English & Communication
Literacy across the Curriculum is an essential vehicle for reinforcing and developing English skills in a wider context, such as communication, vocabulary, reading, social skills.
To equip all learners with confidence, skills, resilience, and high aspirations in order to lead happy, fulfilling lives in an ever-changing world.
- ‘Bring Life to Learning and Learning to Life’
- Social Capital
- Quality of Life
Why do we provide a communication curriculum for our learners?
“For those with severe learning difficulties, whether-or-not they have an additional autistic spectrum disorder, effective communication is unlikely to come easily or naturally. Therefore, it is imperative that those working with them put the conditions in place to maximise opportunities for spontaneous communication. We must remember that the motivation to communicate is a key communicative necessity.”
Goldbart (1994) further outlined the key factors in communication as:-
- A means (method) of communicating
- A reason (motivation) to communicate
- Someone to communicate with
- Time — to encourage an independent, rather than a dependent communicator.
The CLL curriculum is a vehicle to introduce, develop, extend and reinforce the following skills: -
Language — including pre-verbal, spoken, receptive and expressive skills,
Understanding information — including establishing communicative intent, reciprocal interaction, social and emotional awareness.
Reading and writing — processing and handling communicative information, including objects of reference, signs, symbols, written word. Reading for enjoyment, comprehension, functional reading and decoding, phonics.
Fundamental to our learners reading journey, is to develop a love of reading. This could be through development interest in books as sensory objects, as functional sources of pleasure, tactile books/magazines or online sources, using sensory stories, sensory engagement, and looking at age appropriate but adapted materials to match developmental ability.
For students with learning difficulties, reading may be interpreted as any activity that elicits meaning from any visual or tactile representations, such as objects, symbols or words. It is essential that we are aware of and reinforce the cognitive building blocks that need to be in place prior to developing the skills to decode the written word. However, we should be cognisant of the intellectual ceiling of learners with SLD, and when the application of conventional literacy-based approaches is not appropriate. The priority for recognising key functional signs or symbols in context, or sight words relating to key life skills, should be a priority focus. This does not mean learning plateaus or becomes static – learning to apply and generalise skills constitutes pivotal and real terms progress and makes learning functional.