What strategies can teachers use to support these children?
Page 6: Use Visual Supports
One of the simplest and most direct ways professionals can support young DLLs with disabilities is through the use of visual supports. Visual supports come in the form of photographs, drawings, symbols, labels, manipulatives, real objects, and other supplemental images. Visual supports can:
- Facilitate children’s learning of new skills
- Help children understand what they need to do and where things belong
- Assist children in understanding and following the day’s schedule and routines
- Be helpful when breaking down tasks, routines, and skills into simpler steps (e.g., the steps to washing hands)
- Enhance children’s understanding of the content and vocabulary introduced in the classroom
Professionals must be intentional—that is, purposeful and thoughtful—when they introduce visual supports, particularly in association with new words and concepts. It is important that visual supports incorporate images and language familiar to the child (e.g., photos of common household items). In addition, teachers should label important items in both the children’s home language and in English.
Irlanda Jimenez discusses using visual supports for young DLLs in the classroom (time: 2:01).
Multicultural Coordinator, Bilingual/ESL Teacher
Urbana Early Childhood Schools
A look inside Mrs. Raymond's classroom
Several children in Mrs. Raymond’s class are unfamiliar with many of the foods described in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In response, Mrs. Raymond brought in some of the food from the story so that the children can see and taste them. Children can also share about the foods they eat at home when reading this story. Mrs. Raymond adds pictures in the dramatic play area so children can practice learning the new vocabulary.