Working on providing equal ESL learning opportunities for all, especially for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN), should be high on any educational and social agenda. According to the United Nations Development Program, while people with disabilities represent approximately one in 10 people worldwide, they are one in every five of the world’s poorest people. Addressing educational shortcomings for SEN students will directly impact their future employability and social inclusivity. Many researchers, from all backgrounds, coincide on the importance of promoting inclusivity and real equality, by providing students, with and without SEN, with learning opportunities adapted to their abilities and capacities.
To address this shortcoming, experimental research was carried out through a teaching intervention focused on adult learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN), currently not studying English and with none or little learning background in ESL, to find out which ESL activities and strategies, using a computer assisted language learning (CALL) methodology, were more suitable, accessible, and engaging for language learning.
The results have provided an insight on the potentiality of using CALL based strategies for ESL teaching/learning for adults with SEN. Whether in an inclusive classroom or as a specific training course, CALL based methodology enables learners from different contexts to learn at their own pace and with an adapted content and framework. Drawing attention to the lack of resources available to these students, an overcoming it, will not only provide a wide choice of lifelong learning opportunities to SEN adult students, but will also help address the digital divide.
So far, CALL and MALL have had a positive impact on the language learning of SEN learners, providing them with a range of accessible and engaging digital resources that can support their individual needs and enhance their language learning experience.
Further research will allow more detailed and student-centred resources to allow teachers but also students to address their lack of language learning opportunities, specially within the formal schooling and training courses aimed at adults with special educational needs currently offered.
The present stuy is an experimental research carried out through a teaching intervention focused on adult learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN), currently not studying English and with none or little learning background in ESL, to find out which ESL activities and strategies, using a computer assisted language learning (CALL) methodology, were more suitable, accessible, and engaging for language learning.
Mar Gutiérrez-Colón, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Cristina Jacas Osborn, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Mar Gutiérrez-Colón is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Spain
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