Language development is a gradual process, starts early in human life. Even before birth, fetus starts to identify the speech patterns and sound of its mother’s voice and distinguish them from other sounds after birth. There are two early development language stages in humans; receptive language and expressive language. Before developing expressive or verbal language, children usually develop receptive language i.e. the internal understanding and processing of language. This slowly develops expressive language in them. The children learns to express the same proverbial means which they already expressed through words. The phase of language developing in children is not the same. They do not process information at the same rate. Those children labeled as slow learners. It is not a disorder and children or adults called slow learner does not necessarily require special education. They are likely to need some extra help and time to learn than average rate.
Causes of slow learning
Slow learning can be influenced by the number of factors. Some of the factors cause slow learning in language development are as below:
At the early stages of child development, they develop the feeling of love, fear and trust and when they grow older he/she develop the feeling of relationship, pride and friendship. In this stage, the changes are very rapid, and every change impact their behavior. Therefore having a positive feeling about themselves help developing a positive emotional and social development. A neglected child build negative emotions and eventually stops trusting parents and other people. It affects the developing skills of the child such as socializing and can lack behind in language development. Their performance can be effected in other areas at school as well.
Environment around child is comprises of two components. First the environment at home and second the environment they experience in school. Children’s cognitive abilities nurture in learning environment, provided by parents and teachers, in the form of simple interactive activities. Lack of these interactive activities can slow down the learning process in children.
The cause of slow learning can be personal factors such as absence from school and illness. When children got absent from school and lack behind in studies, same goes for the language especially the child is learning a new language, absentees can cause a setback. Learning a language is a continue process and require constant effort and attentions without gaps.
In today’s educational system, schools offer a foreign language as a required course in the curriculum, so that students can interact in a foreign language both written and in oral form. Learning a new language is challenging because of different alphabets, grammar and completely different sound system. It is particularly hard for slow learners to learn thousands of new words. Slow learners are not the same as mentally retarded ones. They can also achieve reasonable academic success based on their rate of learning. As an adult, a slow learner typically becomes socially adjusted, self-supporting and independent, but with the right form of regular classroom program which best suits his/her learning capabilities.
Language educators has to deal with slow learners at some point. Students learning capabilities are measured on the basis of how well or poor they are performing in subjects. Students normally show interest in the subject they like and show carelessness towards other subjects. For a slow learners, secondary school curriculum is extremely hard to cope without real life or practical activities. They can get success in their academic career by proceeding at a slower pace with adoptable syllabus to suit their abilities. They have short attention span and poor memory which keep them from going for higher studies despite all the educational facilities and guidance. They cannot concentrate on one topic for long and yet cannot keep the same pace as the average children.
Slow learners face difficulty with reasoning skills and it is harder for them to grasp new concepts easily. New concepts are usually based on the previously mastered concept and when class has already mastered a concept and moving on to the second, the slow learners lack behind as they require more time. This led to knowledge gap and disturb effective listening and speaking, resulting in limited vocabulary development. This can damage slow learners self-confidence and cause anxiety, low self-esteem which may lead to quick give up.