Supporting Language Learning for Neurodiverse Students in Classroom Settings
The concept of neurodiversity views individual variability along cognitive and neurological dimensions as integral to how people experience and interact with the world around them. Neurodiverse language learners can face several challenges in instructed language learning and assessment contexts, most of which could be alleviated if the barriers to their success were identified and principles of inclusive education were implemented.
In this presentation, I will give an overview of the series of research projects that I have conducted over the past 15 years to enhance neurodiverse students’ access to language learning and to promote inclusive language teaching and assessment practices. Research findings, derived from interviews, questionnaires, observational studies and the analysis of second language performance, yield insights into the complexities of cognitive and affective challenges neurodiverse students are confronted with. The studies also highlight that institutional, curricular, and pedagogical factors and practices can constitute significant barriers for neurodiverse language learners. I will also summarize the results of our recent research projects in the area of accessible language assessment and the benefits of testing adjustments for test-takers with diverse cognitive abilities. The presentation will conclude with implications for inclusive language teaching pedagogies and assessment.
Professor Judit Kormos
Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
Judit Kormos is a Professor in Second Language Acquisition at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on the cognitive processes involved in learning and using additional languages. She has published widely on the effect of dyslexia on learning additional languages including the book The Second Language Acquisition Process of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (Routledge, 2017) and the most recent edition of Teaching Languages to Students with Specific Learning Differences (Multilingual Matters, 2023). She was a key partner in the EU-sponsored Dyslexia for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language and the Comics for Inclusive Language Teaching projects, both of which won the British Council’s ELTon award. She has run teacher education workshops and webinars on inclusive language teaching in a large variety of international contexts.