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How Language Effects Classroom Learning
by Robyn A. Merkel-Piccini, M.A., CCC-SLP
Many teachers are exploring the integration of subjects for combined learning: Science/Math, Social Studies/Language Arts, etc. Speech Pathologists also explore integration by using thematic units for language therapy that incorporate science, math, history, and other classroom subjects.
Math and Science:
"Mathematical/Logical Intelligence," as described by Gardiner, involves planning, sequencing, and problem-solving. A child with a language disorder may not have these basic abilities required to complete math problems, equations, and formulas. Science also involves formulas, laws, and experimentation. If the child is unable to sequence events, follow directions, or arrive at conclusions, science theory will be abstract, and hard to understand.
Art involves appropriate hand-eye coordination, comparisons, following directions, and noticing small details (Ex. various shades of red). Artistic people think in "3-D," according to Gardiner. This skill is very difficult for the language-impaired child as many words and details are lost in memory.
"Musical Intelligence" involves the ability to recognize rhythms, repeat those rhythms, and create new ones. Music may involve reading sheet music, memorizing lyrics, and coordinating harmonies. Some children with auditory processing problems may not be able to remember songs or follow rhythms.
Physical Education:
Gym class involves following directions and "Body/Kinesthetic Intelligence." Children with language disorders often do not understand left and right concepts, up and down spatial relationships and sequencing skills, which may cause weak physical education skills.

*Handy Handouts® are for classroom and personal use only.
Any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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