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This blog is dedicated to the slow and  special learners of higher secondary in Kerala.

 How to teach  the  slow learners (in higher secondary)  English  ?

one thing I had been trying is that  I would  give the slow learners a chance to respond to a learning challenge providing multiple choices -three or four-  instead of asking a direct question in the class.

When the student comes out with -at least- a part of the sentence, I will accept it or modify it as the situation demanded.

 Resources from the websites


2.Affective Teaching: An Effective way to deal with Slow Learners in the ESL Classroom

1.Rule out a Learning Disability

Your particular slow student may have a problem like dyslexia, a sensory impairment or even an intellectual disability.
It may not be the most common problem you’ll encounter in an ESL classroom, but it is a possibility you need to rule out. Your particular slow student may have a problem like dyslexia, a sensory impairment or even an intellectual disability. If you suspect there may be an underlying learning disability, you’ll need to speak to your supervisor first before approaching the parents. Then, you’ll need to call a meeting with the parents to find out whether the student has been diagnosed, and depending on their answer, you’ll determine what should be done next. All of this has to be handled very carefully. But never assume that this is not a possibility. I’ve had  students with dyslexia, and I once taught a 5-year-old girl who clearly was mentally disabled but whose mother was in denial.

Rule out Other Problems

There are slow learners, shy learners and learners who are simply not motivated. And you must be able to discern which group your particular student falls into. Shy learners are not necessarily slow; their problem often lies in speaking out loud and a lack of confidence. Students who are not motivated are simply not interested and need to be engaged in order to participate fully in the class. Finally, slow learners are students who are not able to follow the current pace, i.e. they don’t learn as fast as the rest of the class. If you’ve ruled out any physical or mental disabilities, this simply means that learning a second language is harder for this particular student. And that’s all.

Give them Tools

Quite often, the problem with the slow learners who do not remember things is that they have not been given the kind of tools that work for them. It may take a little digging and some extra effort on your part, but ask yourself: if this student has trouble remembering/understanding things, what could he/she do that will help them remember/understand? Suggest that they keep a Word Book, for example, and that they write in it every day. Give them “cheat sheets”, lists of verbs, charts with verb tenses. Maybe they’re not slow, but rather very visual learners, and they need to “see” to remember.

Celebrate Small Successes

Both the  teacher and the slow learner must understand one essential thing: the problem is not that the student can’t learn, but rather that they do so at a different pace. Sometimes they simply take longer and that’s all. So there will be plenty of successes for you to celebrate. Don’t forget to encourage and offer praise. It will boost self-confidence and help your slow learner keep putting in the effort to learn.

Pair Them with Strong Learners

When dividing the class into groups or teams, try to pair the slow learner with a buddy who can guide him/her. Also, always encourage respect towards those who simply don’t “get” things as fast as the rest. More often than not, they do get it in the end!

Arrange Extra Tutoring

Some extra tutoring sessions can do wonders for slow learners.

 With the added pressure of competing with the rest of the class, they often flounder during drilling or quick-paced activities. But once you get them on their own, in a quiet tutoring session, they start seeing things fall into place. They simply have different learning times and needs.

Go the Extra Mile

You may need to repeat instructions to the slow learner one more time. You may need to give them the instructions in writing. You may need to spell it out, copy it down, repeat, and then repeat again. Be patient with the slow learner. They don’t learn well under pressure or in a hurried setting. You may have to go the extra mile, but it will be totally worth it when you see your slow learner has achieved his/her goals.

Affective teaching


Affective teaching requires an  an open and free communication with students to facilitate authentic interpersonal relationships.
An important aspect of affective teaching is respecting students.
Involving students in decision making or sharing power in the classroom is also a way of fostering affective teaching and learning.
The ultimate aim of helping slowlearners in not to get thm perform at grade level, but to make them do at their level best.
How to work with slow learners?
  1. Reduce distractions by providing a quiet, private place to work.
  2. Emphasize strengths. Use lots of praise and reinforcement frequently.
  3. Make lessons short. Limit working time. ...
  4. Add variety to the academic routine. ...
  5. Work on material that is somewhat challenging but allows success.

1. We Need More Time to Figure Things Out

  • Give more practice problems in a particular area.
  • More time may be needed on speed drills or reading comprehension than is allowed for in the curriculum.
  • Show patience! Tutor after school in help classes, if necessary.
  • Create emotional security by not embarrassing them in front of their peers.
  • Modify curriculum, if necessary—ie. shorten spelling list.

2. We Need More Explanation and Direct Instruction

  • Be sure that instructions and expectation are given clearly.
  • Define the terms—read, circle, count, find, define, copy, list, discuss, summarize, compose, identify, etc.
  • Have them repeat the instructions, if necessary. Point to the area on the paper that you are explaining; see it, say it, cover it, say it.
  • Explain material in creative ways.
  • Teach them to listen for key words in explanations.

3. We Need Help in Organizing Our Work, Our Desk, and Our Priorities

  • Provide a homework sheet or planner with a checklist format.
  • Show what an organized desk looks like.
  • Work closely with the parents to check completed work.

4. We Need to Know Why We Have to Know What You Are Teaching Us

  • Motivate with practical reasons to learn material.
  • Set short range and attainable goals.
  • Give many encouraging words and praise often.
  • Say “I love you” often and write it in personal notes.
  • Pray for students and tell them that you are praying for them.

5. We Have Difficulty Focusing Our Attention on Learning Tasks

  • Eliminate as many distractions as possible.
  • Seat them in the front of the classroom.
  • Be punctual and prepare materials well before class.
  • Expect accuracy and neatness in work.
  • Model correct behavior in front of students.
  • Stay as consistent as possible in classroom management and expectations.

6. We Sometimes Have a Hard Time Sitting Still

  • They need an active recess.
  • They need organized sports at recess to learn social skills.
  • Pair them with brighter students who will help the slower student and be humble about helping.


Audiovisual Aids

Using of audiovisual aids and other electronic gadgets may generate more interest in the student to learn. The classroom atmosphere will not be boring, the learning process will
not be monotony and the teaching will not be mechanical.
Now a days most of the schools arefurnished with e class rooms
Conduct Bridge Courses if necessary
Don’t forget to teach the Basics
Adjust your expectations
Interact with parents
Teach the student specific reading techniques e.g. prereading routine, word attack technique, self correcting skills and give very specific instructions to the slow learner without discouraging.
A good supply of reference books , news papers, magazines, story books, journals and supplementary readers that are appropriate in terms of interest level and competency level to the slow learners is essential.

Create an opportunity for intensive sessions with the student, using individual or small group sessions
Special guidance beyond school hour
Giving importance in the class.

If the class teacher makes the seating arrangement in such a way that the strong ones sit with the slow learners and assist the slow learners whenever necessary-then the slow learners will improve in their studies in less span of time.
Train them in improving their LSRW Skills

How can we make  the slow  learners feel interested in an English class ?.Please join in the discussion.

Send your suggestions or comments to



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