Special Educational Needs Course Detail

Fast Facts

Course dates:10 - 21 April 2017
10 - 21 July 2017
16 - 27 October 2017
Max. group size:12
Entry level:B1
Min. age:23
Course materials:Included
Terms and conditions

Target Audience

This course is for all professionals working in education, in management, marketing or administration, who want to better understand the challenges of teaching students with Special Educational Needs. Participants need to be at a B1 level of English.

Course Summary

By following this course, you will develop an understanding of the challenges of teaching students with dyslexia, autism, and other special needs arising from Asperger’s syndrome. Key topics will be addressed, including characteristics and diagnostic criteria, a structured approach to teaching, creating trust with learners and working with families, assessment, language and communication, dyslexia and autism spectrum conditions, recognising different types of discriminatory or exclusive behavior and understanding the causes of challenging behaviours, behaviour management, with the aim of developing a range of best practices.

The course will include a guest speaker or school visit to enable you to gain insight into local best practices. You will be given a range of practical ideas for teaching students with special needs.


This course does not require any mandatory preparation but suggested reading list and reference links will be provided. Participants will also be sent a pre-course questionnaire to assess their educational contexts and how they feel they need to develop their understanding of the topic to support their professional context. They will also receive information about York to help them prepare for their cultural experience.


The primary aim of this course is to support teachers of students with special needs, specifically but not limited to dyslexia, autism and Asperger’s, including those involved in English language and communication skills; to understand how to integrate a knowledge of the challenges of teaching and training students with autism, into their working contexts. Participants will also further develop their own English language skills during the course.

We aim to provide:

  • an understanding of key challenges including recognising the traits of autism, the positives of autism, managing learning styles, creating trust, recognising different types of discriminatory or exclusive behaviour, breaking down misunderstandings concerning the condition.
  • practical ideas on how to teach those with special needs (as well as those without), without creating extra work for the teacher; and how to build a positive and accessible environment both inside and outside the classroom
  • an environment for participants to share best practices and transfer of knowledge to others


An interactive communicative approach is applied, which provides participants with their own experiential learning of the activities & methodologies. Input sessions involve brainstorming, analysis, problem-solving, and role-play, both in pair work & group work. Participants are actively involved in the sessions to maximize their learning and to experience activities from others’ point of view.

Follow Up

At the end of the course, participants will summarise their learning points and complete a personal action plan to assist them to transfer the learning to practice. Participants will be provided with a wide range of references and institutional addresses for further reading and potential personal development. They are invited to join the York Associates Community, which allows networking and contact with the trainers and fellow colleagues, and with participants from other courses.

Sample Course Programme

Week 1Session OneSession Two

Session Three

MONDAYGroup work: Examining attitudes to dyslexia
Signs and symptoms of dyslexia
Video session: listening to interviews with dyslexic people (their experience)Deepening our understanding of dyslexia – three approaches:
- cognitive
- scientific
- pragmatic
Group work: “Famous dyslexics”
TUESDAYLegal aspects of dyslexia in the UK and EU (legislation)
Navigating the legal minefield (case studies)
Ethical dilemmas with dyslexia
How dyslexic people see themselves / their struggles with others’ attitudes
Group discussion
- what is discrimination?
- ethical issues involved with dyslexia
- how should these ethical issues be resolved?
WEDNESDAYDiscussion: applying the cognitive approach to teaching practiceMulti-sensory approaches to teaching
Reporting on and assessing dyslexia in others
Informal presentations – how diagnostic reports can help trainers
Dyslexics reporting on their experiences in the classroom
THURSDAYDyslexia and your teaching situation

What is a dyslexia-friendly website?
Group work: can we change our:
- training establishment
- learning environment?

Creating an informal ‘code of practice’
Free time / self-study
FRIDAYInput: setting goals for personal and institutional improvement
Creating a personal action plan for the future
Input: setting goals for personal and institutional improvement
Creating a personal action plan for the future
Week 2
Session OneSession Two

Session Three

English language refresher (Useful Vocabulary)
Special needs and learning difficulties (Autism):
Characteristics and diagnostic criteria of Autism Spectrum Conditions
Special needs and learning difficulties (Asperger’s):
Key considerations and approaches for teaching students with Asperger’s syndrome and supporting them and their parents
TUESDAYWhat is autism? A scientific approach
Autism friendly games and activities
What is autism? A cognitive approach.
Issues you may face in the classroom.
Methodology, mini-teaching practice, reflection and discussion
WEDNESDAYWhat is autism? A behavioural approach
Autism friendly games and activities
Key methodologies for teaching students with autism and supporting them and their parentsPreparation for school visit / guest speaker:

What will you ask? What do you want to know?
What will you tell them about your own teaching context?
THURSDAYSchool visit or Guest speaker on key methodologies and local projects

Debrief, discussion and key learnings (following guest speaker/school visit session)
Free time / self-study
FRIDAYSpecial needs and learning difficulties:
Managing Meltdowns
Input: setting goals for personal and institutional improvement
Creating a personal action plan for the future
Review of the week:

Individual work: “A letter to myself – where I want to be in the future”

About the Trainer

Associate Trainer

General and specialist English and international communication skills trainer, teacher trainer, 20 years + international experience (eg. Germany, Switzerland, Peru), German speaker.

Areas of special interest

Dyslexia awareness, autism, SEN, history and culture, intercultural awareness, sales


Developing People Internationally (York Associates)


  • MA University of Wales, CTEFLA
  • PhD (in progress) University of York

Course Summary

For over 30 years, the York Associates training model has gone beyond the areas of pure language training and is highly regarded in the field of communication skills training, intercultural training and international team and leadership training. We are proud to be able to utilize our expertise to add value to the Cert IBET, bringing together the areas of teaching, coaching, intercultural and interpersonal skills training, where participants are introduced to concepts and issues like trust building, conflict handling and influencing skills, in addition to the core concepts of international Business English training.

This 50-hour+ course seeks to build the confidence of each participant by tapping into their already-existing knowledge of the international business world and the language of business while introducing new concepts and business tools that can help them better participate in their learners’ discourse and help their learners become better communicators in the world of international business.
Note: experience of business or teaching business English is not essential.

Follow Up

Participants who complete the course have to submit an assignment (3,000 – 4,000 words) for the Cert IBET international qualification. The course ends with an evaluation session, where teachers are encouraged to create a Personal Development Action Plan, and identify activities which they would like to try out in their own classes. They are invited to join the York Associates Community, which allows networking and contact with the trainers and fellow colleagues, and with participants from other courses.

If you have questions or want further information, please contact [email protected].