Strategies and Approaches: Deficits in Oral Comprehension

Learning disabled children often struggle with oral comphrension and will require strategies and approaches to ensure that they can comprehend material and information that is presented orally. In the classroom, much information is presented orally and it is critical to ensure that those with deficits in oral comprehension have their needs met. The following strategies will assist both teachers and parents:

  1. Present information in short and simple sentences.

2. Always check to ensure that the child understands by repeating or rephrasing your instructions/directions. Use voice intonation to keep his/her attention.

3. Whenever possible, use visual aids and or charts to reference as you’re talking.

4. Use organizers whenever possible such as sub-titles, lists of instructions, sequence of tasks to be done and reference them as you’re giving instructions/directions.

5. Provide ample ‘wait’ time. As the student to repeat for the class what the expectations are.

6. Teach strategies to these students that include rehearsing mentally, how to focus on key words and how to use mnemonics (an example of mnemonics would include the steps for long division – Dracula Must Suck Blood which prompts the child for divide, multiply, subtract and bring down)

7. Provide group learning situations whereby the student is prompted and or assisted by group members.

8. Review orally presented material regularly and provide taped versions if necessary.

Remember, just because you’ve stated it orally doesn’t mean the child understands – part of our job as parents and as teachers is to ensure that understanding and comprehension is in place. A consistent approach with regular monitoring will be an effective strategie to support children with oral comphrension difficulties.

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