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Teaching Beginner Students and Students with Learning Difficulties

Teaching Beginner Students and Students with Learning Difficulties | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching can be difficult or very easy, but either way, it is fun. As a tutor, I have experienced teaching beginner students for the past two years. Beginner students have a huge difference between classmates. Some have already known many words when they even have not started their primary school life. Some of them do not know the 26 alphabets when their primary school life has already started, so when you put them into the same class, it is quite challenging for teachers to prepare materials. However, on the bright side, younger students tend to learn fast so they can easily catch up with other students.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Cheuk Y. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Let me share one of my experiences.

I have a student who was just a primary student when I started teaching her two years ago. When I first approached her, the feeling she gave me was as if she was a weaker level’s student. She learns very slowly, I have to repeat multiple times to explain until she understands, but she will forget about it the next day. At first, I thought she is just like other children that do not like to learn, which is the reason that she keeps forgetting things that I told her. After that student and I put a lot of effort and patience, I thought she was not unwilling to learn. Her mum took her to do some tests and found out her IQ level is slightly below the average.

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This experience tells me that the learning behavior of beginner students and students with learning difficulties is very similar. Teachers should pay more attention to students first and observations instead of punishing students not to behave well and being a bad student. If I shout at that student or punish her for not willing to learn at first, she must have been very frustrated and even hate to study.

During these two years, seeing students grow is very rewarding. Just like that student I have mentioned earlier, even though she just got 40 out of 100 in the examination, you still felt happy for her because you know she remembered things you taught her and she has already done her best, and I am very proud of her. This happiness is not something you will get from working in the office. It is different and the sense of satisfaction is unforgettable.

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In recent years, I realized more and more children have ADHD or reading disorder these kinds of difficulties in learning. Teachers need to pay extra effort and time to teach these types of students. From my experience, I will treat them like beginner students no matter how old they are. Teaching ADHD students or reading disorder’s student is not that difficult as you imagine. Do not ever let them feel they are weak and frustrated. Same as teaching beginner students, they just need a little bit more attention, a little more patience, a little bit more time, and more encouragement, then they can learn as much as the stronger level’s students.

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