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Learner Independence | A Learning Team | LD Instruction | Adaptations & Accomodations | Technology


Click here for the PDF version of
Bridges to Practice, Guidebook 4: The Teaching/Learning Process (2.3MB)

Adult Learner Independence
A Learning Team
LD Appropriate Instruction
Adaptations, Accommodation, Technology

What helps an adult with LD learn more successfully?
There are several keys to success.

Key # 1: An environment that promotes Adult Learner Independence. The most effective teaching moves learners to more and more independence. As adults with LD understand how they learn, they become more in charge of their learning and their lives.

Key # 2: A teaching / learning team. Teachers need to understand the learning options that a learner may choose and involve the learner at all stages of learning. When teaching adults with LD, teachers need to know how to plan and structure the instruction so that learners succeed. This involves 'know-how' on the part of the teacher and an attitude of a mentor working in a collaborative way with the learner.

Key # 3: LD Appropriate Instruction
What methods of teaching and learning work well for adults with LD?
Characteristics: Effective LD Instruction in done in certain ways. For example, it is

  • Direct - (Teacher tells and shows; learner practices.)Intensive - (Teacher asks many questions; learners respond frequently.)
  • Structured and Systematic - (Teacher and learner go step by step.)
Frameworks: Direct Instruction is an effective model. Instruction will take into account the ways in which a learner processes information: how she focuses on something to be learned, takes it in, perceives it and remembers it.

Putting LD Instruction into Practice: To meet the challenge of effectively teaching adults with LD, teachers need todevelop teaching behaviors that focus on how adults learn and approach tasks.

Key # 4: Instructional Adaptations, Accommodations, & Technology

Adaptations are changes that make learning more manageable for anyone, whether or not they have a diagnosis of LD. Some examples are:
  • Changes in the pace of learningChanges in the amount of material presented at one time
  • Changes in the environment (e.g., a quieter space)
Accommodations are legally required adaptations that ensure adults with (diagnosed) LD an equal chance for success in learning. Some examples are:
  • Extended time for completing a task or testChanges in the environment, e.g., frequent breaks, quieter spaceGetting information in both print and audioUsing a computer for writing tasks
  • Taking notes using a audio tape recorder
Technology can assist in many ways and with many tasks. The use of technology can be as simple as using an audiotape to record a lecture or as complex as using a computer program for reading or writing.


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