Spanish. French. Chinese. Maybe Latin. Students with ADHD often struggle with foreign language classes. Some fail. Some avoid. Can they get around it?
Struggles often result from phonological difficulties, even in their native language. These deficiencies often result from language processing delays. In addition, learners can be exposed to a new alphabet, which exasperates reading challenges.
While most states do not require a foreign language for a standard high school diploma, some require proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in a major language. The best option is to contact the school in the freshman year for explicit requirements.
- Discuss the strengths and challenges faced with your student with ADHD.
- Watch out for later implications.
- Encourage multisensory teaching methods.
- Consider that high school provides a more flexible learning environment.
- Maintain an open dialogue.
The situation changes significantly in postsecondary education as students take ownership of their education. A large majority of colleges have a foreign language requirement. Students with ADHD should take the initiative and contact professors for support.
- Take the course over two semesters..
- Use tools that focus on organization skills.
- Seek out professors who provide special structure and pacing.
- Request course substitution.
- Become an informed consumer. Know who to know.
Whether in high school or college, learning a foreign language presents additional challenges for students with ADHD. Begin focus on speaking and conversational skills. From there, progress to reading and writing.
Support with positive reinforcement with specific details on how they’re rocking it. Don’t forget YouTube tutorials!