Building on similarity: a whole class use for simplified language materials

Rix, Jonathan (2004). Building on similarity: a whole class use for simplified language materials. Westminster Studies in Education, 27(1) pp. 57–68.



This article examines how the recommended pedagogy for people with Down syndrome may be of use to a wide range of other individuals within a mainstream school setting. Drawing on current practices within English education, it describes the evidence behind the current advice about the language to be used in materials for people with Down syndrome, and then examines why similar language forms have been devalued as teaching tools in relation to people who are learning English as an additional language. The article then describes the use of differentiated materials in a secondary school and the problems that this both highlights and generates. Drawing on these three strands, as well as current best practice and research into comprehension and simple English, this article then proposes a possible usage for simplified language materials (SLMs) at transition points of lessons. It suggests that if SLMs are used at these specific moments within lessons they could be of value to the whole class, and serve as a useful inclusive pedagogy. The article highlights the need for further research into the possible use of SLMs within mainstream schools.

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