Maria Naidoo & Colette Batha, UNSW Global
Responding creatively to special needs

As language teachers, we do not always have the skills or experience to support students with special needs in our classroom. Finding ourselves in just this situation recently with a direct entry program student, Shine, required us to respond quickly and creatively to her unique set of needs. To ensure the best possible outcomes for Shine, we needed to look at our course content, assessments, teaching strategies and class dynamics through a new lens. In this workshop participants will examine and share practical ways to adjust aspects of their delivery to accommodate students with special needs. The workshop aims to increase teachers’ confidence to find innovative approaches to inclusive learning in the classroom.

Maria Naidoo is the Education Manager for Direct Entry Programs (DEP) at UNSW Global. Prior to taking up this position she worked as an ESL teacher, a resource writer and an Academic Manager in the Adult Migrant English Program. Maria is interested in exploring how best to support international students overcome the array of challenges they face - from new academic norms to personal challenges, including language barriers and special needs.

Colette Batha works as a language facilitator at UNSW Global, teaching academic English skills in the Direct Entry Program, career English and special interest study tours. Prior to becoming a teacher, Colette worked for twenty years in publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a CELTA, and is currently undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Education (TESOL) at UNSW. Colette has had the privilege of encountering and learning from a number of students with diverse learning needs during her teaching career. She hopes to continue to foster her understanding of this very rewarding practice.