Language-Based Classroom

This is a description of 6 items that make up a Language Based Class.  Students should be grouped by learning needs and not by diagnoses.

1. Small (3-7 students) classrooms where instruction and class discussion are teacher-directed, with the teacher modeling language and performing the function of questioner; the teacher continually encouraging studentsí responses to elicit, elaborate and model language.  Students are active participants in the learning process with the teacher ensuring that each student is comprehending and interacting with the material, rather then passively trying to memorize it.

2. The highly structured small group interaction is essential to the language-based program.  It is necessary for the student to be placed with others of similar intellectual abilities, with similar rate of processing and linguistic skills.

3. Class instruction and information is presented in a highly structured, organized manner, using oral and visual methods to support comprehension and to emphasize important concepts and main ideas.

4. All of the previous day's lessons should be reviewed the following day with new information integrated and related to old information.  Lessons spiral back to previously learned material for review to ensure continue mastery, and to relate to new information.

5. Reading, writing, spelling, and oral language strategies should be taught and reinforced across the curriculum to facilitate continuity, generalization and internalization.  These are intensive, rule-based, highly structured, systematic, explicitly-taught specialized programs, delivered by certified, trained teachers with and experience  in these specialized programs.

6. A certified Speech and Language Pathologist should provide direct therapeutic services and provide consultation to the classroom teacher on how to present the information in a language-based manner.

Modified from a Neuropsychology Evaluation Report by Dr. J. Fahey, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist, Floating Hospital for Children at Tuffs New-England Medical Center, August 2006.

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