Autism and English teaching practical case

students with diverse needs, Assistance in learning, good practice, self-learning, Kikus Method, Breakout Edu, autism, yes i can

Country Studied: Spain

Area of Focus: ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)

It is part of the final degree work, which was set out in a primary school class. One pupil has an ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). We can see how the teaching of a textbook unit (8 lessons) is adapted for this pupil and is taught with the help of a teacher´s assistant during the English class. It gives a detailed description of each class, it´s objectives, skills practised and evaluation criteria in general and for a pupil with ASD.

It also provides us with all the instructional material used during the classes in annexes.

It is held in a Primary School (El C.E.I.P San Miguel (Centro de Educación Infantil y Primaria, Torredelcampo, Jaen). The main characteristic of the school´s student body is a great diversity as to their social and national background.

Course duration – 3 classes in April and the whole month of May (2 classes per week).

It is a set of lessons that compose a language course unit.

Second grade Primary school pupil with ASD.

The main objectives:

  • Motivate the students with ASD by carrying out the different activities proposed by the teacher.
  • Evaluate the activities related to the competences for the student with ASD.
  • Propose models of how to provide integration in class and improve the
  • school results and socialization of students with ASD.

It is part of a research project.

  1. To organize the environment. It includes a general classroom layout- the distribution of spaces, furniture and materials. For the children with ASD (as well as for the rest of the children), it is important to have an entertaining environment.
  2. To propose visual strategies. All visual materials are components of great support for students with autism, both for learning and development of communication skills, as well as for broadening their understanding and regulating their behaviour. Its great effectiveness is explained by a great capacity of boys and girls with autism y to save images.
  3. To have a bank of activities. The visual agenda enables them to be well prepared to develop the proposed activities. When each activity begins, you must show them the corresponding image; at the end of which the next activity should be mentioned. This way it will be clearer for the child what is missing.
  4. Anticipate what is going to be done. What is new or unusual may cause anxiety in children with ASD. That´s why anticipating some new activities or a space change is essential that a novelty or changes would not affect them.
  5. Giving directions appropriately. Usually, they do not follow directions and remain with their activity as if they did not hear. They must learn the meaning of the orders that are assigned to them and carry them out like the rest of the class.
  6. Demand the same standards of behaviour. Autism is not a justification for forgetting to comply with the norms. You have to make them respect the rules, but without showing anger, rage or discomfort.
  7. Praise and recognize achievements. Children with autism find it difficult to maintain their interest and their points of view are very rigid. They need many strategies to help them broaden their interests and understand other people’s reactions to know how to behave appropriately. When they reach some improvement in these aspects, they should be praised for their work.

Foreign language learning helps children with ASD to enrich their communicative and social skills and apply them in the specific contexts of their daily life.

The methodology should be open and flexible, as it needs to be adapted to the necessities, motivations and interests of the students.

The techniques used in this practice like pictograms and music therapy can be also helpful in teaching children with other learning difficulties such as dyslexia.