oral reportI wonder if you can give me an ideal about this oral report for a dyslexic boy in 11 grade.. hes very shy and has to do an oral report of to make a comercial out of it and here R the...

oral report

I wonder if you can give me an ideal about this oral report for a dyslexic boy in 11 grade.. hes very shy and has to do an oral report of to make a comercial out of it and here R the teachers insturctions:  Imagine U R looking for a job. You found an ad in the newspaper about a job that has everything you are looking for,,good salary,benefits and good hours.  so you think that youre the perfect candidat for this job.....so my son has to do a commercial trying to convicnce the person who will interview you that you are perfect for the job.. he has to demostrate his goods and special talent and quialities in it...SO  what do you think? can anyone give me an idea for a shy boy to stand infront of his english class to make easier for him??  thank youvery much!!I live in PR...

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I suppose some level of clarification on my original post would be needed.  In the final analysis, we are operating on the assumption that a dyslexic child would have an IEP.  If a child has an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan and in accordance to the IDEA Legislation, all teachers and administrators have to abide by its guidelines and regulations.  Teachers, parents, and school administrators play vital roles in forming the IEPs of students.  They have to be followed.  If a part of that IEP speaks to the modifying a child's ability to deliver oral presentations in front of colleagues, then teachers have a legal obligation to follow it.  There is little room for negotiation.  Teachers can be reprimanded for not following a child's IEP.  If a child has an IEP and a portion of it speaks to needing to modify in a manner that embraces "the least restrictive environment" regarding oral reports, then it must be followed.  The original assertion from Mrs. Monica suggested that an IEP could be in place and it would be reasonable to infer that this is a part of it.

The second component of this would be if the child does not have an IEP.  In this setting, a child would certainly have challenges and they would still have to give the oral report.  However, my intent through the invocation of RTI was the idea that all teachers are seeking ways to differentiate and modify learning to the needs of all children so that education is more relevant to all learners.  Currently, as part of American NCLB legislation, all school districts are having to address the reality of RTI, and this is becoming applicable to all tiers of students and instructions.  In this vein, my original idea was to assert that we can no longer drive children or students into doing something without effectively examining how we can make learning more meaningful to them.  This articulation can take many forms and can transpire in many ways, but the reality is that teachers have to seek to create a realm of empowerment within all students where their abilities and conceptions are acknowledged and realized within content and instructional settings.

When I read the original post of a dyslexic student who possesses a very intense fear of speaking in public, I did not take it to mean that it was the "excessive shyness" of students.  Rather, I interpreted to be that this was a condition within the student that was distinctive only to them.  No one, with the possible exception of the origin of the post, can assert that this is "a normal child" syndrome.  There is little to indicate this.  Additionally, I would argue that under the current drive of RTI, no child can ever be assumed to be "normal" per se.  Rather, each child must be seen as an individual and distinctive learner whose strength and weaknesses must be competently understood by the teacher, and must be diagnosed at each and every turn with the empathy and understanding for success.

I would like to close with addressing the idea of becoming "normal."  One of the great elements of the modern drive in education has been the diversification of learning styles and learning pedagogies in order to embrace all learners.  We have come very far in stressing the idea that there is little which defines "normalcy" in the classroom.  Rather, the modern learning environment is one where individual students are asked to expand the content through their own talent, and in the process, gain empowerment about their learning and their own senses of self.  While there is much to dislike about NCLB and Standards based educational reform, it has opened up a new dialogue about differentiation of learning and the idea of varying up process and product throughout the scope and sequence of education.  I would never propose that a child with special needs or a child who is challenged in the traditionalist conception of the classroom should not strive for success.  Rather, I would argue that there can be an inclusive forum where we understand the needs of students, strive to create promises and possibilities within them, while also understanding that not all children are the same and all of them are different and must approach the curriculum differently.  The challenges of teachers is being able to modify and adapt our curriculum to the needs of these diverse and eclectic learners.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to agree with Mrs. Monica's post.  If the child has an IEP, then it must have some guidelines on how to appropriate the realm of oral reports.  If a student has an IEP, they must be legally entitled to modifications in assignments.  The idea that they need to "tough it out" is both insensitive, as well as against the law.  The law is fairly clear that if a child has a medically diagnosable condition, it must have accommodations in the general education classroom so that all children can succeed.  The case worker of the child should be quite familiar with the IEP and should be in contact with the classroom teacher in order to develop a modification.  I would also suggest that the recent drive to Response to Intervention, RTI, demands that classroom teachers seek to make accommodations for all learners, and not only special education.  We are approaching a realm in our teaching and learning where RTI is demanding that we treat all learners in a unique and distinctive manner that allows them to be successful and achieve the promises and possibilities of a modern education.  If a teacher understands that a child has a paralyzing fear of something (not a mere reticence, but a paralysis caused by fear), then they have to troubleshoot a solution that exceeds the standard, "Everyone has to go through it and so do you."  This is where we are in an RTI world and, for better or worse, education located at this valence at this time.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It should be noted that not all modifications needed to be made for students are included in Individualized Education Plans and not all students who need modifications possess IEPs.  Sometimes, students who need modifications do not have IEPs and these students still need to have their learning voices validated.  In the spirit of RTI, modifications for all learners, Tiers 1, 2, and 3, must be present in the daily interactions with students.  This is why one cannot simply say, "Follow the IEP."  The IEP is a guide and a very good one, but one that is constantly revisited through staffings and articulations.  At the same time, children who need modifications might not have an IEP.

As for the long post, my apologies.  It is complex and in the interest of clarity and dialogue, I offer my opinions.  In this forum, all thoughts are valid and I only seek to broden the dialogue on a topic that has elicited much debate and discussion in classrooms, meeting rooms, school improvement articulations, and school districts across the nation.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In no way was I describing your views as "insensitive, as well as against the law."  I was attempting to articulate that there are those in education who have discarded IEP's and specialized learning plans for students in the name of generalizing students into an antiquated idea of seeing it as an issue of will or want, as opposed to paying attention to what students genuinely need in order to make learning more relevant.  Teachers have used the justification of students needing to "tough it out," despite the fact that they have legal documents that must be followed in their education.  My message is squarely aimed at those who suggest through both insinuations and actions that IEP's and Individualized Student Needs be discarded.

I think there is so much more to discuss on this topic, or in general, that I hope this issue can be put to rest.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since your son is dyslexic, I am assuming that he has a special education individualized education plan (IEP). He is therefore entitled to accommodations in how he demonstrates that he can master certain standards.

If I were his teacher, I would permit him to do the oral report on videotape, and then he could present the videotape to the class. This would enable him to show that he has met the oral communication standards, but it would spare him the ordeal of speaking in front of the class in person.

How about if you contact the teacher to see if this would be permissible? If your son has a special education resource teacher, that person could also advocate for him.

krishna-agrawala | Student

akannan are you justifying that you were right in describing my views as "insensitive, as well as against the law"?

krishna-agrawala | Student

we are operating on the assumption that a dyslexic child would have an IEP. - akanan, Post #6.

Criticizing views of others and describing them as "insensitive, as well as against the law", on the basis of invalid or unsubstantiated assumptions is not very nice.

Besides, if existence an IEP is assumed and that is considered to be sufficient, why this long Post #4? Why not just say something like "Follow the IEP"?


krishna-agrawala | Student

... "tough it out" is both insensitive, as well as against the law. - akanan

I don't know what kind of law is that. If there is a law that makes it illegal for children to overcome their excessive shyness, the law should be changed. Or if akanan knows of some method by which students - any type of students,  including ones with dyslexia - can overcome stage freight without coming on stage, I would like to know more about it.

Approach suggested by akanan would be justified only if, we are reconciled to a situation where a person with such disability will never overcome it. However, if we want the student to develop and become normal, which is very much possible for dyslexic children, the IEP should not rule out  giving speech in class directly.

krishna-agrawala | Student

I am not able to accept the idea of using videotaped presentation instead of live one. This amounts to avoiding the problem rather than solving it. The class presentation is not an end in itself, but only a means to develop the ability of students to give presentations. This includes the ability to overcome their shyness. Avoiding the presentation will not solve the basic problem of development including that of overcoming shyness.

I do not understand the implications of dyslexia, but I understand this much that if it is a problem in its treatment must get a priority over the isolated issue of making a single presentation.

But assuming that it is all right for the student to make a presentation in spite of the dyslexia I would like to offer the following suggestion.

  1. Tell the student that every one in similar situation will feel a bit shy and nervous - and this is a fact. Don't tell hem not to be shy or nervous. Tell him it is all right to be nervous. Also tell him it is all right if the presentation does not go very well. He will get many more chances to learn and improve.
  2. Prepare well and practice before the actual presentation. If some friendly audience is available for practice presentation, that is good. If not, this can be done without any audience also.
  3. Do not compromise on quality, but try to keep the presentation small and simple.