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Students with autism Spanish GCSE

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by relw, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. relw

    relw New commenter

    I have a student in my Spanish GCSE class who is having difficulty with the writing section of the exams. I am able to support him in lessons but when it comes to him working independently he simply is not able to access the task. He sees things very literally so he crumbles with tasks that ask him to write a letter/email, etc (e.g. describing the sports he played last weekend when he didn't play a sport last weekend). He understands the question perfectly, and his Spanish is quite good, but he just can't put pen to paper without help. He becomes despondent and fails to complete the task. Has anybody had a similar experience? How did you approach it? Do you think just as much practice as possible?

    Thanks in advance,

    RW
     
  2. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    A student with ASD is likely to meet similar challenges in other subjects requiring him or her to produce, for example, imaginative writing. Consider approaching the boy's English teacher to find out whether he or she can suggest any appropriate strategies or workarounds. The school SENCO may also be able to recommend suitable tactics that have worked for him in the past.

    On the general point of providing for foreign language learners with autistic spectrum disorders/conditions, there have been a number of publications that may help. Several can be downloaded from https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bw7z_4bLjOOEYVNZaGphME9YZkk.
     
    yolanda_knight16 likes this.
  3. veverett

    veverett Occasional commenter

    Very good point. What they should really say is 'You are in an exam. Write a piece of Spanish which shows your ability to give and justify opinions, manipulate tenses and link or develop ideas.'

    Andvwe spend years trying to get all pupils to see it this way.

    Also the speaking exam card is completely incomprehensible. The exam boards did fight it, but the govt wanted it that way.
     
  4. cake4tea

    cake4tea New commenter

    Bang on about the difficulty of the speaking card, veverett. I'm not sure why they persist with the "you are in a leisure centre in Switzerland, ..." guff - it is completely beyond the experiences of the vast majority of students. The "real" literature element is similar. The exam boards have to include it but can't afford copyright fees, so they're forced to use out of copyright texts which are, by definition, old. I believe Gove himself insisted on this.
     
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    .. ah yes the leisure centre where the Swiss speak English fluently ...
    .. or the you are staying in a gîte in France and ....woah !

    Our students more likely to do a week on the Costas than look for tennis courts near their rural cottage ... who writes this stuff ?

    And then they wonder why students don’t see the relevance of ‘ doing ‘ languages ..... they just see it as a waste of time as it ‘s not relevant to their lives ... just a brief to fulfil / boxes to tick ...
     
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Tell him to preface such tasks with the words 'pretend that you played sport/went to a Swiss Leisure Centre ... and make up details and opinions of what you did and what you thought'.
     

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