Teaching ESL To Young Wheelchair-Bound Students


In many kindergartens and schools, wheelchair-bound learners study English together with their healthy buddies. One may think such kids don’t need any special treatment, yet you have to adapt you methodologies, which can improve their learning and overall psychological well-being.

on-postibLibraryDiversify Your Class

If you think that hosting the class exclusively to these type of students will make them feel better, it’s not true. Try to diversify your class by bringing students of different health conditions, races, and religions together. You don’t want your wheelchair-bound learners to feel “special”.  As an ESL teacher you can do an incredible job and help such students integrate into society through occurring new language!


Adapt Your Teaching Methodology

As you have a diverse class, make sure that interests of all the students are taken into account. Try to avoid games or physical exercises that your disabled students may not be able to do. There are plenty of other educational games and activities that can replace the action-based games.

Treat The Child In the Wheelchair The Same Way You Would Treat All Children In Your Classroom

Many wheelchair-bound children hate when teachers assume they are suffering and can’t do things by themselves. Don’t rush into giving help, but ask the students if they would like it. It’s good to have private conversation with such kids and establish a method of when the student would like your assistance.

Encourage Students To Read Inspirational Books

Easy-to-read, colorful, and inspirational books can significantly improve disabled students’ learning. Young wheelchair-bound students will benefit from reading a book like I Sit in a Wheelchair…But I Will Be Okay!by Brittany Michelle Crawford. This is a beautiful story of two friends, Amy and Penny, a wheelchair user, who with the help of her friend, focuses on the activities she can do in her wheelchair, like kick a ball with her left foot, play with dolls, and draw beautiful pictures. Her mommy and daddy also help her to be kind to other people and to know when to ask for help. This book is an eye opener to remind children that people with disabilities are still people and they will be ok. 

Do you have wheelchair-bound students? Please, share your experience in the comment section below!


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