|What is a poor language facility?.
So often teachers of older children complain to colleagues that some of their students have very poor spoken language skills, only for the class teachers of younger children to retaliate by saying,
“When they came into school they could hardly speak a word, let alone put a sentence together, so what do you expect?”
“His/her older siblings are the same…never could speak in sentences or tell you anything much..so what do you expect!”
A child with a poor language facility is unable to form sentences and fluently put ideas into words.
This could be caused by:
a physiological problem, which might need medical intervention
an emotional problem, which could be long term or short term, but would need lots of careful and supportive confidence building
the child not having had opportunities to practice the spoken word, or to listen and respond verbally to stories and rhymes and everyday conversation in and around his home.Sadly, this situation can occur in all socio-economic groups.
|What can be done to compensate a child with a poor language facility?
1) Check that there is no physiological problem causing a child to be unable to communicate through speech, like a speech impediment that makes the child embarrassed, or a hearing deficiency.
2) Be aware that there could be an emotional problem causing a child to elect to be mute or to stammer.
3) Offer opportunities for the child to “talk outside himself” that is, behind a mask, or in play acting, or holding a puppet or in imaginative play in a home corner. In this way, he might feel it is not him doing the talking.
One long term stammerer explained how he overcame his problem. “After so many different methods, I just learned to stop being the person I was, which was a stammering person and start being the person I wanted to be which was a non stammering person. At the age I did this and with determination, it worked!”
4) Give him opportunities to work with other children in a group and during different class activities, so that he can hear them express themselves through speech and when using various genres. He needs lots of role models, not just the teacher!
5) Give more importance in the daily classroom routine to children having opportunities to speak in pairs, in groups, in front of the class. This is not robbing class time from reading and writing lessons. Talking and listening is not only part of developing reading and writing, it can greatly accelerate the development of reading and writing skills.
Poor Language Facility