Inclusion of Special Needs Children in Foreign Language Learning Lessons

Term Paper, 2017

13 Pages


1. Introduction: Motivation ... 1
2. Inclusive Classrooms ... 2
2.1 ADHD and Dyslexia ... 2
2.2 ADHD and Dyslexia in the Classroom in General and in the Foreign Language Classroom ... 3
2.3 Practical Experiences in Comparison ... 6
3. Inclusive English Classes: Perspectives in Germany ... 9
4. Bibliography ... 10

1. Introduction: Motivation
The Convention of the United Nations on the rights of persons with disabilities is a
political document which came into force in 2006 in New York and was signed by 167 states.
This document requires the development of the whole society and supports the non-
discrimination of people with disabilities and forces accessibility for people with disabilities
(cf. Köpfer 347). It also has a big importance in education. The publication of this document
led to different forms of recognizing, organization and actions in different countries,
especially for the inclusion of special needs children in the regular education system. England
was one of the countries which has been fast in realizing the principles of inclusion. But in
comparison to that, Germany is "lagging behind" (Grimm, Meyer, Volksmann 144) and is one
of the slower countries in realizing principles of inclusion of special needs children. The
on the rights of persons with disabilities was ratified by Germany in 2009 (cf. Grimm
Meyer Volksmann 144). From the educational point of view the most important articles in this
document are article 24 2a and article 24 2b which declare the right of persons with
disabilities to have equal access to education at primary and secondary schools.
From the experience I made in a country abroad, namely Wales, I can agree with the
statement from Grimm, Meyer and Volksmann that Germany is in comparison to other
European countries, for example England, "lagging behind" with the inclusion of special
needs children in the regular education system. While inclusion is still a subject for discussion
and a great challenge for the school system and teachers in Germany, it has been a part of the
Welsh school system for years now. As a student with a great interest in special needs, an
internship abroad gave me the chance to have an inside look in an inclusive classroom, to
observe different kinds of learning needs and to learn how to deal with them.
I was able to observe and be actively part of all kinds of lessons during my internship at a
primary school in Wales. However as a future foreign language teacher in Germany it was
more important for me to observe Welsh lessons. It is important to mention that even if I was
in a school in Wales, the mother tongue of all children was English. So the subject Welsh was
an opportunity for me to see how foreign language classes were taught and worked in
inclusive classrooms.
This term paper aims to examine the future prospects for inclusive English classes in
Germany. The paper will begin with the introduction of two different kinds of learning

disabilities: ADHD and Dyslexia. (The paper will only contain these two additional needs
because special needs are a very broad topic.) This part will also aim to introduce methods
and approaches of how to deal with these learning needs in foreign language classrooms. The
main part will contain a comparison between those methods and approaches and the
experiences I made in the Welsh lessons during my stay abroad. The accentuation will be on
the linking of the concepts with the experiences. The paper will also contain a conclusion
where the future prospects of inclusive classrooms in Germany will be discussed and all
results will be concluded.
2. Inclusive Classrooms
Like Maria Eisenmann says, not all pupils are equal. We live in a pluralistic society of
diverging personal and cultural values. That means that the ideas of having homogenous
classrooms are impossible (cf. Eisenmann 298). This leads us to the idea of having inclusive
classrooms. An adequate definition for the word inclusion would be the following from the
UNESCO Guidelines for Inclusion:
Inclusion is seen as a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of
all learners through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, and
reducing exclusion within and from education. It involves changes and modifications
in content, approaches, structures and strategies, with a common vision which covers
all children of the appropriate age range and a conviction that it is the responsibility of
the regular system to educate all children. (UNESCO 2015: 13)
In order to realize these aspects of inclusion there are changes in the education system
and in the education of future teachers which need to be made. Inclusion does already have a
big importance in European countries and its importance is also rising in Germany (cf.
Schäfer 57). An inclusive classroom teacher can be confronted with different learning
disabilities or learning needs. One of these which will be introduced in this paper are ADHD
and Dyslexia.
2.1 ADHD and Dyslexia
The abbreviation ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the
most common psychiatric disorders which occur during childhood and adolescence. The main
symptoms of ADHD are inattentiveness and impusivity. (cf. Gawrilow 9) There are three
different types of ADHD: The Hyperactive Type, The Inattentive Type and The Mixed Type
(cf. Janicke 169). Howeever anll of these types can lead to Academical Underachievement

which means that results at school are regardless from the level of intelligence from the
students below average, Non- Compliance which means the neglecting of instructions from
adults like parents and teachers and last but not least difficulties in social interactions. ADHD
can be mostly diagnosed by the enrolment of a child at primary school. Because with this
event most of the problems which were mentioned before do start to occur. ADHD can also
lead to other learning disabilities like dyslexia or dyscalculia.
"Dyslexia is best described as a combination of abilities and difficulties which affects the
learning process in one or more of reading spelling and writing. (...)It is particularly related to
mastering and using written language, which may include alphabetic, numeric and musical
notation. (...) "(Bennett 17) Dyslexic children have difficulties in assigning phonemes to
graphemes. This leads to "writing as you speak" (cf. Gerlach 142). Another difficulty that
dyslexic children have is in reading. Their reading tempo is clearly slower than the reading
tempo of an ordinary reader (cf. Gerlach 143).
Students with ADHD or Dyslexia can or do often have problems in foreign language classes.
The same problems which they already do have with their mother tongue or even new ones
can occur in their L2.
2.2 ADHD and Dyslexia in the Classroom in General and in the Foreign Language
The authors, whose literature is used in this paper, do suggest many different methods and
approaches to support ADHD and dyslexic students in general and also in foreign language
classrooms. (The methods which are used in general and not only in the foreign language
classroom are also very important to mention since they are the foundation for providing a
good learning atmosphere and are also adaptable for many different subjects.) Thereby both
of those provide important information for future teachers who aim to work in inclusive
Monika Janicka and Caterina Gawrilow explain different methods and strategies which can be
used by teachers to support ADHD students with their learning needs. Since ADHD has its
most negative effects at school, the main emphasis should be on pedagogical and
psychological therapies (cf. Gawrilow 53). It is generally known that there is a medical
treatment for ADHD children but medication is not a solution for the problems that an ADHD
child has in its everyday life. (cf. Janicka 173).
Excerpt out of 13 pages


Inclusion of Special Needs Children in Foreign Language Learning Lessons
University of Wuppertal
Bilingual Studies Abroad
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ISBN (Book)
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Inklusion, Fremdsprachenunterricht, Englisch, Legasthenie, ADHS Didaktik
Quote paper
Özlem Arslan (Author), 2017, Inclusion of Special Needs Children in Foreign Language Learning Lessons, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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