Learning difficulties and ESL

jeudi 12 novembre 2015

Mots clés : décrochage scolaire 

Although early school leavers are not a homogeneous group, early school leaving is associated with a wide range of disadvantages. All across Europe, young people who leave school early are more likely to come from disadvantaged groups including young people with a disability, special needs or physical and mental health problems (NESSE, 2010). Therefore also students with learning difficulties are considered as one of the disadvantaged groups. There is no single interpretation or consensual definition of the term ’learning difficulty’ and also the term ’learning disability’ is often used as a synonym. In this paper the term ’learning disability’ will be used to cover several specific disorders particularly in relation to reading, writing and maths, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia, similarly as it is used in the USA (Hardie & Tilly, 2012). Students with learning difficulties have determined several factors that influence their tendency to early school leaving both positively and negatively, such as personal attitudes, teachers, dropout retrieval programs, family support, peers, school policies and discipline (Kortering & Braziel, 1999). Several students with learning difficulties implied that they do not feel engaged and connected to the school since the traditional programs and teachers fail to meet their needs (Palladino, Poli, Masi, & Marcheschi, 2000). Students are less likely to drop out of school where relationships between teachers and students are consistently positive. The impact of positive teacher-student relations, however, is contingent upon the organizational and structural characteristics of high schools (Lee & Burkam, 2001).

The goal should therefore be to promote teachers’ professional development since teachers’ improved social and emotional competences and didactical approaches would offer a great support factor for the students with learning difficulties not to consider early school leaving but reaching to the competent teachers for the needed support.


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