Students with special needs and how to teach them English



With the advanced  technology, transportation has been easier and almost all people can travel abroad and interact with other people from other parts of the world.

Equally important, internet connection, dozens of social media and smartphones has helped people ,especially kids with special needs, to be able to make friends from all over the globe.

All these advancements have led to the need of knowing a common language to be able to communicate and this common language is English. Therefore, more and more people start studying English to reach educational, business, and social improvements.

This global demand for English lessons and methods comes from all people, including those people with special needs. In this article, we are going to talk about some ways that people with special needs can use to learn English as well as others.

Teachers who teach the kids with special needs

Teachers do not have to be specially trained or specialist psychologists to be able to teach these kids: although specialists can help so much in teaching these people, the process can be done without their help too. English teachers can get some advice and tips to help kids with special needs.

For instance, some points that teachers need to know about kids with special needs are: these people need consistent and clear instructions and rules, they need to practice short lessons that give them the sense of power, capability, and achievement, they also need more attention than others.

These people need to know that their teacher notices them, pays enough attention to them, and cares about them. As well as that, these people would get better results if they study in the classes with multi-sensory presentations.

They learn a little slower than other people and using more than one of their senses in teaching English will help to get better performance. 

The learners with special needs

special needsLearners with special needs can learn languages as well as others, contrary to a common belief which says they cannot. These learners can be in the classes among normal people and learn to interact with them.

Plus, they can have the chance of being in a community, learn to express their feelings and talk about their ideas, learn how to work in a team, how to make friends, and even learn to wait for attention.

These children usually have the attention of their parents most of the time; hence, they need to learn that not everyone is going to pay attention to them all the time. Teaching English to these students can be both fun and fruitful.

How kids with special needs do study

Special learners with special needs can study with normal people without blocking their progress. Unfortunately, some people believe that these special people cannot study in normal schools, otherwise, their classmates make less progress.

The statement mentioned is completely wrong. On the contrary, normal classmates of these people get the chance to learn to have empathy and other perfect social skills like understanding the differences between different people.

Kids find out that some people may need more help than others and they may even try to help them with English lessons.

It does not take extra time for planning. All teachers are short of time but planning for special kids does not need extra time or planning.

What teachers need to do is to have different methods and styles for teaching English to all students. These different styles also help other students to have better performance and get better results.

How teachers can affect the kids’ learning process 

Despite the common belief that says teachers cannot ‘fix’ the learners’ problems, they actually can do a lot of things. First of all, people need to know that these learners do not need to be fixed.

This point of view leads to a way of thinking that conveys the feeling that special people are ‘broken’ and need to be ‘fixed’ but it is not this way.

We need to realize that these people are just different and teachers and schools need to learn how to adapt their plans and schedules to the differences of these people.

Instead of trying to change these people and expect them to act like normal people, we can try to understand their difficulties and try to ease studying for them.

Now that teachers have concluded that teaching English to students with special needs can be as easy and sweet as teaching English to other people, they can use some tips and advice for managing their classes.

Teachers need to understand the kids with special needs

Teachers need to see the students without judging or paying attention to their labels. Teachers need to know that these students are people with characters and unique personalities and their specialties do not make them all alike.

Some of them might be introverts, and others may be extroverts just like other people. Teachers need to know each  of the students characteristics and try understanding them.

Activities teachers can try using to engage students

Teachers should use some activities that can engage all students and encourage them simultaneously. For instance, some games that are about guessing things can help all students to play together and make connections.

teachers can make the kids with special needs feel comfortable 

Some clear and obvious rules should be set by the teacher to help special learners to feel more comfortable. For example;

  • Each of us is unique
  • We listen to each other
  • We love each other

Teachers should give the chance to kids to practice English in different ways. This way, kids with special needs would realize which way is the best for having a perfect performance.

Teachers need to devote some time of the class to peer working and ask students to share knowledge and skill.


In brief, English teachers need to know that learners with special needs are just a little different, not broken. These people can study a language as well as others if only their teachers pay enough attention to them.


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