in the resources section, to find timers that might be useful for your students.

No captions or transcript available

Source: Time Timer (US)

Visual timers
Supporting concentration and memory

Provide options to support concentration and short-term memory

  1. Monitor and moderate the classroom for visual and auditory distractions.

  2. Present information in a range of ways over an extended period of time (for example, a week) to help students to retain information, build their understanding and familiarity of the topic, and stay stimulated and focused.

  3. Discuss the effectiveness of the classroom environment with students and make modifications and remove barriers where needed.

  4. In online environments, make effective use of visual prompts and cues to support understanding and navigation. Make hyperlinks to background knowledge or previous learning to increase connections.

  5. Schedule regular short breaks to allow students to move physically.

  6. Slow the pace of your instructions or give students additional time to complete their work.

Supporting concentration and memory
Supporting students’ planning and organisation
  1. Use charts, visual calendars, colour-coded schedules, visible timers and cues to increase the predictability of regular activities and transitions.

  2. Encourage students to use their mobile devices to schedule alerts and reminders for regular and novel events and task deadlines.

  3. Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships using visuals, mind maps, 3-D manipulatives, outlines, flow charts and concrete objects.

  4. Model and make available graphic organisers and flow charts to support planning and thinking in all curriculum areas.

  5. Break tasks and lengthy assignments into small manageable parts. Schedule workflow using Trello to organise what needs to be done and when.

  6. Provide options so that students can submit work online.

Supporting students’ planning and organisation
Using mind maps (image)
A mind map
Supporting understanding

Model the use of colour, symbols, and images alongside text when using mind maps.

Encourage students to use mind maps to support thinking and organise ideas.

Source: Barrett Discovery

Using mind maps
Supporting thinking
  1. Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas and relationships using visuals, mind maps, 3-D manipulatives, outlines, flow charts and real objects.

  2. Give students multiple opportunities to engage with new ideas and concepts.

  3. Provide extra time for students to think and process before needing to respond in a discussion.

  4. Use mind maps to brainstorm ideas and make connections.

  5. Support group and class discussions with visual annotations to prompt later recall of key ideas.

  6. Offer students a variety of graphic organisers and flow charts to support thinking in all curriculum areas.

Supporting thinking

Resources and downloads

Free technology toolkit for UDL in all classrooms

A collection of free tools and resources, aligned to Universal Design for Learning approach, that support students in their learning.

Graphic organizers

A wide range of graphic organisers from Education Oasis that can be printed and some that can be filled out online. These are also useful as a starting point for creating students’ own designs.

Hands-on learning (image)
Students working on a science experiment
Create hands-on learning opportunities

Hands-on learning in authentic contexts supports students with understanding, recording, sharing and articulating their learning.

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Hands-on learning
Providing a range of materials and supports

Provide a range materials and support for students to express what they know in a variety of ways

  1. Create opportunities where students can personalise learning tasks and build on their knowledge, experience and strengths.

  2. Develop success criteria with the students and present it clearly supported with visuals.

  3. Structure collaborative activities so that each student knows what is expected of them.

  4. Create opportunities for students to gain confidence in a range of media so that they can select the most appropriate to express and share their thinking and learning.

  5. Make learning support tools (text-to-speech, graphic organisers, planning tools and so on) available to everyone.

  6. Assess understanding and presentation separately.

Providing a range of materials and supports
Using technologies (image)
Using a computer to write
Using technologies as tools for students to express what they know

Specialised software such as Clicker, iPad Apps, or mobile technologies are tools that can support learning.

Source: CORE Education

Using technologies
Ways for students to show what they know (image)
A list of ways to show what you know
Provide a range of options for students to express what they know

Students who find it difficult to get their ideas across in words may prefer to use digital tools and visual aids such as a photoboard, digital presentations, visual schedules, or posters to communicate their thoughts and understanding.

Source: For the teachers blog

Ways for students to show what they know
Supporting success in assessments

Discuss with students what support they need to demonstrate their understanding in assessments.

Consider:

  1. possible barriers hidden in the physical environment, for example: unfamiliar layout of room, lighting, temperature

  2. possible barriers hidden in the resources and materials, for example: cluttered presentation, hard-to-read diagrams, unclear layout, hard-copies only

  3. approaches to managing time allocations such as calendar tools and visual timers

  4. approaches to managing anxiety

  5. approaches to maintaining concentration

  6. negotiating breaks

  7. use of digital technologies such as text-to-speech and predictive text

  8. pre-teaching specific assessment/exam skills, such as how to approach multiple choice questions

  9. identify whether SAC application needs to be made for NCEA.

Supporting success in assessments

Resources and downloads

Universal Design for Learning iPad strategies: Text-to-speech

A video with US educator Kit Hard demonstrating how to introduce text-to-speech to access digital text. No captions or transcript available

MyStudyBar

This is a free floating toolbar for Windows desktops and netbooks that provides a suite of portable open-source applications to support learning.

Free technology toolkit for UDL in all classrooms

A collection of free tools and resources, aligned to Universal Design for Learning approach, that support students in their learning.

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