Education of Slow Learner

Education of Slow Learner


Sultan Muhammad Khan


1. Introduction

2. Objectives

3. To identify the causes of slow

4. Learning Illness that cause slow learning

5. Identification of slow leaner in the class

6. Evaluation

7. Language development Problem

8. Reading problem

9. Teaching Spelling

10. Teaching writing

11. Social education

12. References


Slow learners are those pupils who have limited ability due to different reason in the education process. Slow learner is advance word for “backward” or “mentally retarded” and “Educationally subnormal” (E.S.N.)

There are different reasons for slow learning, some time it is due to their mental ability, some time it due to their background, illiterate parents, culture problems, avoiding by the parents in early child hood, between ages 2 to 6 years. Some time it due to mental illness. These are different causes of the slow learner.

The purpose of this assignment is to determine the problems of the slow learners and the methods of education, How to teach them, so they can be better person of the society.

Objectives of this assignment

2. Identify the causes of slow learning

3. Identification of the slow leaner in the class

4. Problems of slow learner

5. Explorer the method of effective teaching for slow learner


According to experts, children who for various reason, fall behind in their school work and require special teaching are called (educationally subnormal) E.S.N.

Slow learners are children who are doing poorly in school, yet are not eligible for special education; their intelligence test scores are too high for consideration as a child with mental retardation” (Mercer, 1996) (MacMillan, Gresham, Bocian, & Lambros, 1998).

Although slow learners may have special educational needs, they do not fit neatly into the special education system (MacMillan, Gresham, Bocian, & Lambros, 1998).

To identify the causes of slow learning

Showing the sign of slow learner doesn’t mean that the child is slow learner, there are other factors that could cause the process of slow learning;

Emotional growth

Feelings about one self and the developing of these feeling positive or negative is called emotional growth, Emotional and social development are often link together because they are relevant. In the initial stages child learn the Feelings of trust, fear, and love later on as he grow he develop the feeling of friendship, pride, and relationship which also guide toward social-emotional development of the child.. if the child is ignore in this stage and proper care is not provided to them, they build negative emotion and they ovoid trust initially parents and later on other people, they isolated them self from the outer world. Furthermore, a neglected child, feel him self rejected, and unsecured, it affect the developing skills of the child to socialize with others children.
In this stage the changes are very rapid in child and every change bring new change in the behaviour of the child and each change brings about new skills. Child develop multi skills in this stage, the most important one is positive feelings about self and trust building with others


Children react to their environment in early stages and he learns from the environment in which they grow. Create a safe environment for them and reduce the stress on your child and remove the things which are physical threats to the children e.g.: abusive behaviour and unsafe toys etc

With whom the child is spending his time, what is their intellectual level. And how they treat the child, when children have a secure Environment, it flourishes their abilities in positive direction. Studies show those children who have better environment show better confidence in life and in education

Growth and opportunities of Learning

Opportunities of learning is very necessary for the development of children cognitive abilities, Parents should provide rich learning environment to their children and open new windows of learning opportunities for them. They need simple playable activities and games to develop their brains, Show them new things and arrange new activities for them to enhance their thinking skill.


Absenteeism from the school is another factor which can effect the ability of learning of a child, when a child is often absent from the class, he could catch with other student in school, he need extra home work with the help of parents to cover his short coming other wise he lose his self confidence in class, due to which he isolate himself from his class fellows and he became a slow learner.

Defective Vision

Defective vision is another possible cause of slow learning, it affect child’s growth and development and the ability to function in society. It also lead to effect self-esteem and confidence of the child which could lead to depression if not treated in early stages and child left behind in the class.

Resource Problem

Without proper Resources parent could not afford to provide better opportunities of learning to their children due to which the child lose his self-esteem. Availabilities of good books and other learning material which is necessary for the learning process of the child.

Illiterate Parents

Another problem in some cases are illiterate parent, those parents who are mentally backward and also have no education, effect the education of the child. Initial six years are very important and crucial period of child life, in this stage development of brain take place. Careful treatment is required to develop his skills, which help him in the later age in school and college

Untrained Teacher

Untrained teacher is another reason, without proper training a teacher could not understand the psychology of the child and his problems, what the possibilities are and why the child is not learning. A train teacher could understand the problem and eradicate it.

Class Size

Over crowded class is another problem which affects the learning process and lead to the product of slow learner. Slandered class size should from twenty to thirty students per class, but student exceed in the class teacher could not give attention to every student and nor he could evaluate every student due to that reason some student left behind.

Busy parent or no time for children

When parents have no time for their children and they are busy in their job it also leads a child to loneliness and isolated. He could not share his problems with his parents. The problem is much severed in case children age three to six years, because in this age they need full attention of the parents. It is the age of their development. They learn many things from parents.

Violence in School

Violence in schools is another factor which causes slow learning in students. Violence affect the learning abilities of the students, Exposure to violence is psychologically toxic. This exposure may lead to emotional problems and aggression, it also effect cognitive, psychological and learning process

Family Size

Family size also play a major role in the development of the child, in a small family a child will get attention of the parents and enough resources will be available to him. In case of large family size, children face many problems which effect there abilities e.g. emotional problem, resource problem etc.

Health Problem

Poor Health is also a hurdle in the growth and development of a child, which lead to the process of slow learning.

Deprived Culture

Evidence show that deprived cultured and Background may also cause the process of slow learning

Inadequate Teaching Staff

Lack of teachers in school is also a cause of slow learning, due to shortage of teacher in schools, the student left behind from other students in competition

Poor Leadership

Poor Leadership on behalf of teacher and head teacher as well as on the part of parents

Teaching Method

Teaching method is the most important factor in slow learning; a train teacher can understand the problem of the student and remove that problem by a better teaching style, which suite to the student need and mind. A good teacher will always use different methods in class so every student understand and learn. On the other hand those teachers who use one method of teaching create slow learner in the class because every student learn in different style and method.


Students are subjected to inappropriate textbooks, and teaching material. Course should be design with easy to difficult approach so students understand what teachers are teaching them. Inappropriate course material would increase the number of slow learner in the class

Transfer of Teachers

Frequent transfer of teachers leaves no room for the development of mutual understanding and respect for each other. The moment they start to understand each other, the teacher is transferred. Once this process is repeated a few times with a student, the student closes himself to teachers in future.

Fear Complex

To camouflage their inability teachers grow a fence of fear around them selves. They resort to indiscriminate punishments resultantly some of the students run away from schools and the rest become docile with no interest in education but to spend time aimlessly.

Psychological Problems

Students due to high expectations of their families and absence of guidance for both the parents and students experience a lot of psychological stress, which has a retarding effect on their educational development

Medium of Instruction

Medium of instruction is also a big problem for some students. Therefore it is necessary to use mother tongue for the education so student understand it and they do not lose their precious time on language learning.

Communication Problem

Communication gaps between students, teachers and parents. Due to this gap neither the teachers nor the parents come to understand the students, resultantly they enforce upon them their wishes. This enforcement develops a rebellious or a docile nature in the students, which retard the positive abilities.

Deprived cultured

Evidence show that deprived cultured background may also cause the problem

Illness that cause slow learning




Other Inherited parents

1. Alexia

Definition: “A language impairment caused by injury to the areas of the brain that process visual language. In its acœpure “form, the injury prevents people from being able to read, but not from being able to write.

Also Known As: word blindness, pure word blindness, Text blindness or visual aphasia.” (Jose Vega M.D., Ph.D)

2. Dyslexia

“Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that mainly affects reading and spelling. Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties in processing word-sounds and by weaknesses in short-term verbal memory; (SPELLIT Research Report )

The effects may be seen in spoken language and written language, Dyslexia tends to run in families

Using structured and multi sensory methods to improve the literacy skills of E.S.N Students in early ages.

3. Strephosymbolia

strephosymbolia “ A typical symptom of dyslexia in which letters are transposed, reversed, or confused; more generally a disorder in which objects are perceived in mirror image” (ANDREW M. COLMAN)

Identification of slow leaner in the class

Early diagnosis of slow learner child is very necessary between the ages of 2 to 6 years. How teacher or parents could identify, that the child is slow learner, with a careful observation they could easily identified signs of slow learner,

Speech defect

  1. Language development problem (broken sentences)
  2. Assessments the level of vocabulary ( vocabulary limited)
  3. verbal abilities
  4. Short sentences, grammatically incorrect
  5. Child Behaviour
  6. Spelling Mistake
  7. Interaction with other children
  8. Class room Discussion
  9. Reading problem
  10. Interest
  11. Slow response / decision making

If it is identified that a child is slow learner, proper evaluation should be done to identify the weakness of the child, the following method can utilized for the evaluation purpose.


* Intelligence test

* Individuals intelligence test

* The Stanford-binet scale of intelligence test

(The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is a standardized test that assesses intelligence and cognitive abilities in children and adults aged two to twenty three years, determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay)

* Group test

* Attainment test

* Vocabulary test

* Test of Visual perception

* Spelling test

* Personality test

* Children Behaviour questionnaire

* Diagnostic test in reading and arithmetic

* Assessments of level of vocabulary, verbal abilities

* Attitude and interest

After evaluation and identification of slow learner the questions arise. How to handle these types of children in school environment?

How to teach them? What type of class they need?

Expert suggest that student should be not increase from 20 in class and different style of teaching has been suggested for different subject

Language Development Problem

Slow learner show the sign of slow learning in very begging during infancy, when child try to talk, parents should carefully observe the child and if they find that child is not able to talk they should contact doctor to find the reason, because early diagnosis in the initial 2-6 years good for the betterment of the child and step could be taken to improve the mental condition of the child, through medical care or psychological. The sign of language development problem in initial age are;

  • Speech defect: speech problem child will be not able to pronounce correct word,
  • Vocabulary limited: child will use Limited word for expression
  • Short sentences
  • Some children will not understand some words

How to improve the language development problem of the child in school level

· Teacher should pronounce the word clearly for the student and ask the student to repeat the word

· Teacher should used visual aid, it would help the student to understand it easily and memories it for long time

· Teacher should used flash cards for teaching Difficult words

· Use of memory cards and memory games

· Class room Discussion

· Stories-telling should be encouraged in class

· Dramatic activities

· Oral question and answer and understand them

· The ability to recognise Different pictures

· Listening and understanding skills should be developed

· Reading with meaning

Reading Problem

  • There are different method of teaching for reading problem, how to teach to a group or class of students. Expert suggest multiple teaching style because each student learn through different method, some student could learn better with one method, other will learn with other method. Teacher should be aware of the individual differences, For teaching reading to slow learner the following method should be used:
  • Teacher should use Charts to teach Words to E.S.N students.
  • Teacher can also used Memory flash cards,
  • Reading with meaning, is good method with which child easily understand and remember it.
  • Reading stories, collecting magazines, news papers and discus them in the class room
  • Pictures on wall with the stories can also help slow learner to remember and understand a word
  • Reading readiness workbook
  • Through activities, reading activates can also help in reading process
  • Visual activities, include TV and computer can help
  • finding missing parts
  • Memory games
  • Reading for information
  • Computer games, the best method for teaching reading process. These interactive games not only help slow learner in their reading process but it also help to increase their quick decision making ability.

Reading Material:

Reading material should be selected keeping in view the interest of the student in mind. Chose difficulty level from easy to difficult approach (age wise)

Teaching Spelling,

Spelling are very necessary for slow learner, because it help to form a word, a good speller well always be a good reader and writer , therefore teacher should give attention to teaching spelling to the students.

  • Teacher should write a word on board and ask to the student to write it in air, teach them the spelling in parts, so they know the sound of the word.
  • Competition of spelling between the students,
  • Check recheck method
  • Weakly test for spelling,
  • spelling games on computer, typing tutor game on computer

Teaching writing

Teaching writing require reading, understanding and spelling capabilities, if a student is good in these, he can learn writing easily, following are the few method which could be used for teaching of writing;

  • Encourage their writing, ignore their mistake in early stages
  • In early stages students write short sentences and grammatically incorrect sentences
  • Involve student in writing small stories
  • engage student in form filling, latter writing and Telegram according to their age
  • Involve students in form filling, diaries writing
  • Computer base writing games, where short answer are required for playing games.
  • Writing in school magazine, newspaper etc
  • At later time attention to the grammar, punctuation and full stop.
Social education

Social education is also very necessary for the slow learner; teacher and parent should give full attention to the social education of E.S.N. how to cross the road, how to reach home and other small thing that could help him in day to day life. It is not only the responsibility of a teacher to teach these things to slow learner but it is also the responsibility of parents too.

Teacher and parents should also involve other people to help these students e.g.

  • Psychologist of the school
  • Friends
  • School doctor/nurse
  • Other social agencies


Bell, P. (1970). Basic teaching for slow learners. London: Muller.

Hughes, J. (1973). The Slow Learner in Your Class (Nelson's Teacher Texts). london: Cengage Learning Australia.

Passow, H. (1972). Opening Opportunities for Disadvantaged Learners. New York: Teacher's College Press.

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