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THE NECESSITY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES IN CONDITIONS OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN UKRAINE

THE NECESSITY OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES IN CONDITIONS OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN UKRAINE
Kateryna Shapochka, lecturer

Mykolayiv National University named after V.O. Suhomlinskiy, Ukraine

Conference participant

УДК-376.36

В статье анализируется влияние изучения иностранного языка младшими школьниками с задержкой психического развития в у условиях инклюзивного обучения

Ключевые слова: иностранный язык, дети с задержкой психического развития, инклюзивное обучение

The article analyzes the benefits of foreign language study for primary school children with learning disabilities in conditions of inclusive education.

Keywords: foreign language, children with learning disabilities, inclusive education.

 

The transformational strategy of language education in Ukraine envisages the improvement of teaching foreign languages with a focus on Europe’s Common Council approved recommendations. Mainly it concerns education of children with special educational needs, particularly with learning disabilities. Language skills and knowledge are the main means of their integration into the community.

The main purpose of teaching foreign language is the development of students’ communicative competence, that is, language acquisition as a means of intercultural communication, the development of skills to use a foreign language as a tool in the dialogue of cultures and civilizations of modern world.

Teaching a foreign language is realized in unity with general intellectual development through information and qualitative operation of components of higher mental processes, which respectively determine the speech development of children with special needs, particularly with learning disabilities.

The research on the benefits of second language acquisition gives an impressive rationale for world (foreign) language instruction in terms of the cognitive benefits, academic achievement, and development of positive attitudes toward cultural diversity.

There has been a wide variety of attitudes and perceptions toward them (Beire-Smith, Patton, Ittenbach, LeLoup, Ganschow, Javorsky, Sparks, Pohlman, Vygotsky; Kolodich, Kolominova, Martinova, Rubinshteyn, Horoshkovska, Kolupaeva, Sak, Savchenko, Shevchenko, Savchuk, etc.).

The conception of integration of people with special needs is quite completely realized in the contemporary USA and European countries. According to it all people are common and equal members of the society, but with some problems and limited potential. From a Vygotskian view point, a child with special needs who is integrated into a regular class would be able, through co-operation and interaction with classmates, to develop their knowledge, language and thinking. Nowadays, the problem of people with special needs is getting more serious in Ukraine too. There are specialized classes which are more appropriate to meet such children’s needs and they are integrated within the framework of the regular school. It is teachers’ job to help less fortunate people to become full members of the society.

The study of foreign language enables children to interact and communicate with others while gaining a greater understanding of and respect for the cultural perspectives, practices, and products of different cultures; provides an appreciation of state and national responsibilities in the world community; strengthens critical-thinking skills through problem solving, conceptualizing, and reasoning; enhances the ability to see connections between the various disciplines by incorporating visual and performing arts, health and physical education, language arts literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and workplace readiness into the language classroom; develops the skills and habits essential to the learning process; facilitates the acquisition of subsequent languages; provides a competitive edge in career choices and in professional development; provides students with a sense of personal satisfaction and enjoyment in their ability to communicate with people from other cultures and countries.

Dr. Gladys Lipton (1998, p.14), highlights the results of research on children who study a foreign language in elementary school. He states that these students achieve expected gains and have even higher scores on standardized tests in reading, language arts, and mathematics than those who have not; show greater cognitive development in such areas as mental flexibility, creativity, divergent thinking, and higher-order thinking skills; have an improved self-concept and sense of achievement in school; and can transfer their language learning skills in subsequent foreign language study in high school and college.

Curtain and Pesola [2; 3-4] identify three powerful arguments for including world languages in the core curriculum of elementary schools in the United States, but we are sure they can be of great interest for Ukraine as well. They are excerpted below.

  • One of the most important factors influencing the development of language proficiency is the amount of time spent working with the language. When language learning begins earlier, it can go on longer and provide more practice and experience, leading ultimately to greater fluency and effectiveness.

  • Every skill and outcome that is important to society is introduced through the elementary school curriculum. The lists of curriculum requirements in almost every state attest to the importance of reading, math, social studies, science, music, art, and physical education.

  • The age of 10 is a crucial time in the development of attitudes toward nations and groups perceived as “other,” according to the research of Piaget, Lambert, and others (Lambert &Klineberg, 1967). Children are in the process of moving from egocentricity to reciprocity, and information introduced before age 10 is eagerly received. . . . The awareness of a global community can be enhanced when children have the opportunity to experience involvement with another culture through a foreign language.

We are sure that foreign language is for all children. The term “all children”includes children who are academically talented, those whose native language is not English, those with disabilities, students with learning deficits, and students from diverse socioeconomic (disadvantaged or advantaged) backgrounds. It conveys a commitment that male and female students will achieve at comparable levels across all areas.

An increasing amount of research is being done that justifies the inclusion of allchildren in inclusive classrooms. Findings indicate that all students can benefit from learning another language and culture when instruction is based on second language acquisition theories and appropriate methodology and materials are used.

Justification that all students, including those with below-average abilities, can benefit from learning a world language has been shown in studies of at-risk learners in French immersion programs. Genessee [3] found that although these students did not perform as well as above-average students on reading and writing tests, they did score at the same level as the higher-ability students on listening comprehension and speaking tests.

The organizational principles of training primary school children with special educational needs, its semantic and methodological content, use individual approach in the educational process depends not only on the quality of teaching a foreign language, but identity formation of primary school children.

 

References:

  1. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (1996). Standards for foreign language learning: Preparing for the 21st century. Yonkers, NY: ACTFL.

  2. Curtain, H., & Pesola, C. A. (1994). Languages and children: Making the match (2nd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

  3. Genesee, F. H. (1992).Second/foreign language immersion and at-risk English-speaking children. Foreign Language Annals, 25(3),199-213.

Comments: 2

Sanosyan Khachatur Avetis

Уважаемая Екатерина. Желаю Вам успехов в реализации разрабатываемой Вами методики.

Minnullina Rozaliya Faizovna

Интересный материал. Спасибо! Удачи!
Comments: 2

Sanosyan Khachatur Avetis

Уважаемая Екатерина. Желаю Вам успехов в реализации разрабатываемой Вами методики.

Minnullina Rozaliya Faizovna

Интересный материал. Спасибо! Удачи!
PARTNERS
 
 
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