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Numer: 15273

Teaching vocabulary to students afflicted with ADHD


WYDZIAŁ Humanistyczny
KIERUNEK Filologia

Praca napisana pod kierunkiem
Dr. Doroty Werbińskiej


CHAPTER 1: Theoretical aspects of ADHD
1.1 Definitions of ADHD 6
1.2 The history of ADHD 7
1.3 The description of ADHD 8
1.3.1 Prevalence of ADHD 8
1.3.2 The causes of ADHD 9
1.3.3 Subtypes of ADHD 9
1.4 Some disorders that co-exist with ADHD 12
Concluding remarks 12
CHAPTER 2: Different techniques in teaching English vocabulary
2.1 The role of vocabulary in language teaching methodologies through ages 13
2.2 Aspects of knowing a word 14
2.3 Factors affecting word learnability 15
2.4 Techniques in presenting, revising and consolidating vocabulary 18
2.5 The significance of attention and memory in the learning process 19
2.6 Mnemonic devices enhancing memory 22
Concluding remarks 24
CHAPTER 3: Educational implications
3.1 Establishing the proper learning environment 25
3.2 Modification of students’ undesirable behaviors 26
3.3 Improving the effectiveness of teaching by: 30
3.3.1 Maintaining attention and interest during the lesson 30
3.3.2 The assessment of knowledge and skills 32
3.3.3 The improvement of self- esteem 33
Concluding remarks

CHAPTER 4: The effectiveness of teaching techniques
4.1 Aim of the study 35
4.2 Procedures 35
4.3 Description of subject 1 37
4.4 Description of lessons devoted to different teaching techniques of vocabulary 38
4.4.1 Description of lesson No. 1 38
4.4.2 Description of lesson No. 2 40
4.4.3 Description of lesson No. 3 42
4.4.4 Description of lesson No. 4 43
4.5 Description of subject 2 46
4.6 Description of lessons devoted to different teaching techniques of vocabulary 47
4.6.1 Description of lesson No. 1 47
4.6.2 Description of lesson No. 2 49
4.6.3 Description of lesson No. 3 51
4.6.4 Description of lesson No. 4 52
4.7 Description of subject 3 54
4.8 Description of lessons devoted to different teaching techniques of vocabulary 55
4.8.1 Description of lesson No. 1 55
4.8.2 Description of lesson No. 2 57
4.8.3 Description of lesson No. 3 59
4.8.4 Description of lesson No. 4 62
4.9 The effectiveness of teaching English vocabulary - evaluations 65
4.9.1 Presentation of new vocabulary 65
4.9.2 Consolidating exercises 68
4.9.3 Revision exercises 72
4.9.4 Attention and memory 75
4.9.5 Behavior 78
Concluding remarks 82


Society has increasingly become more interested in ADHD as one of several disorders affecting life of a child both at home and in the school environment. The public awareness about the disorder as well as its social acceptance is still rather low.
Children afflicted by ADHD with dominant motor hyperactivity are usually labeled as aggressive and ill mannered. In the school environment their classmates asnd the classmates’ parents often negatively perceive them not only by their teachers but also. Schools are usually not prepared to provide the ADHD students with a proper care they deserve. Teachers do not always know how to approach these students or what strategies they can apply during the educational process so that the ADHD students could improve their behavior and achieve a greater academic success.
The ADHD students are exposed to discrimination, especially from their peers. They may feel alienated at school as well as in their neighborhood. The quality of life of such students can improve only through a skillful intervention on the part of the parents, teachers, psychologists, and doctors.
The cause of the disorder cannot be attributed to a child or to the child’s parents. Since ADHD is a biological disorder, the children affected should be given a special care and a certain amount of trust, which is part of a number of strategies developed with respect to alleviating the symptoms as well as rendering the students fully productive members of the society.
The primary objective of this paper is to demonstrate that ADHD students receiving their education in public schools and in individual in-home training programs may be successful in learning English vocabulary, provided that appropriate teaching strategies and behavior corrective measures are applied.
The work consists of two parts: a theoretical analysis comprising three chapters and practical part describing a case study. Chapter one of the theory profiles the disorder, presenting what is known about the problem, whereas chapter two analyzes methods of vocabulary teaching as well as the role of attention and memory in the learning process. Chapter three describes educational implications and their influence on the effectiveness of teaching and the improvement of behavior.
The case study focuses on psycho-pedagogical research carried out on three students who have been diagnosed with ADHD, displaying attention deficit as well as motor hyperactivity. It describes English vocabulary lessons, providing the author’s assessment of various techniques in the presentation of new vocabulary, consolidation, and revision. The chapter evaluates the students’ attention, memory, and behavior during English lessons.
The author of the paper has selected the topic based on her long interest in teaching children with disabilities, who should be identified and adequately educated in order to stand a better chance in the learning process.

Chapter 1: Theoretical aspects of ADHD

1. 1 Definitions of ADHD

ADHD is an acronym standing for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which, at times, is referred to as ADD. Over the last century this neurobehavioral problem has been known by several names such as: minimal brain damage, minimal brain dysfunction, hyperkinetic reaction of childhood, attention deficit disorder (ADD) with or without hyperactivity and many others.
ADHD is a disorder manifested in various ways. Research of the 70s and 80s of the twentieth century identified clear diagnostic criteria and provided a number of definitions of this disorder. Definitions of ADHD collected from a number of sources by Rief (2005:3) give the best description of the nature of the disorder:
• “ADHD is a neurobiological behavioral disorder characterized by chronic and developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity” (cited in Rief 2005:4; ChADD, 2001c).
• ADHD is a brain-based disorder that arises out of differences in the central nervous system- both in structural and neurochemical areas.
• ADHD is a neurobiological behavioral disorder causing a high degree of variability and inconsistency in performance, output, and production.
• ADHD is a dimensional disorder of human behaviors that all people exhibit at times to certain degree. Those with ADHD display symptoms to a significant degree that is maladaptive and developmentally inappropriate compared to others that age.
• ADHD is a developmental of self-control, consisting of problems with attention span, impulse control, and activity level (cited in Rief 2005:4; Barkley, 2006).
• ADHD is a chronic physiological disorder that interferes with a person’s capacity to regulate and inhibit behavior and sustain attention to tasks in developmentally appropriate ways.
• ADHD refers to a family or related chronic neurobiological disorders that interfere with an individual’s capacity to regulate activity level (hyperactivity), inhibit behavior (impulsivity), and attend to tasks (inattention) in developmentally inappropriate ways (cited in Rief 2005:4; National Institute of Mental Health, 2000 National Resource Center on ADHD, 2003a).
• Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood. ADHD is also among the most prevalent chronic health conditions affecting school-aged children (cited in Rief 2005:4; American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000).
• ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by differences in brain structure and function that affect behavior, thoughts, and emotions (cited in Rief 2005:4).
• ADHD is characterized by a constellation of problems with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These problems are developmentally inappropriate and cause difficulty in daily life. (cited in Rief 2005:4; Goldstein, 1999).”
All of the above definitions indicate that any learning problems attributed to lack of attention or any behavioural problems displayed by ADHD children are the result of neurobiological malfunction in their brain.

1. 2 The History of ADHD

Research on ADHD dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century, being first recognized by George Still in 1902. This famous English pediatrician examined a group of children who displayed some behavioral problems as well as an inability to focus attention. Still’s observation of inattentiveness, inclination towards behavioral overreaction, as well as resistance to discipline among these children made him conclude that they suffered from a “lack of moral control”, which was manifest in their poor control of inhibition and aggressive behavior. He further concluded that these behavioral problems arouse from a biological malfunction that was nested inside a child to the exclusion of external factors such as poor parenting or adverse environmental conditions (Green and Chee 1994:13).
By the late 50s of the twentieth century the term “minimal brain damage” had been in use to describe what is today known as ADHD. The name however put a great deal of attention on the nature of this disorder, and not on the symptoms. From the 50s onward the word “hyperactivity” became synonymous with ADHD and was frequently used to describe it.
Many influential researchers supported the idea of analyzing symptoms as the means leading toward the explanation of the nature of ADHD. It has been discovered that the main symptom among the examined is a concentration problem, and not hyperactivity. The current term, ADHD, was adopted in 1994 by the American Psychiatric Association (O’Regan 2005:12-13).

1.3 The description of ADHD

1.3.1 Prevalence of ADHD

Statistics concerning the frequency of occurrence of ADHD defer and are dependant on which portion of population has been examined, the geographical location of the research, and the criteria used. Rief (2005:14) quotes some data connected with incidences of ADHD:
• Approximately 3 to 5 percent of school-aged children are afflicted with this disorder.
• The American Academy of Pediatrics and National Initiative for Children Healthcare Quality (in 2002) estimated the number of school-aged children suffering from ADHD at 4 to 12 percent.
• About 7 percent of the American primary school students have been diagnosed with the disorder – these are the findings of a 2002 nationwide survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Psychiatric Association placed this figure at 3 to 7 percent.
• According to Murthy and Barkley (1996:22), the number of adults affected by ADHD oscillates around 2 to 4 percent.
• Due to the nature of this disorder, the symptoms are usually carried from childhood into adolescence, and approximately 67 percent of people affected will carry them into adulthood (CHADD, 2003a).
Based on the recent data, Munden and Arcelus (2006:51) estimate that in Poland the number of individuals afflicted with ADHD is in the neighborhood of 10-15 percent. Professor Tylor has gathered data concerning the occurrence of ADHD in Britain, according to which 1.7 percent of the entire British population suffer from ADHD in its severe form.
ADHD is mostly a “boy” problem. According to J. Dupaul and Stoner, boys with the disorder outnumber girls in clinical cases (a 6:1 ratio) and community (a 3:1 ratio). Many young females may not display behavioral problems and therefore be never diagnosed with the disorder since girls, by nature, are much less disruptive than boys. Nevertheless, they may still suffer the consequences of ADHD in their overall school performance (Green and Chee 1994:6). Mundane and Arcelus (2006:51) believe that ADHD is much easier identifiable in boys than girls due to the more open exhibition of aggressive behavior and overreaction. Approximately 50 percent of the affected children receive a psychotropic treatment, about 12 percent receive special education, and about 34 percent use mental health services (Dupaul and Stoner 2003:4), which makes ADHD a high incident disorder prevalent mostly among males.
ADHD is a lifelong disorder and as such it requires the services of many professionals over an extensive period of time to produce some positive developmental outcomes (Dupaul and Stoner 2003:4).
Studying the statistical data, it becomes obvious that ADHD is not confined to any specific geographic location, and in its non-discriminatory nature it may affect the entire human population.

1.3.2 The causes of ADHD

Although ADHD has been studied extensively in a number of countries all over the world and a number of scientific studies are still in progress, as of yet the findings have not identified a clear single cause of the disorder. Unfortunately, the modern science is still unable to fully understand this problem. Nevertheless, based on the conducted research, it can provide some probable causes, which include heredity, pre- or postnatal trauma, lower metabolism in certain brain regions, chemical imbalance or deficiency in neurotransmitters, minor brain differences, or environmental factors (Rief 2005: 17-19). ADHD is a biological condition which is not caused by home environment, too much TV, food allergies, excess sugar or poor home life or poor schooling. On the other hand, these factors are likely to contribute to a behavior that may resemble the typical ADHD symptoms.
Despite a number of theories trying to explain the causes of ADHD, there is still much to learn about this disorder, which is yet another puzzle for the scientists to solve, hopefully, in the near future.

1.3.3 Subtypes of ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD vary from individual to individual. For instance, children affected by the disorder can show a wide range of difficulties with attention, while others may be mildly inattentive but overly impulsive. Some individuals may be overactive, whereas others may demonstrate under-active behavior. Still others may have problems in many areas such as inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
ADHD symptoms have been divided into three subtypes, which is the typology used by Dupaul and Stoner (2003:8):
1. Predominantly inattentive type – ADHD-IA which is identified by at least six inattention symptoms but less than six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.
2. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type – ADHD-HI which is identified by at least six hyperactive-impulsive symptoms but less than six inattention symptoms.
3. Combined type (inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity) – ADHD-CT which is identified by at least six of the nine inattention symptoms and at least six of the nine hyperactive –impulsive symptoms.

The predominantly inattentive type of ADHD

This is the most widespread, frequently called a classical type referred to as ADD. It describes children with a great number of inattentive symptoms, who can also display some degree of hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADHD-IT is very often overlooked both by parents and teachers since the affected children may not display disruptive behaviors that would draw attention to a potential problem. Instead the symptoms may be interpreted as a lack of interest on the part of these students and as such they might be translated into poor academic performance. This type of ADHD may be identified by a number of characteristics that are prevalent in afflicted students at the above-the-average level.
According to Rief and the DSM IV and DSM-IV-TR (2005: 4-5) the most common and typical symptoms of inattention are easiness with which a student is distracted by extraneous stimuli, appearance that a student is not listening when spoken to, difficulty remembering and following directions, difficulty sustaining attention during various activities, difficulty sustaining level of alertness to tasks, forgetfulness in daily activities, not following instructions and failure to finish schoolwork, daydreaming, confusion, easiness in becoming overwhelmed, difficulty starting tasks, reluctance to engage in tasks requiring mental efforts, difficulty working independently, getting bored easily, poor study skills, no attention to details resulting in careless mistakes, inconsistent performance – “consistently inconsistent”, disorganization, loss or misplacement of things as well as no awareness of time.
Rief (2005:6) identifies a wide array of problems that ADHD students may experience in their academic performance such as losing track, focus, forgetting information, skipping words during their reading activities, having problems with planning and organizing their written assignments, writing off topic, poor spelling, punctuation, and editing skills, or poor problem solving skills and computational errors in math.

The predominantly hyperactive - impulsive type of ADHD

It is present in individuals with a significant number of hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, who may have some or none of the inattentive symptoms. Children affected by this type exhibit behaviors that far exceed what is considered to be normal behaviors for children at a given age, both in intensity as well as frequency.
The most common and typical symptoms of hyperactivity are overactivity reflected in “as if driven by a motor” behavior, inability to sit still during task activities, high energy level, running around, jumping, climbing in inappropriate situations, unnecessary movement, restlessness, fidgeting, squirming, roaming around the classroom, noisiness, invading other people’s space, inability to calm down.
To the most typical symptoms of impulsivity belong no patience, excessive talkativity, interrupting other students, answering questions before tasks have been completed, inability to sit calmly, acting before thinking, noisiness, acting as if consequences do not exist, engagement in high risk situations, breaking things, disrupting others, resorting to violence, lack of willingness to go back to previously completed tasks, making careless mistakes, always in a hurry, becoming easily bored with tasks.
Apart from these symptoms, Rief (2005:8) lists some other characteristics present in children afflicted with ADHD, which include: excessive emotionality, easy outburst of frustration, quick reaction and overreaction, discipline difficulty, lack of willingness to work on long-term goals, low self-esteem, poor handwriting and written production skills, oversensitivity to sounds, touch, etc., poor motivation, or lack of motivation, poor academic performance, underachievement as well as communication problems.
ADHD may appear in various forms and shapes in different children. Some cases may seriously impede the child’s development, while others may affect it mildly. For this reason each individual afflicted by ADHD is different. It is a mistake to believe that the child with this syndrome would have no talents, interests, or some positive personal traits.
Occasionally, all people exhibit this type of behavior, however, with ADHD students, the frequency as well as intensity are relatively much higher. ADHD is a chronic disorder, which can occur early in life and be present throughout the adulthood. It may have an adverse effect on academic achievements, on the personal conduct of an individual among his family or his peers (O’Regan 2005:12).

1.4 Some disorders that co-exist with ADHD

Hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention are not the exclusive symptoms of ADHD but are characteristic of other medical conditions, which very often leads to misdiagnosis. Typically, two-thirds of children affected by ADHD have also some other associated disorders, which Rief (2005:12) enumerates as follows: oppositional defiant disorder: 30-65%; anxiety disorder 20-35% of children, 25-40% of adults; conduct disorder 10-25% of children, 25-50% of adolescents, 20-25% of adults; bipolar (maniac/depressive illness) 1-20%; depression 10-30% of children, 10-47% of adolescents as well as adults; tics/Tourette’s syndrome approximately 7% have tics or Tourette’s syndrome; learning disabilities 12-60%; sleep problems over 50% of children have a problem falling asleep, 40% may have problems with night-walking; secondary behavioral complications about 65% of children may exhibit noncompliance, argumentativeness, bad temper, lying, etc.
Based on the conducted research, Munden and Arcelus (2006: 27) enumerate the following learning difficulties that children with ADHD may have. These are inability to cope with learning about 90%, underachievement 90%, poor reading skills 20% and poor writing skills 60%.
This information might be valuable especially to teachers and healthcare providers who, by the nature of their work, should be aware of these associated disorders.

Concluding remarks

Having some theoretical information and knowledge about ADHD allows educators to identify potentially afflicted students and to take necessary steps in selecting and implementing appropriate teaching strategies adjusted to their needs in order to help them overcome academic difficulties and achieve success at school and in their communities.

Chapter 2: Different techniques in teaching English vocabulary

2.1 The role of vocabulary in language teaching methodologies through ages

The tradition of second language learning dates back at least to the second century B.C. Roman students who studied Greek started with alphabet, then combined sounds into words, words into sentences, and sentences into discourse. The learning was based on ancient texts, which provided voluminous vocabulary items, which unfortunately was not alphabetized or grouped (Bowen, Madsen and Hilferty 1985). One may assume that vocabulary was deemed important at the time since the art of rhetoric was so highly prized by the Romans.
The medieval period brought prominence to the study of grammar, as it was customary to learn Latin. Studying vocabulary was less important than studying syntax of a language. Latin grammar would focus on rules, giving a rise to prescriptive approaches to studying language during the Age of Reason. The principles developed in the period would emphasize the purity of Latin grammatical forms, outlawing features in languages such as English that were in common use (double negative, ending a sentence with a preposition). This period also attempted to produce the first standardized dictionaries by Robert Cawdrey, Samuel Johnson (Kelly 1969:24).
The main method in teaching a foreign language from the beginning of the nineteenth century was Grammar-Translation. Grammar-Translation focused on developing writing and reading skills, neglecting the students’ speaking abilities. A typical lesson would introduce one or two grammar rules as well as a list of vocabulary that was to be translated from L1 to L2. Often obsolete and out of use, the vocabulary was selected to illustrate a specific grammar rule. One of the main problems with this method was that it focused on the analysis of the language instead of its use, which led to the development of a new approach. The end of the nineteenth century produced what became to be known as the Direct Method, which emphasized listening as well as oral skills, focusing on use of the second language. Since the method imitated how a native language was learned, it was believed that vocabulary would be acquired naturally through the interaction during lessons. The method had its problems, namely it required teachers to be proficient in the target language and its implementation in a public school system was too expensive.
World War II prompted American army to develop its own method, so-called “Army Method”, drawing on the research of behavioral psychology and American structural linguists. Through intensive oral drills, the method focused on pronunciation and sentence patterns, abandoning analysis of the target language. After World War II it was still continued and came to be known as Audio- Lingual Method.
The 40s to 60s developed Situational Approaches, which grouped lexical items according to what would be required in a particular situation (at the table, at a restaurant, etc.).
In the 1950s Noam Chomsky supplanted the behaviorist idea of habit formation with the idea that language is innate and as such it is governed by cognitive factors. In 1972 Hymes introduced concept of communicative competence, which emphasized sociolinguistic and pragmatic factors, which promoted appropriateness of language rather than its accuracy. This led to the development of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), which focused on the message and fluency at the expense of grammatical correctness. This modern approach to language teaching treats vocabulary as an essential part of language.

2.2 Aspects of knowing a word

Neglected for decades, learning and teaching vocabulary has gained a great importance both in native and foreign language acquisition as one of the central components of the process. As stressed by McCarthy (1990), there is no meaningful means of expression in communication without words, regardless of the level of mastery of the other sub-skills.
Assimilation of the basic unit of a language system, namely a word, starts with the acquisition of the combination of its sound pattern with the meaning it denotes. Yet, as such, it does not constitute communication. It is due to the diverse semantic and structural properties of words that they can be combined into more complex utterances, thus accounting for speech acts. Those features listed by Schmitt and McCarthy (1997:142-143) involve:
• the form – either oral or written,
• the meaning – affective / connotative, referential (homonyms / homophones, metaphorical uses), or pragmatic (situational appropriateness),
• the morphology,
• lexical relations, including collocations, synonymy, antonymy, hypo- and hyperonymy,
• syntactic properties.
The greater the mastery of all of those features, the higher the level of proficiency of a learner. On the other hand, such multitude of information about each single word automatically constitutes difficulties to the students who are to learn a new item. Therefore, it is important to build vocabulary on a systematic basis.

2.3 Factors affecting word learnability

Whether a word is acquired with ease or with difficulty depends on a number of factors such as pronounceability, orthography, length, morphology, grammar, and semantic features, which are thoroughly described by Schmitt and MacCarthy (1997:143-153) as follows:
A number of studies demonstrate that the learners’ L1 system affects acquisition of a foreign language in various ways. It may be responsible for the learners’ inability to discriminate between sounds in a foreign language. Students may experience difficulties related to individual phonemes or phoneme clusters as well as in suprasegmental features of the language. In general, if the phonemic system of the target language is similar to the phonemic system of the students’ L1, the students will have less difficulty in learning the language.
The correspondence between pronunciation and spelling may also influence the learnability of a word. This is particularly true in case of English since the script of an English word may not leave the learner any clues as to how the word should be pronounced. For instance, the English letter “o” has a number of possible pronunciations such as in love, chose, woman, women, or odd. A different L1 writing system may also adversely affect the process of learning a foreign language, which may be a problem in case of native speaker of Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or some Semitic languages. Besides learning pronunciation and meaning of a new word, the speakers of these languages will also have to master an alphabet with which they may not be familiar.

It would seem that the longer the word, the more difficult it is to remember. However, Rodgers (1969) suggests that the length of a word is not a significant variable. According to another study carried out by Gerganov and Taseva (1982), Bulgarian learners of English memorize more easily one syllable words than longer words. In 1982 Coles discovered that the length of a word had a strong effect on its recognition. Coles’s findings suggest that shorter words are therefore easier to learn. This argument can be countered with morphological transparency, which is particularly evident with longer words. A long word can consist of many familiar morphemes, e.g. unavailability or unintelligible. There is no reason to believe that these words would be more difficult to learn than short one-syllable words, provided that the learner is familiarized with all of the morphological components. Word learnability is more affected by the frequency of exposure to the word. Although one may argue that the length factor is important in word acquisition, there is however no method of properly isolating this variable. For this reason it is hard to attribute the difficulty of learning a particular word to its length in a learning situation.
Multiplicity of forms of a word may cause a potential learning problem due to the complexity and increased load that needs to be memorized by the learner. This includes features like irregularity of plural, irregularity of tense, or gender of inanimate nouns. Knowing English affixes will certainly help students with composing and decomposing words. Derivational suffix such as pre- can be very easily understood by the learner in the word such as preview or prenatal. However, knowing affixes does not always guarantee proper comprehension of a word. Descriptive transparency is a special case of morphological difficulty in comprehension. The word outline does not mean out of line. Since the word consists of meaningful morphemes, the learner may assume that the meaning of the word equals the sum of meanings of its components. This is, however, not true in case of descriptive transparency words because the components are not real morphemes.
A number of research studies found that certain grammatical categories are more difficult than others. Nouns seem to be the easiest parts of speech, followed by verbs and adjectives, with adverbs being the most difficult to learn. Since English is not an inflectional language and English nouns do not take on any affixes except for plural or opposite forms in some cases, the foreign learners may find them the easiest to learn. Class conversion is a frequent phenomenon in languages such as English, which may constitute some problems in word comprehension and learnability, especially in the case of verbs.
Semantic features of the word
The semantic properties that may interfere with learning process rendering it more difficult have been identified as:
• Abstractness – it is generally assumed that abstract nouns are more difficult to learn than concrete nouns due to the more complex nature of the former. This may not, however, be the case. Learners of all ages do not display problems with understanding such abstract concepts as day, week, colors, or love. These concepts have been already developed in the learners’ L1 and they may require learning only a new form.
• Specificity and register restriction. According to the study by Blum and Levenstom (1978), foreign learners tend to use general terms that can be used in a number of contexts, sometimes even overgeneralizing and ignoring restrictions concerning register and collocational restrains.
• Idiomaticity. Idiomatic expressions are very specific to a language and their meaning cannot be easily induced from their components. Non-native speakers of English are more inclined to use the word decide instead of to make up one’s mind. This is due to the fact that the later is typical of English and not necessarily of the learners’ L1.
• Multiple meanings. Polysemy as well as homonymy are rather prevalent in all languages and the difference between them is whether the meanings of a word represented by a single form are related or not. The study by Bensoussan and Laufer (cited in Schmitt and MacCarthy 1997:153) found that words with multiple meanings caused the largest number of comprehension errors. Learners may have a problem with discriminating between the different senses of the same word and may not bring themselves to use all of them.

2.4 Techniques in presenting, revising and consolidating vocabulary

Techniques in presenting vocabulary

As Hubbard (1983:50)claims, vocabulary should be presented in a memorable way in order to foster the long memory retention. This can be done in a number of ways, the best of which is a combination of several presentation techniques which should be selected in accordance to the item's nature. Yet what is essential is to reinforce students' understanding of the words taught. The helpful techniques (Tosuncuoglu 1997) are as follows:
• flashcards – useful for presenting vocabulary as well as creating situations or contexts, etc.,
• realia – presenting by means of real objects (which is rather limited though),
• body language – useful for teaching verbs through actions, gestures, facial expression, etc.,
• demonstration,
• definition – description of a word meaning, providing detailed information as well,
• examples – conceptualized word use adjusted to the students (in order to be meaningful),
• word building elements – teaching new items in relation to the already mastered vocabulary; affixes may be demonstrated through splitting the word into morphological segments, e. g.: length – a noun from long; beauty - a noun from beautiful; unforgettable – un-forget-able; childish – child-ish
• synonyms and antonyms – useful in establishing links / lexical relations between words,
• contrasts – explaining meaning by means of the opposite: big vs. small; new vs. old; full vs. empty,
• concept forming – using students' common knowledge by presenting situations and eliciting the item in question, like: you read it in the newspaper or a magazine when you want to buy something. What is it? What do you do with bread if you want to make a sandwich? What happened to “a road” when there is ice on it?
• cognates – pointing to similarities between borrowed forms: concentrate, football, surf;
• translation – although useful in case of infrequent words, it must be remembered that certain items may have no direct equivalent in students' native language.
The selection of an appropriate technique depends on the age of the students, their skills, interests as well as what in the opinion of a teacher will bring desirable results.

Techniques in revising and consolidating vocabulary

Even the best presentation technique is not enough in itself to help to internalize the language. In order to shift the lexicon from passive to active students need a lot of practice and recycling of the vocabulary taught. The multitude of techniques at this stage includes: graphs and grids, matching synonyms or antonyms, filling in diagrams, paraphrasing, multiple choice or gap filling exercises, cloze tests, word building using prefixes and suffixes, matching pictures to words, matching parts of words, classifying items into lists, completing specific tasks using words provided, listening activities, memory and guessing games, productive written activities, communicative activities, role-plays, discussions, word games "useful for practicing and revising vocabulary after it has been introduced" (Haycraft 1978:50), word puzzles like word squares, crosswords. They in turn can be aided by visual prompting useful for revision of both vocabulary and structures.

2.5 The significance of attention and memory in the learning process

Attention and memory are a series of mental processes within the brain which enable humans to organize information in such a way that they can succeed in educational institutions, work, and social life. The academic achievement of students afflicted with ADHD is dependent on how well the information is processed by their brain as well as to what extent these processes are affected by the syndrome. Attentiveness and memory are strictly interlaced, thereby they are required to be considered in their totality as interdependent correlates.
Attention describes a number of cognitive processes which are responsible for the following:
• keeping the mind alert to any activities or behaviors found around and maintaining alertness and perception while awaiting the occurrence of particular stimuli;
• distinguishing and sorting out the most important elements in the field of perception (e.g. via the visual or auditory channel) as well as discarding elements found to be insignificant;
• organizing mental processes around the central issue without engaging in sidetracking;
• analyzing any particular stimulus and shifting focus.
Attention can be either involuntary (spontaneous) or intentional. It can be characterized by the length of time it remains active (attention span), by the strength of mental processes involved (attention intensity), and by the number of items it could be focused on (attention division). It greatly depends on an individual’s temperament, emotions, interests, well-being, age, and surroundings.
One of the first major psychologists, William James, is the author of the most famous definition of attention, which he defined in these words:

Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others ( Jacknicke 1995).

Teachers who are entrusted with students affected by ADHD find their work a rather challenging constant battle to hold students’ attention focused on the subject of a lesson. Green and Chee (1994:123) enumerate some tips on how to achieve this, which encompass attention holders such as cue words, enthusiasm, variety, as well as brief, step-by-step instructions.
As far as memory is concerned, in psychology, it is referred to the ability to store, retain, and recall information. This ability can be classified according to a number of factors such as: duration, nature, and retrieval of the processed items. There seems to be three stages of the formation and retrieval of information such as encoding (processing and integrating of new information), storage (developing a permanent record of the encoded information) and retrieval/recall (calling back the stored information in response to some activity).
The table 1 enumerates a number of memory types that Levine (2004:176) considers crucial in learning, storing, and recalling of information.
According to Green and Chee (1994: 229-230), one cannot discriminate between attention and memory problems. Lack of focus on a particular activity will never allow the mind to take a photographic snapshot of such an activity, which will further result in information loss without being ever integrated and stored. Students afflicted with ADHD may have a well-developed long-term memory but a poor recall from the short-memory channel. As a result, they may retrieve information about what happened in the past much quicker than what happened just a moment ago.
Educators should be aware of the fact that students with ADHD are likely to forget instructions, directions, or large chunks of what is being taught as well as they may have particular problems when information is given in a sequence such as lists or steps required to solve a problem (Green and Chee 1994: 230).

2.6 Mnemonic devices enhancing memory

The basic problem the students experience with vocabulary is the rapid fading of new items from the short term memory before their transmission into long term memory. This is caused by insufficient consolidation and revision and can be overcome through mnemonics – shaping memory strategies which help to build on new vocabulary on the basis of the already familiar entities. Some of those techniques are enumerated by Schmitt and McCarthy (1997:212) as follows:
• pictures / imagery – new items of the nominal type can be acquired by means of relating linguistic expressions to the basic experiences and the students' knowledge of the world
• related words - this technique involves building webs of vocabulary with related meanings through for example synonymy (happy – cheerful), antonymy (dead – alive), coordination (apple - other kinds of fruit). In case of word families, hyponimic / hyperonimic relations or adjectives their relationships may be presented in the form of mental maps or scales, thus reinforcing their mastery
• unrelated words – these can be memorized successfully through two methods. The pegword method uses “pegs” (images) and “hooks” strategy to remember lists of unrelated words by means of simple rhymes. The more frequent the repetition of such rhymes, the better the remembrance of the target items. The other technique is called the Loci method. This spatial mnemonic involves memorizing lists of words visually 'put' on the outline of a familiar place like a flat or room.
• grouping – this method aids better storage of the new items and reflects the natural strategy to organize words into broader semantic groups. This involves spatial grouping on a page in some sort of pattern (e. g. geometrical figures) or in a narrative. This helps in building lexical chains as well as connecting new vocabulary to the already familiar.
• word’s orthographical or phonological form – this technique helps to remember the oral or written form of a word by creating mental representations using rhymes or visualization. Keyword technique makes use of the combination of both images and meanings of the item in the two languages by creating a mental picture with them, which helps in retrieving the target meaning when conceptualized.
• use of physical action - is more meaningful and involving (just like TPR) also seems helpful thus valid
• semantic mapping - which makes use of lexical relations as well as addresses the brains capacities of structuring them in the form of webs around a key concept and branches building on its related meanings
• semantic feature grids - especially useful for sets of similar words, help to show the differences between their meanings and collocations
• studying words’ morphology - this technique helps students to make new words from the already mastered, compensating for the limits in their active lexicon. It is also useful for paraphrasing new items using those known
• cognitive strategies- these are the strategies for recognition, collecting and memorization of vocabulary through visuals, word lists, note taking, repetition or actions
• metacognitive strategies - this strategy requires autonomic decisions concerning the choice of input to be learned, techniques to be employed in the process, setting goals, self–evaluation, choice of the materials (e.g. authentic texts, whether readings or listenings).
Vocabulary is built on systematically and in order to succeed one needs five to sixteen or more repetition drilling, as pointed out in some studies (Nation 1990:44). Neglecting this principle may lead to gradual decrease in the level of mastery of lexical items. On the other hand, if supported by varied numerous mnemotechniques, aided by sensory stimulation (both oral and visual), the passive knowledge of vocabulary is being internalized with the consequent improvement of the storing and retrieving capacities of the brain.

Concluding remarks

Teaching a foreign language, including English, begins with learning the basic vocabulary that the language comprises. These basic vocabulary items will develop all the necessary linguistic skills such as understanding, speaking, reading, and writing.
Knowing the basic lexicon allows people to communicate with each other. The wide choice of words makes the language more flexible and it prevents repetition as well as monotony of speech. Learning new lexical items, regardless of the proficiency level of the learner, is a very important element of broadening one’s knowledge about the language, which, in the end, benefits the learner’s linguistic competence and makes speech more interesting by a variety of expressions.
In the process of teaching a foreign language the teacher must select the most effective techniques for teaching, consolidating and revising lexis, encouraging students to utilize mnemonic techniques that aid to remember and store information. All of it, depends on the age of students, their learning styles, and needs and intellectual capabilities.
Application of appropriate methods in teaching students with ADHD is based on the consideration of factors such as attention span, memory, motivation, and perception, all of which affect the effectiveness of the teaching/learning process.

CHAPTER 3: Educational implications

3.1 Establishing the proper learning environment adjusted to the needs of students with ADHD

Proper learning environment including the arrangement of a classroom may have a tremendous impact on teaching as well as behavior of ADHD students, who very often find it difficult to adjust to the structured environment of a classroom and to determine what is important. Students afflicted with ADHD may become easily distracted by their peers or the activity at hand. For this reason it is necessary to reduce the number of possible distractive factors, which will help the students to stay on task and focus on their assignments. While preparing a lesson for ADHD students one should consider personal boundaries among students, personal space between the student and the teacher, an the proximity of objects such as visual aids which may adversely affect the attentiveness of the students.
Pfiffner (2004:35-38) provides a list of tips concerning the arrangement of a classroom attended by ADHD students.
• Students with ADHD should be seated in the front of a classroom, with their backs toward the rest of the class, and close to the teacher’s desk. This will ensure the reduction of the number of distractors as well as easier control of the students’ work. Such a setup will also provide an excellent monitoring tool for students’ behavioral patterns and a discrete correction thereof.
• Student with ADHD should be placed away from windows, doors, radiators, furniture, flowers, open space, and movable objects so that the number of distractors is further reduced.
• It is important that the student be surrounded by “positive models” such as students who excel in the academic environment and thereby cannot be easily provoked into inappropriate behavior.
• It is a good idea to have an extra set of books and materials since the ADHD students tend to forget to bring them. The materials should be properly marked and located in an easily accessible place so that no noise or commotion can arise.

Rief (2005:104) enumerates some desk formations for students who have problems with concentration:
• U- shaped/ horseshoes,
• E- shaped, straight rows, staggered rows (groups of four students per row in the center and slanted groups of two per row on the peripheries).
According to Rief (2005:187), students who exhibit disruptive behavior perform much better when seated at individual desks rather than a group setup. She also suggests that since the ADHD students cannot sit in one place for a prolonged period of time, they should be allowed to perform certain tasks in a standing position as long as it doesn’t distract the students’ attention. She further recommends cushioned seats for students, which may reduce the level of discomfort and eliminate some unnecessary squirming.
What is more, Rief (2005:104) claims that lighting and room temperature are crucial environmental factors that have a tremendous impact on students’ energy level and productivity.
In his article Carbone (2001:75) considers additional factors such as extra desks available to students, so that they can move around if they need physical movement. The “free desks” could provide an outlet for excessive energy level while still keeping the students focused on task.
The overall appearance of a classroom as well as teaching aids, and code of conduct may provide an important visual stimulation for ADHD students, who frequently look around the classroom, observing things that draw their attention. For this reason the classroom should contain only indispensable teaching aids for conducting a lesson, providing no distraction for school activities.
Taking into consideration all of the above factors, all classroom accommodations create a favorable learning environment, which extends the students’ attention span and keeps them focus on task. In addition, it ensures appropriate behavior, which is indispensable in a learning environment.

3.2 Modification of students’ undesirable behaviors

The implementation of behavioral strategies that help students control their behaviors is part of an effective teaching environment. A well managed classroom prevents disciplinary problems and creates a favorable ground in which learning can take place. Good classroom environment requires proper arrangement of furniture and appropriate seating of students, a development of behavioral standards such as rules and procedures, and positive reinforcement systems that are used to encourage, motivate, reinforce appropriate behaviors and to correct misbehavior (Rief 2005: 97).
Rief (2005:99-100) suggests that in order to create a positive learning environment the teacher should establish a set of rules and behavioral standards, which should be consequently complied with and clearly stated. They may include instructions such as come prepare to work, follow directions, stay on task, keep hand, feet and objects to yourself, pay attention, work silently during quiet time. These can be additionally aided by visual cues depicting the desired behaviors.
What is more, Rief (ibid) also proposes such systems as token economy or a response cost system to be implemented in order to improve behavioral patterns of students with ADHD. The token economy system provides students with immediate feedback from the teacher reinforcing desirable behaviors. The students earn a number of tokens or points for proper behavior, which can be later exchanged for rewards and privileges (e.g. 7 tokens - a candy; 24 tokens- 10 minutes of a computer use, sitting in the seat - 3 tokens). This idea is also supported by DuPaul and Stoner (2003:149), who state that social praise and attention can be an effective tool in producing desired behavioral changes, but alone, they are insufficient to cause permanent improvement in behavioral patterns and academic performance. DuPaul and Stoner (2003:154) claim that in addition to the positive reinforcement system prudent reprimands and verbal redirection, as well as penalties involving the loss or removal of privileges should be also in place. The response cost system provides mild punishments when behavioral problems arise. The students may be given a number of tokens or points at the beginning of the day, which will later be taken away when a specific rule is broken. The system keeps students focus on desirable behavioral patterns, which at the end of the day will be rewarded with tangible prizes or privileges.
Rief (2005:108) claims that the system of rewards should award generously the positive behaviors so that the students with ADHD are not excessively punished for infractions or forgetfulness since this might lead to frustration and loss of motivation, which would be counterproductive, rendering the entire program ineffective.
In his article Carbone (2001:76) describes a five-step process to be followed in modifying undesirable behaviors:
1. The problem should be first discussed with the student and the proper behavior should be clearly stated.
2. Mutual agreement on a reinforcer. The teacher should have some idea as to the students interests and the feasibility of the reinforcer.
3. If response cost accompanies the token economy, fines or penalties should be clearly defined.
4. Communication of rewards and fines must be established. The class should have a well defined procedure for collecting points/tokens, which should be objective and with no surprises.
5. The rewards should outweigh fines.
There are some potential problems with the token economy system, which may be subject to manipulation and compromise in order to produce the behavioral standards. Rewards may require regular upgrading or change in order to have their stimulating effect. The target behaviors or academic performance are strictly tied to the token economy, whose absence will drastically reduce the desirable behavioral pattern (Reiber and McLaughlin 2004).
Mild punishments for misbehavior are a necessary tool providing the safety and security of knowing that there are behavioral boundaries, which all students must not cross. They are referred to as corrective consequences, whose examples are enumerated by Rief (2005:110-113):
1. Loss of what the student wants: time from participating in a preferred activity, a privilege, and etc.
2. Brief delay or time-out: student has to wait before participating in a desired activity or joining the group.
3. Extra work or undesired task assigned
4. Teacher/student conferences: the aim is to discuss the behavior and ways to improve it.
5. Parental contact: close communication with parents who should be informed of behavioral concerns which might interfere with the students' academic performance.
6. Suspensions: a drastic measure for more serious infractions.
Another behavioral intervention that is frequently used by teachers is a contract between the teacher and the student. The contract contains desired classroom behaviors and consequences of their infractions. The teacher identifies specific academic and behavioral goals that need improvement in order to gain access to preferred activities or reward (DuPaul and Stoner 2003:151). Rief (2005:127) points out that the terms of the contract should be perceived as fair, equitable as well as reasonable. The student should not feel overwhelmed with them (Appendix A).
Daily report cards are yet another effective tool at the teacher's disposal. The report cards track and monitor the student’s social, academic, and behavioral progress. They are an effective communication channel between parents and teachers. The report cards should have a rating system (e.g. a five-point scale from “excellent” to “terrible”) and a comment section. The student is responsible for showing the card to the parents and then back to the teacher. To produce positive change, a home token reinforcement must be arranged (e.g. household privileges, television/computer time, etc.) The effectiveness of this system depend on variety and motivational value of backup reinforcers (DuPaul and Stoner 2003:158-159) (Appendix B).
Self-management systems aim at training students to monitor and evaluate their own behavior without constant feedback from the teacher. The teacher identifies behaviors which are to be managed by the student and provides a rating scale with criteria. The student's behavior is rated by the student himself as well as by the teacher. The ratings are later compared and if they match or are within acceptable margin the student receive points which can be later exchanged for privileges or rewards. The teacher involvement is reduced over time and the student bears the sole responsibility for self-assessment (Pfiffner 2004:17).
It is important to focus behavioral intervention strategies on praise rather than punishment. Negative consequences may temporarily produce a desirable change without ever changing the attitude of the student. They may even increase the frequency and intensity of inappropriate behaviors by rewarding misbehaving students with attention. Positive reinforcers produces changes in attitudes that will shape the student in the long term.
The strategies herein described can improve both behavior as well as academic performance of the student. Their implementation in the classroom creates a better learning environment that focuses the student on task and proper conduct, which in the long run will produce a valuable member of a society.

3.3 Improving the effectiveness of teaching by:

3.3.1 Maintaining attention and interest during the lesson

Capturing and holding ADHD students’ interest and attention as well as keeping them focused on task is a great challenge for educators. One of the greatest factors in the effective teaching and learning is attention during the classroom activities which is to some degree conditioned by the teacher’s instructions. Pfiffner (2004:65) provides some strategies that may aid students with following instructions:
1. Making eye contact with the student and asking him/her to pay attention.
2. Walking over to physically prompt student for their attention before giving directions.
3. Keeping instruction simple, audible, and concise to avoid misunderstanding.
4. Students with ADHD may be asked to repeat or rephrase instructions in order to see whether they have good understanding of a task or activity.
5. Longer tasks should be divided into smaller parts.
Rief (2005: 204) recommends using a partner for clarification and assistance with instructions (e.g. “Tell your partner what we are going to do on page 100”). Praise and positive feedback when students are following directions are also valuable resources. According to Rief (2005: 146-147), students should be provided with task cards along with visual cues. The students' attention can be guided with musical instruments such as bells, chimes, xylophone, or clear verbal signals to the important elements of the lesson (e.g. “Freeze... This is important ...”; “Everybody...Ready...”). Visual cues depicting desirable behaviors, pictures, diagrams, gestures, or demonstrations engage students' attention and interest (Appendix C). Writing key words or drawing pictures illustrating vocabulary or concepts may help students sustain their attention and retain the material. The usage of overhead projectors may also enhance the students' attention since the teacher does not have to turn his/her back to the students and the presentation of the material may seem more interesting.
Pfiffner (2004:64-65) suggests that students with ADHD should be completely engaged in the lesson activities, which can be achieved by constant monitoring of their work. In addition, they should be asked questions and be designated as the teacher’s assistants during the lessons. The ADHD students can help with distributing materials, help with presentations, water plants, or wipe the blackboard, which will help the students to release the accumulated energy without disturbing the classroom order. Students with ADHD may be placed next to responsible students who cannot be easily distracted and who will try to engage other students into classroom activities. Research (DuPaul and Stoner 2003:179) demonstrates that peer tutoring increases on task behavior and academic performance while enhancing students' attention.
As pointed by Green and Chee (1994:124), boredom may constitute a big problem in ADHD, which should prompt the teacher to organize fast pacing lessons, full of engaging tasks that are presented in the most attractive way with the support of teaching aids and variety of strategies whose purpose is to encourage interest as well as to enhance and foster a longer attention span.
According to Pfiffner (2004:46-47) ADHD students should not be left inactive during their classes as this may invoke unnecessary behavioral problems and hinder the learning process. In order to provide an effective learning environment the teacher should apply flexible media- and audio-verbal concepts. A multi-sensory learning is the most common spread and most effective in retaining information. Fun activities such as songs and games bring variety to the classroom, becoming the attractive elements of the lesson that captures the students' attention and interest. All materials used in the classroom should have an appealing visual appearance.
Students with ADHD show great interest in computer programs. O’Regan (2005:42) enumerates some reasons why computers should be utilized in classroom activities:
1. they provide multi-sensory stimulation,
2. fast access to materials and tasks,
3. fairness and equality,
4. individual learning and teaching,
5. they allow for keeping attention and steady monitoring,
6. they may help students to set their own pace of work,
7. working with a computer constitutes challenge and plenty of fun,
8. research (DuPaul and Stoner 2003:180) shows that computers increase the on-task behavior of ADHD students.

3.3.2 The assessment of knowledge and skills

The assessment of ADHD students may affect the effectiveness of the entire learning process. According to Rief (2005:229) teachers should make students aware of the difference between various kinds of tests (e.g. standardized, published, or teacher- made) as well as they should provide the students with practical test-specific tips concerning procedures for various formats such as short answers, multiple choice, matching, true/false, and etc. Students should be taught various strategies for reading and processing test questions.
Rief (2005:227-228) supports implementing some test-taking strategies such as SCORER and FLEAS that assist students with careful and systematical completion of a test. The SCORER is an acronym that stands for: Schedule time effectively; Clue words identified; Omit difficult items until end; Read carefully; Estimate answers requiring calculations; Review work and responses. FLEAS, on the other hand, aims at helping students to complete a test on time and is an acronym standing for: First read the directions; Look over the test; Easiest questions answered first; Answer questions that are worth more; Skip a question.
Fortunately or not, in modern schools, the most popular method of assessing skills are tests, which even the most competent students may find rather problematic. In order to avoid problems the students should be properly trained for the tests (Pfiffner 2004: 49-50):
1. Students may be asked to fill out examination cards during their classroom activities: e.g. putting in missing words, giving short answers, matching words with their definitions, etc.
2. The teacher can prepare mock tests, which are done by the ADHD students in isolation in a quiet place.
In general, students with ADHD should be given more time during exams and tests in order to eliminate unnecessary test anxiety. When assessing the students with ADHD, the teacher should assess the quality of their work and not the quantity, applying the “precision and not quantity” principle. Tests should be simplified and the students should be offered help with spelling, punctuation, grammar, as well as other areas. Written tests prove to be the most problematic for ADHD students and therefore the teacher should consider oral tests based on the verbal presentation of the acquired skills and knowledge.
In assessing ADHD students the emphasis should be placed on the positive aspect of their effort, which may produce a motivating effect and prompt the students into a more effective work in the learning process.

3.3.3 The improvement of self- esteem

ADHD students need extra attention from the teacher, but their self-esteem may suffer if they are perceived to stand out as different. ADHD students must invest more effort to achieve the same results as other students.
Green and Chee (1998:204) claim that ADHD students cannot see themselves but they can judge themselves from reactions of those surrounding them. In order to build up their self-esteem, the ADHD students must be supported, motivated, and encouraged by their parents and teachers.
Rief (2005:53) stresses the fact that “self- esteem is fragile in students with ADHD” due to the fact that they are constantly admonished, warned, and reprimanded. A huge amount of negative feedback received over the years may cause them to perceive themselves as failures. For this reason the teacher must avoid ridiculing and humiliating these students in front of their classmates.
Self-esteem of every learner, especially that afflicted with ADHD, has an enormous impact on his/her entire learning process and therefore it needs constant reassurance and help from the teacher, who should follow the “praise is better than punishment” principle. The ADHD students should be praised or reprimanded immediately after the completion of a task since any delay may not produce a desirable result. When praising a good behavior, the positive emotions should be expressed and under no circumstances should the teacher compare the student to other students or contrast the behavior with its occurrences (Werbińska 2004:63).
Tasks that are too difficult as well as an overwhelming number of responsibilities may evoke the feeling of frustration and unnecessary stress in ADHD students. The task of the teacher is to try to avoid situation in which there is a huge possibility of failure on the part of the student, which might regress the progress already made. For this reason, knowing both strengths and weaknesses of the student, the teacher may foster the steady growth of the student's skills while reducing the number of his/her shortcomings(Werbińska 2004:63).

Concluding remarks

The students afflicted with ADHD may encounter many problems in a school environment. Due to the disorder they may suffer from poor academic performance as well as being constantly admonished and reprimanded for their hyper behavior or lack of attention. As a result their self-worth may be drastically reduced and the potential for failure greatly increased.
The greatest responsibility for the ADHD students lies with the teacher, who must create the right type of learning environment that triggers positive behaviors and effective learning. The teacher must adopt a number of strategies that promote opportunity to be successful in school environment, tailoring them to the needs of individual students and quickly modifying them if necessary. The decision of the teacher may either hamper or encourage more effective learning in a less stressful environment and therefore it should be made with an utmost care, always remembering the needs of each individual student.
When the ADHD students start displaying desirable behaviors and abide by the rules, it is important to remember that the negative behaviors may resurface independent of the students’ personal preferences due to the nature of the disorder. It is systematicity and constant reaction of the teacher that will produce the best results, ensuring successful teaching and learning environment.
As pointed out by O’Regan (2005:43), there is no simple and universal teaching strategies for students affected by ADHD. The educators must find their own method of presenting the teaching material, ensuring that the students stay focused on task and acquire the skills as expected. It is incumbent upon the educators therefore to search for the most effective methods that could help students extend their attention span, motivating them into learning while building their self-esteem.

Chapter 4: The effectiveness of teaching techniques


The chapter is devoted to practical application of theory in teaching ADHD students. It begins with the statement of objectives, procedures, and provides a description of psycho-pedagogical findings concerning three students that are subject of the research. The course of vocabulary teaching process is presented in details through the description of 12 lessons with the students. The author presents her own observations and remarks concerning the teaching and behavior of students affected by ADHD.

4.1 Aim of a study

The principle objective of this thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of methods used in teaching English vocabulary to EFL students afflicted with ADHD.
Based on the data collected during a number of lessons, the paper will assess how the selection of vocabulary presentation techniques and the diversity of exercises can influence the learning process and produce desirable teaching results.
The paper will also focus on the issue of student attention, concentration, as well as how memory affects the learning of ADHD students. Moreover, it will assess the significance of applying various behavioral strategies with respect to the studied subjects.

4. 2 Procedures

In order to meet the set objectives of the paper, the author has selected three subjects afflicted with ADHD: subject 1 - a student of a second-grade of a regular primary school, subject 2 - a fifth-grade student of primary school, who participates in in-home schooling program, and subject 3 - a sixth-grade student attending an integration class for students with hyperactivity and attention problems.
Subject 1 was observed in the school environment for the period of 8 months, whereas subject 2 and 3 in their home environment for a year and a year and a half respectively. A total of four English lessons (one per week) were conducted with each subject. Three of the lessons were to introduce new vocabulary, following the PPP model (presentation, practice, production). Lesson four was to revise the material and test the subjects’ retention with respect to the previously introduced lexical items.
Subject 1 studied English at an elementary level in the amount of one lesson per week. The 45-minute lessons were conducted for a group of 14 students. The first lesson conducted for the purpose of this study introduced vocabulary connected with the names of activities (verbs); the second lesson focused on the names for body parts; the third lesson introduced the names of animals. The selection of these lexical items was not accidental but was to capture students’ attention and make the lessons more attractive.
Subject 2 studied English at an elementary level. He started his English classes when he was in the fourth grade. As a participant of an in-home schooling program he received one 60-minute English lesson per week. The first lesson carried out for the purpose of the study introduced vocabulary connected with the names of fruits; the second lesson presented the names of furniture and appliances; the third lesson concentrated on telling time. Since subject 2 was new to foreign language learning, he received the most basic English vocabulary.
Subject 3 studied English at an intermediate level, receiving 3 lessons per week. During the first lesson the names for activities connected with meals were introduced; the second lesson was devoted to adjectives describing human character traits; the third lesson presented computer terms. The lessons were designed to introduce a variety of vocabulary items representing different grammatical categories, evoking a greater interest in the subject during the classroom activities. The computer vocabulary was strictly connected with the subject’s interest in Information Technology.
Apart from the application of various teaching strategies during the lessons a parallel approach was also adopted with respect to how to respond to students afflicted with ADHD. After a month-long observation of subject 1 a code of conduct was established for the entire class. The code contained terms regulating proper behavior with respect to entering the classroom, answering questions, keeping things in order, etc. Notwithstanding the code, visual aids such as drawings were also used to remind students of the proper conduct. A drawing of a student raising hand was to instill in students the idea that one cannot speak in the classroom without permission from the teacher. A drawing of a sitting student was to remind the students that they should remain in their seats. A drawing of the zipped up lips was to show students that the class should be quiet. Pointing to a specific drawing reminded students of adhering to the terms of the code. A system of rewards was also introduced. A green token was to symbolize proper behavior, stating that the student had followed the code of conduct. The tokes were given to the students throughout each lesson, at the end of which the students calculated the points (1 point for each token) and wrote them down on a wall-mounted board. After a month had lapsed the students’ behavior was assessed based on the collected points and properly rewarded as per the agreed reward system.
Subject 1 was provided with a chart containing symbols of 5 stars, 5 suns, and 5 flowers that were drawn in three columns. A single principle concerning proper conduct was placed over each column: “Don’t call out!” was written above the stars, “Begin and finish the task!” over the suns, and “Don’t disturb others!” was over the flowers. A system of rewards was also worked out. At the end of each lesson subject 1 received a reward based on the total points he had gathered.
In order to extend the attention span of subject 2 a point-based assessment system was used. He received points for his behavior during the lessons, his active participation, as well as his homework. As in the case of other students, a system of rewards was also put in place. Subject 2 was rewarded at the end of each lesson.
Subject 3 was presented with a self-assessment card containing the following entries: student does his homework, follows teacher’s instructions, starts and finishes the task, is focused on his assignments. He was assessed and rewarded after each lesson.

4.3 Description of subject 1

A nine-year-old Karol is a second grader attending primary school. Due to the visible symptoms of hyperactivity, which hinders the learning process, he was referred to a psycho-pedagogical center when he was in grade one.
The findings of psychological tests showed poorly developed receptors. The intellectual development was appropriate for the age of the student. Understanding of words and situations as well as the perception were normal. A slight developmental delay in general knowledge was present. The progress in adjusting to the school environment was hindered by
poorly developed receptors as well as psychomotor hyperactivity in the form of a continuous motor anxiety and attention problems.
Pedagogical tests showed that the student could recognize letters, could read simple texts, and could perform synthesis. He could divide a sentence into words, words into syllables, and he performed audio-analysis of simple 2-4 letter words. The student could understand pictures and correctly connected cause and effect relationships.
Karol correctly classified logical material according to its shape, size, and color. He matched numbers to their sets within the 1-20 range. He could add and subtract numbers within the 1-20 range.
Due to motor hyperactivity and attention problems as well as to the need to comply with the recommendations of a psychological center the students required special care in school as well as additional exercises that could improve the function of receptors.
At the time of the study the student attended a public education system, receiving one lesson of English per week.

4.4 Description of lessons devoted to different teaching techniques of vocabulary

4.4.1. Description of lesson No. 1

The objective of lesson No. 1 was to introduce the names for activities as well as the verb can/can’t. The lesson began with a warm-up during which the students revised the human body vocabulary (hair, ears, eyes, a nose, teeth) and names of animals (a cat, a dog, a hippo, a bear, a tiger, a lion, a giraffe, a zebra, an elephant), which were taught to them in grade one. The teacher used the following teaching aids: 6 pictures of body parts and 10 pictures of animals. The pictures were shown to students and were followed by ”What’s this?” question, which the students answered together or individually. Selected students were requested to randomly choose one of the sixteen pictures and name what was in the picture. At the end of the activity Karol selected a number of pictures from a set of flashcards and asked a “What’s this?” question, which was enthusiastically answered by his classmates.


The subsequent part of the lesson entailed the introduction of 10 names for activities: stand up, sit down, open, close, run, jump, sing, dance, fly, swim, using an imitation technique. The teacher demonstrated action verb “sit down”, pronouncing its name several times. The students were to repeat the word together and individually. After completing the audio presentation the teacher placed a picture on the board illustrating the action together with a caption and read it for students several times. The students were to read it after the teacher, imitating each sound and the stress. Remaining vocabulary was introduced in a similar way. After the presentation of the new lexical items the students were familiarized with a card placed on the board depicting grammatical structure Can you dance? – Yes, I can. –No, I can’t. Based on this example, the students practiced the structure, answering the question Can you fly? with -Yes I can. –No, I can’t. This stage of the lesson ended with students’ writing the topic of the lesson as well as attaching pictures with new words to their notebooks. To summarize this part of the lesson the students read the words in unison or individually. During the halftime break the entire class followed the teacher’s commends that involved the newly introduced vocabulary.

Practice stage

This stage of the lesson was to consolidate the newly introduced items.
Exercise 1 – The students were to name various activities acted out by Karol, which he randomly selected from a set of flashcards.
Exercise 2 – in the exercise the students were to match pictures with corresponding verbs, pronouncing them upon the completion of the task.
Exercise 3 – The students wrote 10 newly presented verbs and read them aloud.
Exercise 4 – a) The task involved writing a sentence using can, can’t e.g. (dog/run) A dog can run; (cat /fly); (hippo/sing). b) answering questions: Can you jump?, Can you dance?, Can you swim?
The lesson ended with a homework assignment, in which the students were to glue 10 new words illustrated with pictures in their glossaries and write 10 verbs from “train cars”.


The warm-up activities showed that the student had forgotten three names of animals: rhino, bear, giraffe, however, he remembered all the body parts. During the introduction of the new lexis Karol associated new words with gestures. However, words such as run, close and fly caused some difficulties. The student found the halftime break, which was focused on commands, very amusing and entertaining. Exercises aimed at revising vocabulary were done quickly and correctly. Having finished the exercises the student helped his classmates, remembering all the names for activities. The lesson was dynamic and run at a fast pace, moreover it aroused interest among learners. It was the first time for Karol to be assigned as a teacher-assistant. He enjoyed acting out in the middle of the classroom, asking learners about the names of activities, even correcting students’ mistakes.

4.4.2.Description of lesson No. 2

The objective of lesson No. 2 was to introduce 9 names for human body parts. The lesson began with checking the homework assignment. The students were to read aloud the words that they put in their glossaries as well as the verbs from the “train cars”.
During the warm-up exercises the students revised vocabulary connected with human body parts that they had already known, e.g. hair, ear, eye, nose, mouth , teeth. The teacher selected Karol to stand in the center of the classroom and pointed to Karol’s different body parts, asking “What’s this?”. The students were to answer the question together or individually. After the exercise they were given a sheet of paper with an outline of the human head and were to draw the body parts that they heard in sentences uttered by the teacher:
„I’ve got five big eyes.
I’ve got four ears.
I’ve got three teeth.
I’ve got a big nose.
I’ve got a small mouth.
I haven’t got hair.”


At this stage of the lesson 9 nouns for body parts were presented using an object technique.
The words were introduced in the following sequence: a head, a shoulder, an arm, a hand, a finger, a leg, a knee, a foot, a toe. Karol stood as a model in the center of the classroom and the teacher pointed to his head, saying “It’s a head” upon which the students were asked to repeat the word. A large card depicting the human body was hung on the board on which the teacher wrote the word “head” and proceeded to reading exercises involving the word. The remaining nouns were presented in a similar fashion.
Summarizing this part of the lesson, Karol pointed at various body parts named by the teacher while the rest of the group repeated the words. The students wrote the topic of the lesson as well as the new words together with corresponding pictures in their notebooks.
During the halftime break the students were familiarized with the lyrics of the song “Head and Shoulders”, which they sang together, pointing at respective body parts.

Practice stage

At this stage of the lesson the teacher used consolidating exercises.
Exercise 1 – Standing in the middle of the classroom, Karol pointed randomly at selected body parts and asked “What’s this?”, upon which his classmates were to answer the question.
Exercise 2 - It involved cards with pictures of body parts. The caption under the pictures was incomplete, missing 1-2 letters. The students were to fill in the letters and read the words.
Exercise 3 – Each student received a drawing of a human body and a word jumble. The task was to match words with the corresponding pictures of the body parts. After completing the exercise the students were asked to attach the words to the pictures in places marked with an arrow and then read the words.
The lesson ended with a homework assignment. The students were to affix the new nouns with pictures to their glossaries and to do a crossword puzzle in their notebook.


The warm-up activities showed that the learner remembered the names of activities from the previous lesson as well as the names of body parts. During the introduction of names for body parts presented with an object technique, Karol correctly associated their names. However, he had some problems with the pronunciation of knee and foot. Moreover, he confused the words head and hand. The song played during the halftime seem to have relaxed the student. He enjoyed pointing at various body parts during the listening. Karol did exercises 1 and 2 on his own, however he needed some help from the teacher with exercise 3 as the words head and hand caused him some difficulties and the student couldn't match them with their pictures. Writing exercises, which involved making words from a letter jumble, were done correctly and rather quickly. Having finished them, Karol helped other children.
The lesson devoted to the introduction of body parts was enjoyable and all the students seemed to like it because of its dynamic and interesting nature. During Lesson 2 Karol acted again as a teacher assistant. The lesson took place in the morning.

4.4.3 Description of lesson No. 3

The aim of the lesson was to introduce 11 names of animals. The lesson began with the checking of the homework assignment. The students read aloud words for human body parts from their glossaries and crossword puzzle. During the warm-up exercises the students revised vocabulary connected with animals that they had already known, e.g. a bear, a zebra, a rhino, a tiger, a lion, a hippo, a dog, a cat, an elephant, a giraffe. Karol selected pictures of animals, asking “What’s this?”, upon which his classmates were to answer the question. The teacher used pictures from a set of flashcards and asked “Is it a cat?” while the students answered the question with a short answer “ Yes, it is” or “No, it isn’t”.


At this stage of the lesson 11 words for animals were introduced with an object technique. The names of animals were presented in the following sequence: a cow, a horse, a pig, a duck, a frog, a mouse, a spider, a fish, a monkey, a crocodile, a parrot. The teacher retrieved a toy from a box and said “It is a cow”, repeating the word “cow” several times. The students were to repeat the word after the teacher both together and individually. A drawing of a cow was placed on the board, which was to facilitate a subsequent reading exercise. The remaining names of 10 animals were presented in a similar fashion. This stage of the lesson ended with students writing down the topic of the lesson and affixing 11 pictures of animals and their names in their notebooks.
During the halftime break the students listened to a song about animals, which was played twice for them. Together with the teacher they sang the chorus and clapped their hands to the beat of the song.

Practice stage

At this stage of the lesson the teacher used consolidating exercises.
Exercise 1 – Volunteers were asked to imitate the sound and movement of an animal and the remaining students were to guess its name.
Exercise 2 – The students were to tell the name of an animal using their sense of touch. With their eyes closed, they retrieved an animal toy from a box and tried to guess its name by touching it. Karol was in charge of the toy box, being responsible for putting away the toy that had already been selected.
Exercise 3 – Cards with 11 pictures and names of animals were used. The task involved matching the words with their corresponding pictures and then reading the words.
Exercise 4 – The students were to arrange letters into words and then match them with the corresponding pictures of animals.
Exercise 5 – The students completed sentences by inserting words that corresponded to the pictures e.g. It is a......cow (the students wrote the name of an animal that they saw in the picture).
Exercise 6 – Cards with 11 outlines of animal bodies were used. The students were to listen to the instructions uttered by the teacher and color the animals e.g. “A cow is green”.
The lesson ended with a homework assignment. The students were to affix the new nouns with pictures to their glossaries and to write 11 new nouns from “Snake” in their notebooks.


During the warm-up activities the learner could name all human body parts. Yet, he did not remember two animals: a bear and a giraffe. The student enjoyed the introduction of new lexical items presented with an object technique due to the use of soft toys and mascots. However, the toys slightly distracted the student. Karol correctly associated the names of the animals with the toys, but he had some problems with the pronunciation of the word duck. The revising exercises were done correctly and at a moderate speed; he wrote quickly and carelessly, reluctantly colored pictures. He could not imitate some animals' sounds and movement. Karol enjoyed the Bingo game as well as the song about animals. The lesson devoted to the introduction of animals ran smoothly and seemed interesting to all. Karol still acted as a teacher's assistant.

4.4.4. Description of lesson No. 4

The aim of the lesson was to revise the vocabulary concerning the names of activities, body parts, and animals. The lesson began with checking homework. The students read individual words from their glossaries and the names of animals from the “Fantastic Snake”. During the warm-up exercises the students revised vocabulary from the last three lessons while playing a ball game. The entire group stood in a circle with the teacher at the center. The teacher was throwing a ball to the students, uttering Polish words such as “a parrot”. The student who caught the ball was to say the English equivalent of that word. If he or she did not know the word, the ball was returned to the teacher and the game continued. The game was helpful with revising vocabulary concerning the action verbs such as sit down, stand up, open, close, run, jump, sing, dance, fly, swim; as well as the body parts such as: head, shoulder, arm, hand, finger, leg, knee, foot, toe; and the names of animals: cow, horse, pig, duck, frog, mouse, spider, fish, monkey, crocodile, parrot - a total of 30 words.
Karol received 11 pictures depicting body parts of animals. He could choose any of the pictures. Upon doing so, he raised the selected picture and asked “What s’ this?”, while the rest of the students were to answer the question.

Practice stage

The stage of the lesson involved various revision exercises.
Exercise 1 – A card containing six names of animals was placed on the board. The animals included: cow, pig, duck, frog, mouse, and monkey. The teacher slowly read the names and covered the card so that the students couldn't see it. The task was to repeat as many animals as one could remember.
Exercise 2 – The teacher said 6 nouns, all of which were to do with the human body parts: a shoulder, a knee, a hand, a leg, a foot, a toe. The students were to memorize them and then say them aloud.
Exercise 3 – The students worked on exercises in four-member groups. Each group received a card with an outline of a large house and a palm tree, which were connected by a “fantastic” bridge. Additionally, the students were given a word jumble consisting of 11 names of animals. In groups, the students were to divide the words into 3 groups according to the following principle: they placed animals living in Poland in the house, animals living in exotic countries in the palm tree, and animals living both in Poland and exotic countries on the bridge.
Exercise 4 – This task involved drawing “a fantastic monster” as per the instructions specified in the handout, which read as follows: “I’ve got two big heads. I’ve got three eras. I haven’t got a mouth and a nose. I’ve got four arms. I’ve got six fingers. I’ve seven legs .I’ve got four feet. I’ve got nine toes.”
Exercise 5 – The task involved pictures of animals such as: a horse, a crocodile, a spider; pictures of action verbs: dance, swim, fly, and pictures of body parts: a hand, a finger, a shoulder. Below the pictures, there were letters, out of which the students were to make words that corresponded to the pictures.
At the end of the lesson, the students were given a short test, checking their knowledge of the lexical items covering the previous three lessons. The test consisted of three exercises.
Exercise 1 – The students were to listen to the statement made by the teacher and then write the number that they heard under the picture that matched the statement.
Exercise 2 – the students were to pick the odd word out: “a. swim, open, dance, pig b. fish, duck, close, spider c. sit down, head, knee, foot”.
The last exercise involved putting 30 words in three categories: action verbs, animals and body parts.


The warm-up activities aiming at revising vocabulary introduced in the previous lessons showed that the student had forgotten only 5 of 30 words: parrot, shoulder, toe, confusing head with hand. In the revising part, while playing the Kim game, Karol remembered 5 of 6 words, having forgotten only the word duck. During the listening activities however, he remembered only 3 of the 6 words: leg, foot, knee.
Thematic division exercises concerning the names of animals were done in groups. Karol did not allow other children from his group to do the task, he wanted to do everything quickly by himself. Due to a large number of nouns and numerals the monster drawing exercise was done slowly and with the teacher’s help. The student drew his picture carelessly. In exercise 5 he matched the words from the word jumble with the pictures with no help from the teacher, making only one mistake in the word horse.
Lesson 4 ended with a test covering vocabulary that had been introduced in the last three lessons. Karol made only three mistakes on the test and received 40 out of 43 points, which gave him an overall mark of 4.

4.5 Description of subject 2

Eleven-year-old Piotr is a fifth grader attending primary school. Due to the symptoms of attention deficit, he was examined at a psycho-pedagogical center. The finding indicated that the student suffered from attention disorder, ADHD as well as a nervous tick that seriously affected his learning process. His intellectual development is below the average. The pace of work was assessed as slow. Involuntary attention is dominant in the student. The phonemic hearing is below normal. Piotr displays difficulties in audio-visual analysis and synthesis. Poor auditory working memory adds an additional obstacle to the learning process. The tests have also shown that the student has a very poorly developed vocabulary. His utterances are often grammatically and stylistically incorrect. The student does not display any interest in intellectual tasks and he has problems with understanding instructions.
The pace of reading was assessed as being slow. Since Piotr has a very poor lexicon, he cannot tell stories. A partial understanding of written texts is a result of a poor reading technique as well as the attention deficit. The student makes a lot of mistakes in dictation, but he can write correctly words that have a simple phonetic structure. The quality of handwriting is also poor. Minimal mathematical skills have been obtained.
The totality of the aforementioned findings became the basis for issuing decision concerning individual in-home schooling program adjusted to the needs and abilities of the student until he completes the primary school. It was concluded that close contact with a teacher would facilitate the flow o information and the student would receive a better stimulus in the learning process.
In compliance with the recommendations from a psychological center, the educational requirements, duration of work, and assessment criteria should be adjusted to the motor-, intellectual-, cognitive-, and health related abilities of the student.
Piotr requires an intensive pedagogical therapy designed to improve motor-operational performance, attention span, and mathematical skills. It is recommended to use the method of eighteen verbal structures.
A decision made by the psycho-pedagogical center suggested that Piotr attend an in-home schooling program. He was allotted in- home lessons per week including 4 hours of Polish, history, arts and music; 4 hours of math, natural sciences and technology; 1 hour of English.
4. 6. Description of lessons devoted to different teaching techniques of vocabulary

4.6.1 Description of lesson No.1

The objective of the lesson was to introduce 14 names of fruit. In the initial stage of the lesson, names of colors and numbers from 1 to 12 were revised. The teacher used a board with eight colors and their names as well as a board and flashcards with numbers ranging from 1 to 12.


In the next stage of the lesson 14 names of fruit were presented. The sequence was as follows: an orange, a kiwi, a banana, a lemon, a mandarin, a melon, a watermelon, a plum, a pear, a peach, a cherry, an apple, a pineapple, grapes. The fruit used in the lesson were placed in a big wicker basket. The teacher took an orange out of the basket, held it up and pronounced the sentence “It’s an orange”. Afterwards the student repeated the word orange several times imitating its pronunciation after the teacher. After the audio-presentation, the orange was put away on a food tray located on the table. The teacher placed a card with the word orange by the food tray and repeated the name several times, drawing student's attention to the difference between spelling and pronunciation of the word. Later, the student was asked to repeat the newly learnt noun several times. Other names of fruit were introduced in the same manner.
When finishing this stage of the lesson, the teacher lifted up a fruit form the food tray and asked the question: “What’s this?”. The student answered: “It’s an orange”. Then the teacher placed the fruit in the basket and repeated the activity with other fruits. Afterwards, the teacher lifted up subsequent cards with fruit names for the student to read. To end this stage of the lesson, the teacher introduced a board with fruit pictures and their names. Pointing at the pictures, the teacher asked the question: “What’s this?” and Piotr was to answer the question, making use of the newly learnt words.
During halftime break, before listening to the song “Ten Red Apples”, the teacher introduced the lyrics of the chorus containing names of the fruit presented in the second stage of the lesson. The student listened to the song twice and sang the chorus together with the teacher.

Practice stage

Consolidation of new lexical items.
Exercise 1 With his eyes closed, Piotr took fruits one after another out of the basket and named them, just by using his sense of touch.
Exercise 2 Piotr recognized fruit by their fragrance and flavor. With his eyes closed, he took a piece of an orange, tasted it, smelled it, and named the fruit.
In Exercise 3 Piotr was to determine the color and the number of fruit selected by the teacher. The teacher held up an orange and asked a question: “What color is the orange?”, then the student named the color of the fruit: “It’s orange”. The teacher used the same question with other fruit. Later, Piotr was to count the number of plums (5), apples (3), grapes (12), and pears (4), all of which were placed on separate food trays.
In Exercise 4 Piotr was given a big word- and picture jumble and was to match the words with their picture counterparts as well as to read the words aloud.
Exercise 5 The student was given a sheet of paper with pictures of fruit and their names. The names of fruit missed some letters and Piotr's task was to fill in the gaps. Upon finishing the task he was to read all the words aloud.
Exercise 6 To finish this stage of the lesson, the teacher planned out a Bingo game. On a sheet of paper there were 9 squares and 9 pictures of fruit, one per square. The teacher spoke the name of a fruit and the student was to cover the picture of the fruit with a small piece of paper. When the student succeeded in covering 3 pictures aligned across, down, or diagonally, he was to say: “Bingo” and the game was started over.
The lesson finished with a homework assignment. The student was to sign fruit in two baskets (in each basket there were 7 fruits drawn and the names of the fruit were over each basket).


The revising exercises at the beginning of the lesson went rather smoothly and at a quick pace. The student did not remember two words for color: yellow and black. He could count correctly from 1 to 12 without any help. The student found it difficult to name cardinal numbers randomly and had to count each time from the beginning to arrive at the right number.
The new vocabulary was slowly introduced using an object technique. Each new word was presented in a simple grammatical structure with a particular emphasis on the difference between the pronunciation and the spelling of a word. The student explored the new vocabulary with the sense of touch, smell, and taste. His attention was a little distracted when he was blindfolded during the game. The game proceeded at a slow pace. Using his sense of touch, Piotr could not recognize a kiwi, a pear, a peach. With olfactory senses, he was unable to identify a kiwi and a pineapple. The student found it problematic to read the following words: peach, pear, grapes, watermelon. The consolidating exercises were done correctly. He enjoyed the Bingo game during which he could not remember only one word: an apple. During the lesson he was distracted by a hand towel.
The object technique used for presenting new vocabulary proved to be effective and interesting to the student. The course of the lesson was very slow.

4.6.2. Description of lesson No.2

The objective of the lesson was to introduce 14 names for furniture and equipment. The lesson began with checking the students' homework. The student read aloud 14 words, which he wrote below the pictures of 2 baskets with fruit. As a warm-up activity, the student revised 14 names of fruit, which had been introduced in the previous lesson. The student was given a picture of a market stall full of fruit. Looking at the picture, he made sentences using names of fruit, e.g. “It’s a kiwi”.


In the next stage of the lesson 14 names of furniture and equipment were introduced with an object technique. The nouns were presented in the following sequence: a window, a picture, a chair, a sofa, a carpet, a flower, a vase, a TV, a computer, a radio, a telephone. Pointing at a window, the teacher said, “It’s a window” and asked the student to repeat the word. After the verbal presentation the teacher placed the word widow on a drawing of a window located on the desk and proceeded to exercises in reading, pointing the difference between the spelling of the word and its pronunciation. The remaining words were introduced in the same fashion. A the end of this stage of the lesson the teacher pointed at various pictures as well as devices drawn on a card and asked, “What’s this?”, upon which the student was to answer the question and read aloud all of the words from the card.
During the halftime break, before playing a song, the teacher instructed the student as to how to make the English plural and presented the following names for furniture: one sofa, two armchairs, three tables, four chairs, five pictures . The song was played twice and the student had an opportunity to sing it along with the teacher.

Practice stage

This part of the lesson focused on consolidating exercises.
Exercise 1 – The student moved around the room and pointed at various pieces of furniture and household equipment, asking “What’s this?”, upon which the teacher answered the question. The roles were later reversed.
Exercise 2 - Piotr received a large word jumble with pictures and was to match the words with their corresponding pictures and then read the words.
Exercise 3 – The student was to fill in the missing letters in words for furniture and equipment. At the end of the task he read the words aloud.

This part of the lesson ended with a Bingo game. In 9 squares drawn on a sheet of paper there were 9 names for furniture, one per each square. The teacher showed a picture of various items e.g. picture of a table and the student was to find the word table on the Bingo card and cover it with a piece of paper. When the student succeeded in covering 3 pictures aligned across, down, or diagonally, he was to say “Bingo” and the game was started over.
The lesson ended with a homework assignment. The student was to do a crossword puzzle containing the names of furniture and to revise the names for fruits, furniture, and household equipment.


The revision exercises demonstrated that the student had forgotten two names for fruit, namely, a pineapple and a watermelon. The object technique used for presenting new vocabulary made the lesson very dynamic. All the necessary objects were within the vicinity of the student, who could touch them, show or lift them. During the halftime break when the song was played the student became distracted by clapping the hands to the song’s rhythm. He tried to imitate the teacher and was thrown off the beat.
The student enjoyed pair work during the consolidating exercises. Piotr liked asking questions of the teacher. During writing tasks he usually referred to the provided examples. The words that the student found particularly difficult both in reading and writing were a table, and a picture. He did not seem to have problems with words such as a sofa, a TV, a computer, a radio, a telephone, a door. The lesson proceeded at a fast pace. The method of introducing vocabulary as well as the exercises seemed rather appealing to the student.

4.6.3. Description of lesson No. 3

The aim of this lesson was to teach the student how to tell time. The lesson began with checking the homework assignment. The student read aloud the names of furniture and household equipment. During the warm-up exercise the student revised 28 new names including fruit, furniture, and equipment. He randomly chose flashcards and named what he saw. This part of the lesson also revised the cardinal numbers from 1-30. Piotr was to draw cards containing numbers from 1 to 30 and then to pronounce the number.


In this stage of the lesson the teacher introduced the notion of full hour, half hour, a quarter, a minute, past, and to, using a toy clock and cards. The clock was set to a specific time and the teacher told the student what time it was. The student was to repeat it after the teacher and then tell the time on his own. During the halftime break the student was to listen to and perform commands uttered by the teacher, which included: sit down, stand up, dance, write, read, fly, swim, clap your hands, open the door, close the door.

Practice stage

This part of the lesson focused on consolidating exercises.
Exercise 1 – The student was to point the following times on the face of the clock: 7. 00, 9. 30, 2. 10, 3. 55, subsequently pronouncing them.
Exercise 2 – In this exercise the student was to match the time written on a sheet with the time on a clock diagram.
Exercise 3 – With the help from the teacher the student was to write down the time that he saw on the clock diagram, which included the following times: 6. 00, 7. 30, 9. 05, 2. 55.

The lesson ended with a homework assignment. Under four diagrams of a clock showing the following times: 5.30, 6.15, 10.08, 3.53 the student was to fill in the missing parts such as half, quarter, past, and to.

During the warm-up exercises whose aim was to revise the names for fruit, furniture, and household equipment the student was extremely focused. He confused the following words: melon with lemon, chair with armchair. The student did not seem to have problems when revising cardinal numbers from 1 to 30, making only one mistake: 12 instead of 20. The problems started to surface when he was asked to name numbers randomly. Mistakes contributed to the student’s loss of attention. Piotr understood the principle behind the numbers from 13 to 19, but he did not use this knowledge as he proceeded with exercises.
During the introduction of time telling the student did not have problems with naming full hours and “half past”. However, he seemed to find it problematic to use terms such as quarter, past, and to, which required the use of diagrams and continuous help from the teacher.
More difficult tasks discouraged Piotr from working. The student appeared to be tired, displaying typical symptoms such as rubbing eyes, fidgeting in the chair, moving his arms and legs, and yawning. Apart from the warm-up activities, the lesson itself proceeded at a very slow pace.

4.6.4. Description of lesson No. 4

The aim of the lesson was to revise the names of fruit, furniture, and household equipment as well as to polish the time telling skills. The lesson began with checking the homework assignment. The student read the time containing expressions such as half, quarter, past, and to. The next part of the lesson involved a warm-up during which the vocabulary from the last three lessons was revised including the following subject matters: fruit, furniture, household equipment, and time telling. The student received two pictures of fruit baskets, one containing a single example of each fruit whereas the other depicted several fruit of the same kind. Piotr pronounced the names of the fruit from the first basket and the color of the fruit and their quantity from the second basket.
Exercise 2 – The student was asked to name various pieces of furniture and household equipment in his room, which included: a table, an armchair, a door, a widow, a telephone, a radio, a TV, and a computer.
Exercise 3 - The teacher showed cards with the time: 8.15, 4.30, 5.00, 12.43 asking the student “ What time is it?”, upon which the student was to provide an answer.

Revision exercises

This part of the lesson focused on revising vocabulary presented in the last three lessons.
Exercise 1 – Having a diagram of an apple, a table, and a clock drawn on three separate sheets, the student was to match them with a set of words presented as a jumble. When the exercise was finished he read the words aloud.
Exercise 2 – The teacher pronounced 5 names of fruit, furniture and time (pineapple, grapes, mandarin, a watermelon, an apple; a TV, computer, chair, table, armchair; past, ten, quarter, half, to) and the student was to memorize as many words as possible in each category.
Exercise 3 – Piotr was to select an odd word. He was presented with the following 3 sets of words: banana, pear, grapes, telephone; sofa, armchair, plum, carpet; past, to, half, mandarin.
During the halftime break the student listened twice to a song about furniture, singing together with the teacher.
Exercise 4 – Having only an outline of the following items: a sofa, a carpet, a TV, a radio, a computer, a melon, a banana, a kiwi, the student was to identify them and write their names.
Exercise 5 – This task involved writing down the time under four clocks showing: 2.30, 6.49, 9.15 , 2.00. Piotr performed this task with the help from the teacher.
After the revision exercises the student was tested on his ability to use the vocabulary learnt in the last three lessons. The short test administered to the student consisted of the following exercises:
Exercise 1 - The student listened to the teacher’s instructions (number one is an apple, number two is a TV, etc.), searched for the picture of the item, and wrote down the number that he had heard.
Exercise 2 – The student was given a sheet of paper containing pictures of fruit and furniture on the left and some sentences on the right. The task involved reading a sentence and putting a tick if the sentence corresponded with the picture or mark it with an “x” if the sentence was about something else.
Exercise 3 – Piotr had to write English words under pictures depicting a melon, a lemon, a sofa, a kiwi, a computer, a carpet, a TV, and a banana.
Exercise 4 – The student received a sheet containing clock diagrams showing the following times:11.00, 5.15, 7.30, 4.02 and written form of these times. The task involved matching the pictures with written time expressions.


The revising exercises during the warm-up activities showed that the student had remembered all the fruit names. From 10 names of furniture and household equipment the student forgot 4, which included: a chair, a vase, a flower, an armchair. Karol could determine the time by using diagrams and the teacher’s help. He incorrectly pronounced the following words: a chair, a pear, a pineapple, a peach, a cherry. In the Kim game the student remembered only 3 of the 5 words that he had heard: a mandarin, an apple, a watermelon, but he could repeat flawlessly 5 names for furniture. The student successfully completed exercise 3, in which he was to pick the odd word out. In exercise 4 the student correctly wrote six words denoting furniture and household equipment, making spelling mistakes only in the words carpet and computer. Exercise 5 proved to be the most difficult for the student. Writing time could be done only with the teacher’s help. During these exercises the student was distracted and displayed some symptoms of tiredness.
The test covering the material from the last three lessons showed that the student had remembered very well the words for fruit, furniture, and household equipment. He scored poorly on exercise 4, which was connected with time telling. He finished the exercises with the teacher’s help. Exercises 1 and 2 were done with no mistakes. In exercise 3 the student wrote carpet with “k” and banana with “d”. The speed of the revising lesson was moderate. The student should still work on numbers from 1 to 30 and time telling.

4.7 Description of subject 3

A thirteen-year-old Aleksander attends the sixth grade of primary school. He was examined by a psycho - pedagogical center due to some visible behavioral problems as well as attention deficit that he had been displaying during his classes. The examination determined the student's developmental stage as well as his potential.
The development of intellectual faculty was assessed as proper for his age. Disharmony was revealed in the student's visual perception, motor-visual integration and graphomotor skills. The student displays a good amount of general knowledge, has a good auditory memory, but also displays problems with phonemic analysis and synthesis. His reading technique is good; he fully comprehends written texts.
The psycho-pedagogical center recommended that Aleksander attend a special integration class in a regular school together with other children having behavioral and attention problems. The special education will allow for the selection of methods and forms of work that is appropriate for students with a neurodevelopmental disorder. The student is recommended to take both a psychological therapy, which should aid the proper development of social skills, and pedagogical therapy, aiming at improving his motor-perceptive apparatus.
The student took his education in an integration class at a regular public school. Aleksander attends three English lessons per week, which is a normal curriculum for the fifth grade of primary school.

4.8 Description of lessons devoted to different teaching techniques of vocabulary
4.8.1 Description of lesson No.1

The aim of lesson 1 was to introduce vocabulary connected with the preparation of meals. At the beginning of the lesson vocabulary connected with food was revised. The student was given boards with a set of 32 words written at the top: butter, potato, cheese, lettuce, beef, lamb, chicken, tomato, onion, egg, flour, turnip, salt and pepper, mustard, mayonnaise, peas, milk, bread, carrot, rice, mushroom, sausage, strawberry, cabbage, tea, coffee, apple, orange, plum, green pepper, water. His task was to divide the words into 6 categories, namely: drinks, meat, fruit, dairy products, and other written in the middle of six circles. The learner wrote appropriate words on the radius of a circle and read them at the end of the activity.


At this stage of the lesson the following names of activities and their definitions were introduced: peel, fry, heat, boil, grill, bake. Each definition was pronounced slowly multiple times, upon which the student was given the relevant English word. Subsequently, the Polish equivalent of the word was provided to check the student's comprehension, upon which the learner was asked to read it aloud. After the oral presentation the teacher proceeded to reading exercises, paying particular attention to pronunciation.
Having introduced the following verbs: slice, chop, pour, mash, mix with an imitation technique, the teacher demonstrated an activity and named it in English. In order to check the learner's understanding of the new words the student was asked to provide their Polish equivalents. Subsequently, the learner repeated the words after the teacher. After the audio presentation of the verbs, they were shown in their written form so that the student could start some reading exercises. At the end of this stage of the lesson the learner reread the new words. During the halftime break Aleksander did some exercises on his stationary bicycle for about 4-5 minutes.

Practice stage

In the following part of the lesson the new vocabulary was revised.
Exercise 1 - The learner acted out the actions of 5 verbs, which he heard from the teacher. The roles were subsequently changed.
Exercise 2 - The student was given a card containing 6 new words and their definitions, which he was to match and to read aloud.
Exercise 3 – The student received a card containing 6 pictures depicting various activities and their names. The learner matched the pictures with the names and pronounced the words.
Exercise 4 – The learner was to listen to a text and fill in the missing verbs in the right places. The text was divided into three parts which the learner heard twice. During the second listening he filled in the gaps and read the completed parts aloud (Appendix D).
Exercise 5 – The student received a “recipe for roast bananas”. In each sentence of the recipe there was a picture showing a certain activity. Aleksander wrote the missing verbs next to the pictures. After filling the gaps he read the whole recipe.
At the end of the lesson the boy was given a homework assignment, in which he had to make a recipe for a salad. The objective of the task was to provide an opportunity for consolidating the newly introduced vocabulary.


During the warm-up exercises which aimed at revising 32 previously introduced words connected with food, the student did not remember six words: beef, lamb, flour, turnip, peas, cabbage. The introduction of a new lexical item with a definition technique was very slow. Each definition needed to be repeated several times. Aleksander correctly associated the definitions with the following verbs: grill, bake, boil, fry. He had problems with mental association of the words peel and heat. The presentation of new vocabulary with an imitation technique proceeded at a very slow pace. The student correctly associated the meanings of words with gestures. All the new verbs were read correctly irrespective of the difference between their spelling and pronunciation. During the consolidating exercises Aleksander incorrectly linked the words fry and peel with their definitions. He also mismatched the verbs pour and chop with the pictures illustrating these activities. The student completed the remaining exercises correctly but rather slowly.

4.8.2 Description of lesson No.2

The aim of the lesson was to introduce adjectives describing personality traits. At the beginning of the lesson the homework from the previous lesson was checked. The learner read the completed recipe for a Tutti Fruti salad consisting of the following ingredients: strawberries, cabbage, plums, lemons, apples, and peas.
During the warm-up activities the previously introduced vocabulary connected with human appearance was revised.
Exercise 1 - The learner selected words from a word jumble and pictures of human faces, under which he was to place the words and read them aloud. The vocabulary included adjectives and nouns such as: curly, straight, wavy hair, beard, moustache, glasses.
Exercise 2 - Using the vocabulary from Ex.1, the student was to make sentences about two different people. The following sentences describe the first person: She is tall and thin. She has got long, straight hair, blue eyes, an oval face. She is wearing jeans, a long blue t-shirt and brown shoes. The description of the second person: He is fat and short. He has got short, curly hair, brown eyes, and a long face. He is wearing green trousers, a purple sweater and black shoes.
Exercise 3 – The student was to match adjectives with their antonyms. The words were written in two columns: good, happy, friendly, noisy, strong, long, thin, dark, big, beautiful, straight in one and fat, small, curly, unfriendly, ugly, fair, quiet, short, weak, sad, bad in the other. After finishing the exercise Aleksander read the antonyms.


In the following stage of the lesson some new vocabulary was presented using an antonymy technique. The words were selected in such a way that the learner always knew one in each pair. Adjectives known to the learner were as follows: stupid, shy, mean, lazy, kind, talkative; new words included: wise, sociable, generous, hardworking, taciturn. The teacher pronounced the word that the student knew, for example stupid, and then a new word e.g. wise was repeated several times. After the audio presentation of the vocabulary the teacher presented the words visually. The boy was shown pairs of antonyms, for example: “stupid and wise” after which he did some reading exercises. Having introduced 6 new adjectives the teacher and the learner read the words and their antonyms. The following adjectives were introduced: cheerful (the learner had already known the word happy), miserable (learner had known the word sad), selfish (learner had known egoistic). The teacher added a new synonym cheerful to the word happy known to the student and repeated it so that the student could also practice its pronunciation. After the audio activities the teacher proceeded to visual presentation and reading activities. The adjective ambitious was introduced with the use of definition technique. The following definition was given: ambitious is someone who works hard to be successful, after which the teacher and the learner pronounced the new word several times. After the presentation of the adjective ambitious the teacher wrote the word down and proceeded to reading exercises. During the halftime break Aleksander did a series of physical exercises activating his muscular system.

Practice stage

The next part of the lesson was devoted to revising exercises.
Exercise 1 - Adjectives with opposing meanings were written down in twelve circles. The learner's task was to connect the circles with antonyms and read out the pairs.
Exercise 2 - Aleksander wrote 10 words from the 'Snake' and read them aloud.
Exercise 3 - The student filled sentences with the newly learned words, and read them aloud.
Exercise 4 - The exercise was based on a text read for the student while he was to mark parts which described human appearance, personality, interests, and clothes. When the teacher finished reading, the learner read the parts that he had selected and was to answer questions about the meaning of the selected fragments.
At the end of the lesson the student was assigned homework. The learner was to write a description of a friend based on a given example.


During the warm-up activities, while describing people, the student displayed a wide range of vocabulary previously acquired and well set in memory. He correctly identified antonyms of adjectives. The presentation of the new vocabulary utilizing an antonym technique proceeded at a very slow pace. The student was very distracted and focused on his surroundings. He had difficulties pronouncing the words sociable and miserable. During the consolidating exercises Aleksander made several mistakes in identifying antonyms; from six pairs of words he incorrectly linked 3 pairs: rude with mean; kind with sociable; generous with taciturn. The student quickly identified 10 new words from the “Snake” and was able to pronounce them. Aleksander had problems however with inserting adjectives into sentences. The student seemed to have got lost, putting in wrong adjectives despite knowing all the words in the sentence. During the listening exercise the student incorrectly marked the fragments which he had heard. However, he could read the fragments rather quickly without mistakes. He answered questions, referring to the text and with the teacher’s help.

4.8.3 Description of lesson No. 3

The aim of the third lesson was to introduce vocabulary connected with computers. At the beginning of the lesson the teacher wanted to check the homework, which the learner, unfortunately, failed to do in the way he was instructed. He followed the given example, but he described his pet, ferret Fifi instead of a human friend, claiming that he did not have any friends and his pet was very important to him. During the warm-up activities utilizing flashcards (11 illustrations depicting activities) and a large word jumble, the following verbs were revised: peel, fry, heat, boil, grill, bake, chop, slice, pour, mash, mix. The learner selected pictures and named the activities described in them. The student matched words with 11 pictures and later pronounced them. In the next exercise the learner was to fill the missing letters in ten adjectives which he had learned in the previous lesson (taciturn, wise, hardworking, generous, sociable, rude, miserable, cheerful, selfish, ambitious). After finishing the student was to pronounce the words.


At this stage of the lesson the words: speakers, printer, screen scanner, mouse, modem, tower, mat, keyboard were introduced with the use of a real computer and its accessories. In a computer lab the teacher pointed to the speakers, pronouncing the word, upon which the student was to repeat the word 'speakers' several times. After the presentation of the new noun the teacher proceeded to reading exercises, directing the learner's attention to the new word. This technique was used to introduce the remaining eight nouns.
To sum up the first part of the lesson, the teacher raised a card with a written word and pointed the item the word denoted while pronouncing the word in English. The learner repeated the words, imitating the teacher and read aloud all of the 9 new words.
The next seven verbs: switch on the computer, switch off the computer, click, surf the Internet, chat, type, print were introduced, using an imitation technique. The teacher demonstrated various activities and named them while the student was to repeat them. Afterwards, the teacher presented the spelling of the words and proceeded to some reading activities. Subsequently, the teacher demonstrated activities connected with computer work, presenting words and their pronunciation. The learner repeated the new words after the teacher.
During the halftime break Aleksander listened to the song 'A computer mouse', seeing the lyrics on the computer screen. During the second listening the students did a “fill in the gaps” exercise.

Practice stage

The vocabulary revision constituted the next stage of the lesson.
Exercise 1 - Under nine pictures depicting computer accessories there were placed some scrambled letters, from which the student was to make words and write them down under corresponding pictures. The student was also to pronounce the words.
Exercise 2 – The student received a card with 9 new words and their definitions. The task was to match the definitions with appropriate words (Appendix E).
Exercise 3 - The learner filled missing words in the text and read them aloud. (Appendix F).
Exercise 4 - Several phrases were written for the learner who was to read them and tick the ones describing how computers are used (e.g. you use them to play games, send emails, type letters, do homework, surf the Internet, collect information, chat with people, play music). After finishing the exercise the student was to briefly talk about how people use computers.
Exercise 5 - Aleksander read sentences and corrected mistakes involving the following words: the Internet, chat, keyboard, speakers, mouse e.g.. : “we use a keyboard to click on; if you have a printer, you can listen to music on your computer; you use a mouse to type; we surf an email if we want to find some information; you can type with people on the Internet.”
Exercise 6 Seven verbs introduced in the third stage of the lesson were presented with their definitions. The learner had to match the words with their corresponding definitions, which the student was subsequently to read.
Exercise 7- The student was to fill in the gaps with the verbs found in a word jumble. After finishing the gap-filling task, the text was read aloud.
At the end of the lesson the learner was given a homework assignment which was based on writing 16 words connected with the computer as well as to solve a crossword puzzle with words such as: speakers, printer, screen scanner, mouse, modem, tower, mat, keyboard.


During the warm-up exercises the student correctly matched 11verbs with the corresponding pictures illustrating the actions denoted by the verbs. He also correctly pronounced the words. The student incorrectly inserted missing letters in 3 out of 10 adjectives: generous, sociable, and miserable. During the introduction of 9 computer-related nouns with an object technique the student quickly and correctly associated their names. During the presentation of 7 verbs connected with computer activities (presented with an imitation technique), the student was focused and attentive. With the exception of the word type , all of the terms seemed to him rather easy. With the teacher’s help Aleksander could insert selected verbs into sentences. Other consolidating exercises were completed quickly and correctly. The student particularly enjoyed the song “A Computer Mouse”. Upon listening to the lyrics, he began to fill in the gaps, occasionally asking for help.
During the consolidating exercises he correctly assembled 9 nouns from a letter jumble and read them with a proper pronunciation. The student mismatched however the words tower, chat, and surf with their definitions

4.8.4 Description of lesson No. 4

The aim of lesson number 4 was to revise vocabulary connected with the preparation of meals, personality features, and the computer. At the beginning of the lesson the student's homework was checked; the learner correctly wrote 11 phrases connected with computers and solved the puzzle.
During the warm-up activities the vocabulary from the previous three lessons was revised – 37 words altogether. Using flashcards and a large word scramble the learner revised 11 verbs connected with the preparation of meals (peel, fry, heat, boil, grill, bake, slice, chop, pour, mash, mix), 10 adjectives describing personality traits (taciturn, wise, hardworking, generous, sociable, rude, miserable, cheerful, selfish, ambitious) and 16 verbs and nouns connected with computers (nouns: speakers, printer, screen, scanner, mouse, modem, tower, mat, keyboard; verbs: switch the computer on, switch the computer off, click, print, type, surf the Internet, chat).
The learner selected pictures divided into three thematic categories and named them. He matched the words from the words scramble with their corresponding pictures and read the words.
Practice stage

In the next stage of the lesson a set of exercises was done to consolidate the vocabulary.
Exercise 1 - The student wrote by heart the names of activities underneath the pictures connected with the preparation of food (peel, fry, heat, boil, grill, bake, slice, chop, pour, mash, mix).
Exercise 2 - Aleksander assembled words from a letter jumble, which described personality features and was to write them under corresponding pictures (urde, iswe, whardokinrg, hcereful, abelmiser, ousgenre,ablecsoial, turntaic).
Exercise 3 – The student wrote down the names of items found in the pictures connected with computers: speakers, printer, screen, scanner, mouse, modem, tower, mat, keyboard.
During the halftime break Aleksander listened twice to the song 'Let me tell you all about my favorite dish' . During the second listening he was to fill in the missing words in the lyrics.
Exercise 4 – The learner read a text and completed it with information about the name, age, nationality, appearance, clothes, character features and interests. Upon successfully completing the task, the student read the information aloud.
Exercise 5 – The student arranged vocabulary connected with cooking, computers and personality into three groups and wrote them in three separate columns. The words used in this activity: peel, fry, heat, boil, grill, bake, slice, chop, pour, mash, mix, speakers, printer, screen, scanner, mouse, modem, tower, mat, keyboard, taciturn, wise, hardworking, generous, sociable, rude, miserable, cheerful, selfish, ambitious, switch the computer on, switch the computer off, click, print, type, surf the Internet, chat. At the end of the exercise the student was to read out all the words.
After the revision exercises the learner took a vocabulary test covering the material form the previous three lessons. The tasks of the test involved:
Exercise 1 Write antonyms to the words written in bold.
Exercise 2 Read a set of words and cross the odd one out.
Exercise 3 Read the sentences and choose the correct answer: a, b ,or c.
Exercise 4 Put the text fragments in the correct order to complete a recipe. Read the recipe again and tick or cross the parts of the instructions (Appendix G).


During the warm-up exercises aiming at revising 37 lexical items the student could not remember 6 computer-related expressions: type, switch the computer on, switch the computer off, as well as 3 adjectives related to personality traits: sociable, generous, miserable.
During the revision exercises Aleksander forgot the word slice while writing captions under the pictures depicting activities connected with the preparation of food. He very quickly assembled personality-related words from a letter jumble and read them correctly. Pictures of computer hardware were quickly signed with the right terms and correctly pronounced. When listening to the song during the halftime break the student could not keep up with the lyrics and had difficulty with filling in the missing words. The recording needed to be played three times. In the gap filling exercise the student made only one mistake: instead of Spanish he wrote Spain. Aleksander could quickly divide words into three thematic groups and read them correctly. The lesson ended with a short test covering the lexicon introduced over the course of the last three lessons. In the first task, in which the student was to find antonyms, he made a single mistake; he could not remember the word sociable. The student completed the second task flawlessly. In the third exercise he made two mistakes by incorrectly selecting sentences. In part a) of the last task the student incorrectly marked the order of sentences. In part b) he misunderstood the meaning of the sentence and incorrectly marked it as false. Aleksander received an overall mark of 4 on the test.

4.9 The effectiveness of teaching English vocabulary- evaluations

4.9.1 Presentation of new vocabulary

Observation of the three ADHD students during the process of their education, in both school and home environment, has shown that they are capable of mastering English vocabulary.
During the presentation of new lexical items various vocabulary teaching techniques were tested including object technique, pictures, demonstration, definitions, and synonyms. Correct association of meaning and form depended on the right selection of a technique and its implementation. The first audio-visual contact with a new word was the most important moment in the learning of the word. The teacher ensured that the new word was always modeled correctly.
Introduction of new lexis at each lesson was structured in a similar fashion so that ADHD students could develop a habit of what was expected of them at this stage of the lesson. The new words were always introduced in simple sentence structures. After ascertaining that the students had a good understanding of a word and could associate it correctly with the activity it denoted or its definition, the teacher started the audio-presentation of the word in isolation. The word was pronounced several times at a slow pace so that the students could repeat it in chorus and on an individual basis. All pronunciation errors were immediately corrected.
Having completed the audio-presentation, the teacher presented the word in writing, using a large font and coloring the first letter. When reading the word for the first time, it was necessary to explain the discrepancy between the pronunciation and the spelling of the word, provided that such discrepancy existed. The word was read slowly and multiple times, which gave the students an opportunity to copy its pronunciation when practicing their reading skills in group or individually. All mistakes were immediately remedied. The ADHD students had to be constantly engaged in the classroom activities so that no new word could escape their attention.
The scrutiny of the vocabulary presentation techniques used with ADHD students during their English classes has demonstrated that techniques utilizing objects, pictures, and models seem to be the most effective. An object technique was used for introduction of names of animals during the lesson with second-graders. Soft and rubber mascots had a positive influence on how the students associated the meaning with an actual object. During a game Karol, although blindfolded, was able to recognize animals and to name them in English. The same object technique was successfully implemented during the introduction of fruit names, furniture, and household equipment in individual lessons with Piotr, a fifth grader. During the presentation of the names of fruit the student had to engage other senses such as smell and taste besides vision, hearing, and touch. Piotr was willing to cooperate, performing all tasks as instructed, coding the new words in his memory. ADHD students display interest in a multi-sensory method of learning new vocabulary, which makes it easy for them to associate the meaning and form. The object technique was also used during the presentation of words for furniture and household equipment. Piotr could find the objects whose names he was just learning within his sight. This aided the memorization process and facilitated an easy association between the form and the meaning
During the lessons with Aleksander the object technique was implemented during the introduction of computer-related vocabulary. The method turned out to be very successful in that the student could determine the meaning of the new words in a quick and error-free fashion.
Another effective technique of vocabulary introduction was picture and drawing, which had been implemented during activities connected with the naming of human body parts with the grade-II students. The use of a large poster depicting man had a great influence on how the students connected words with the human body parts. The activity encouraged Karol to take an active part in the lesson.
A model demonstration technique was also very effective with Karol during the introduction of verbs. As a teacher’s assistant the student demonstrated a number of activities denoted by the verbs, whose meaning was easily determined by his classmates. This gave Karol an opportunity to vent the surplus of his energy and focus on the task at hand.
The model demonstration technique was also used during English lessons with Aleksander while introducing activities connected with the preparation of meals as well as computer-related verbs. Using a variety of realia, the teacher demonstrated activities connected with the preparation of meals as well as computer-related verbs, which the student could easily identify and understand. The teaching aids aroused Alexander’s interest and motivated him toward further work. The computer-related vocabulary coincided with the student’s interests in Information Technology.
The learning of vocabulary is even more effective if the vocabulary corresponds with an ADHD student’s interests. When model demonstration or objects and drawings are used, the ADHD students can quickly and flawlessly associate the words with their meanings. The lessons were dynamic and interesting, which riveted the students’ attention and eliminated undesirable behavior.
The ADHD students had to make a greater mental effort when other techniques were implemented such as manipulation, definitions, antonyms, or synonyms. Lessons introducing new vocabulary items with these techniques seemed rather slow and boring to the students, which very often resulted in attention loss.
The manipulation technique was implemented when students were to learn how to tell time, using notions such as half, quarter, past, to. Piotr was very enthusiastic about holding a clock and setting it to a specific time. The student was able to determine on his own only full hours as well as half hours. He had to rely on the teacher’s help with the notions of quarter past and to. The exercises were demanding in terms of the student’s mental input, which caused him to lose his attention and discouraged him from further work. Piotr seemed to be exhausted, displaying typical signs such as fidgeting, rapid movement of hands and legs, or yawning. The only reason he was able to continue the exercise seemed to be the assistance that he received from the teacher.
Aleksander had difficulties with techniques such as definition, antonyms, and synonyms. The definition technique was implemented during the introduction of verbs related to meal preparation activities. The student was to listen to a short definition and on the basis of his understanding, he was to think of the meaning of the new word. Due to the student’s loss of attention, the educator had to repeat the definition several times so that the student could grasp its meaning.
The use of antonyms or synonyms also turned out to be less effective with Aleksander since they required a higher degree of mental involvement. The student needed to think of the newly introduced adjectives and find their opposites, which were the words that he had previously learnt. Aleksander found it problematic to associate a new word with its synonym he had already known. During the antonym/synonym lesson the student seemed rather distracted, wandering in thoughts. His attention was focused on a nearby curtain, on crumbs sitting on an eraser, or on a hair that he could see on a shirt. The speed of the lesson was extremely slow, with each exercise being helped by the teacher.
Based on the observation, it has been noticed that during the presentation of new vocabulary the speed of the presentation plays a significant role, since the ADHD students frequently become distracted, skipping some of the words or making incorrect meaning-to-word associations. Due to the malfunction of certain parts of the brain, the ADHD students must spend a much more time on committing the new words and their meanings to memory. The teacher should never allow new words to be memorized in some distorted fashion. All errors should be corrected immediately. The number of new lexical items shall be determined based on the age of a student, his/her current level as well as intellectual abilities.
In order to avoid boredom with the subject-matter of a lesson, the teacher should make an effort to arouse the ADHD students’ interest, constantly exposing them to new vocabulary, which will become the framework for new, interesting, and ever-changing exercises in speaking, reading, and writing.
Summarizing the vocabulary presentation techniques implemented in the English lessons with the three ADHD students, it should be underlined that the most effective techniques turn out to be those involving model demonstration, drawing, and objects.

4.9.2 Consolidating exercises

The introduction of lexical items was followed by consolidating exercises, which constituted a very important element of vocabulary acquisition. During the vocabulary lessons the presentation stage was always directly followed by consolidating exercises. The teacher used a variety of techniques that were to facilitate the retention process including imitation, application of the new vocabulary in sentences, reading texts containing the new lexicon, or doing various fun activities such as games.
The vocabulary-consolidation stage of each lesson involved exercises that were to provide a pronunciation model of the new lexical items. The subsequent tasks were to give the students a context, in which the new words were to be used through a number of reading and writing activities.
The fun activities were the ideal form of consolidating the new lexis among younger students. In grade II the vocabulary related with the action words and activities denoted by the verbs were consolidated through games. Karol, ADHD student displaying motor hyperactivity, found games to be an excellent form of work. The games motivated the student to memorize all the presented verbs. The song about human body parts was an excellent consolidating exercise. Karol displayed a good knowledge of words that he heard in the lyrics of the song. During the games the second-graders could recognize animals by the way they moved and the sounds they made, being able to produce their English names. Consolidating new vocabulary through fun activities made the English lessons more vivid and dynamic, which motivated the students’ interest. During the games Karol could release the surplus of his energy.
Piotr, a fourth grader, actively participated in the game of Bingo and thereby could consolidate the vocabulary connected with the names of fruits.
Imitation technique was also very popular during the consolidation of new vocabulary. Piotr and Aleksander could practice new lexical items with this technique; Piotr working on the names of furniture and household equipment whereas Aleksander could focus on the computer-related vocabulary as well as verbs connected with the preparation of meals. Both students had fun asking questions. When the students were to practice the new lexicon orally, the teacher corrected all pronunciation errors so that they would not fossilize in students.
After listening to the new items, the students could move on to reading exercises containing the new lexicon, which required that the ADHD students focus their attention for a short or longer period of time depending on the volume of a text. Reading out loud single words did not constitute a difficulty for the students. Karol read well and relatively quickly all captions under the pictures depicting actions of verbs, body parts, and animals. Piotr had some problems with reading aloud words denoting pieces of furniture and household equipment. From the observation one could assume that the student was often reading only the initial letter of a word marked in color and guessing the rest of it. If there were more words beginning in the same letter, he would make frequent mistakes, sometimes giving some thought to what he was doing and sometimes speaking mechanically. This accounted for the disorder in his linguistic abilities.
While reading words connected with food preparation and computer, Aleksander did not make any major pronunciation mistakes.
Reading single words aloud required that the students focus shortly their attention on the task, but it did not slow the pace of the lesson, nor did it reduce the students’ interest in the reading activity. The students had problems however with silent reading and understanding sentences and short or longer texts.
Karol displayed some difficulties during silent reading activities if the sentences contained many numerals, nouns denoting body parts, and adjectives for colors, which gave him instructions on which color to use when drawing and coloring a monster. During silent reading Piotr found it difficult to understand time expressions, which he was to match with five clocks. Aleksander had also difficulty with silent reading tasks. The student made a number of mistakes, frequently mixing word definitions, incorrectly matching antonyms of adjectives, filling in gaps with wrong adjectives, or not being able to identify text excerpts that were needed for his speaking activities.
Silent reading with comprehension required a lot of intellectual effort from the ADHD students. A high degree of involuntary distraction made it difficult for them to understand the texts. This had a discouraging effect that slowed the pace of the lesson. The students would usually focus then on various objects in their surroundings, with their thoughts wandering away somewhere else. The task of the teacher was to motivate them to work and to help them with the exercise.
After silent reading and reading aloud, the students were always given an opportunity to practice their writing skills. At an elementary level the typical writing exercises include writing picture captions, filling in missing letters in words, letter jumbles, or filling in sentences with missing words. More difficult writing exercises in higher grades of primary school involved cloze texts, or filling in gaps in recipes or songs during listening activities. In grade II the writing exercises were connected with identifying and writing down verbs or with filling in missing letters in nouns denoting human body parts as well as completing sentences with verbs, utilizing the can/can’t structure. Karol finished the exercise quickly on his own, without paying attention to the size and shape of the letters.
During writing activities Piotr filled in the missing letters in the newly introduced words, he wrote names of furniture and equipment under their pictures, and did a crossword puzzle. The exercises demonstrated that the students would easily confuse letters such as p, b, d, n, m, and he very often left words unfinished. He could write words from memory as long as their pronunciation was identical to their spelling. Piotr’s handwrite is disorderly, the letters have a distorted shape and size. The student found the writing activities boring, performing each task very slowly and with no amount of enthusiasm. During the activities he would often begin a conversation that was not related to the activity at hand.
The simple exercises performed by Aleksander included letter jumbles and writing down words from the “Snake”. The student could do this activity fast and without mistakes. Filling in verbs and adjectives was much more difficult since it required silent reading and comprehension. The student happened to complete the sentences without thinking, ignoring provided models and the context of a sentence, which should be the most important clue for him. Aleksander would report to the teacher the fact that he could not remember some of the words, although they had been introduced during previous lessons. The most difficult task for the student was to fill in the missing words in the lyrics of a song while listening to the song. He could not keep up with the song and had to be constantly helped. The student could complete the text with verbs in a much more effective way during the second listening. While working on the text the student was out of focus, he had to be constantly monitored and encouraged. His handwriting was distorted, with poorly shaped letters of various size. The writing activities were very time consuming with this student.
Homework was an extension of vocabulary consolidation. The students were given clear instructions and the tasks were noted down in their notebooks so that the ADHD students did not forget about them. Karol and Aleksander did their homework alone. Karol forgot to illustrate new words with pictures in his glossary, explaining that he did not like drawing. Other homework such as writing down words from the “train cars” or doing crosswords the student performed correctly but carelessly. On one occasion Aleksander did not follow the instructions and he described his ferret instead of a friend, informing the teacher that he did not have any friends. The student correctly wrote a salad recipe, did a crossword puzzle, and flawlessly identified and wrote down computer-related terms. Piotr did his homework under the supervision of his parents. All exercises were done correctly, though carelessly. He failed to do only a single homework task concerning telling time. The student claimed that it was still too difficult for him. Each homework was carefully checked and assessed, subsequently placed in a special folder.
It is worth noting that the exercises in reading and writing as well as the homework are two types of tasks complementary in nature that consolidate students’ knowledge. The writing activities were always followed by reading activities. The teacher would always make sure that the students could code the pronunciation and written forms of the words, making necessary corrections. The writing activities with the ADHD students required more time due to the fact that these activities were rather demanding in terms of the mental effort of the students.
Consolidation exercises had always utilized the graphical models of the new linguistic items such as small and large letter jumbles, word jumbles, or drawings with captions. The model of a new word always had its initial letter in color. All elements of the word such as prefixes (selfish), silent letters (knee) as well as known part of the word (taciturn) were in bold to facilitate the acquisition process.
All three students suffered from dysgraphia. Their handwriting was careless, with unshapely letters of various sizes. In order to improve their writing skills the educator assessed their writing, providing the students with instructions on how to properly shape and size written characters.
As it was noticed, the classroom activities were properly selected, engaging the students into active participation. However, all the tasks requiring a greater mental effort triggered an attention lost among the ADHD students, who often asked for the teacher’s help.

4.9.3 Revision exercises

The consolidation and revision exercises in English vocabulary were significant in developing long-term memory in ADHD students, therefore they were administered during every lesson with Piotr, Aleksander, and Karol. Revision exercises were used during warm-up activities, which usually took place after the students’ homework had been checked. Separate lessons were also devoted to revising vocabulary that the students had studied. The teacher attempted to use a variety of tasks during the warm-up activities that would be interesting to students, riveting their attention and encouraging them to work.
Flashcards were used with grade-II students revising vocabulary connected with human body parts, animals, and verbs. As instructed, the students had an opportunity to draw the missing body parts on a diagram depicting man. They could tell the English names of animals that they recognized in pictures showing only an outline of their shape. When the students were playing with a ball, they were revising words that they learnt in previous lessons. Karol enjoyed all exercises during the warm-up activities, actively participating and releasing the surplus of energy.
A number of teaching aids were involved in revision exercises prepared for Piotr, which usually caught his attention and motivated him to work.
The scenario technique was implemented in the revision of words for fruit, furniture, and household equipment. Based on a picture of a fruit stand and a number of pictures depicting baskets of fruit, the student was able to revise vocabulary from the previous lessons. The same technique was used with respect to the vocabulary connected with furniture and equipment. Visual aids were also useful in revising colors, numerals, and time telling. Frequent praising during tasks would make Piotr extremely proud of himself, which positively influenced his self-esteem and had a motivating effect.
Revision exercises during the warm-up activities with Aleksander proved that the student had remembered most of the new words. Using word jumbles and flashcards, he effectively revised names of activities involved in the preparation of meals as well as computer-related terminology. In his oral description of people, Aleksander displayed a wide variety of vocabulary.
Sorting exercises during material revision proved to be an effective tool for practicing and retaining words. Grade–I students working in groups would select names of animals from a word jumble, placing them on a picture of a palm tree, a house, and a bridge. While performing the task, it was noticed that Karol could not work in team. He worked alone, doing all exercises as expected but preventing other students from joining him. Piotr also performed similar tasks involving vocabulary connected with the fruit, the table, and the clock. The teacher assisted the student so that he would not lose his interest in the activity.
Aleksander was to select vocabulary and divide into three thematic groups: food, personality, and computer, placing the words in appropriate columns. The task was completed without any major problems.
During the exercises the students had an opportunity to revise vocabulary from the previous three lessons in a rather short time. The tasks were followed by reading exercises, during which the teacher corrected all pronunciation mistakes.
The revision lessons also developed the student’s writing skills. Karol and Aleksander were to arrange letters into words and subsequently write them down under the matching pictures. The tasks were done fast and correctly. Piotr was to write the names of fruit, furniture, and household equipment, making only occasional mistakes. Specifying the time under the pictures of clock proved too difficult for the student to complete on his own.
After the writing exercises the students read the words and phrases aloud. All the writing tasks were tailored to the students’ intellectual abilities.
Revision exercises also involved more difficult tasks requiring more mental engagement and longer attention span. The second-grade students were given a task of drawing a monster with the instructions placed at the bottom of the page. The task involved silent reading with comprehension. During this activity Karol needed the teacher’s assistance. He drew a monster in a rather careless fashion, explaining that he did not like drawing. Piotr still had some problems with telling time when using expressions such as quarter, past, and to. Only with the teacher’s assistance was he able to complete the task. Aleksander would also use some help when filling in gaps in the lyrics of a song. He could do much better with filling in the missing words in the text about describing people. The exercise proved that the student had memorized the vocabulary and retained it in his long-term memory.
It was observed that an important form of revision and consolidation in higher grades of the primary school was a written or spoken text, which required a longer attention span and greater mental input from the ADHD students. While preparing for the lessons, the educator ensured that each text assignment was methodologically organized. Longer texts were divided into shorter fragments in order to thoroughly complete the exercise step by step. Before any listening tasks the students had to identify all the instructions connected with the task as well as which fragments were to be highlighted, which parts were the most important, or what they should focus on while performing this type of activity.
The educator assisted the six-grader during some longer writing or speaking activities, making sure that the student received some graphical prompts schematizing topics such as description of people or food recipes.
The teacher should never give up presenting more difficult exercises to the students during vocabulary revision. They may have a breakthrough effect on the students affected by ADHD, prolonging their attention span and thereby affecting their intellectual development.
At the end of the revision lessons the students were to write a short test, which showed that Karol had learnt the new words very well, while Aleksander and Piotr at a good level. All tasks involving use of words in isolation seemed to suit the students best. Difficulties arose if the words were to be used in sentences or texts. The tests identified the problematic areas on which the student must still work.
Summarizing the subchapter, the consolidation and revision exercises gave the students an opportunity to tune up their knowledge base, to close the gaps, and to eradicate mistakes in speech and writing. The exercise sets were often changed and modified in order to eliminate any potential for boredom or loss of interest or decrease in the level of involvement. Due to a short attention span, the ADHD students need to perform more consolidation and revision activities than other students. Karol, Aleksander, and Piotr have showed that they are capable of learning new vocabulary effectively, utilizing their full psycho-physical and intellectual abilities. They can code new words in long-term memory so that the words can be reused in the communication process.

4.9.4 Attention and memory

Academic success of students afflicted with ADHD depends, to a certain extent, on the students’ attention span coupled with their memory.
One can conclude from the observation of Karol that the student suffers from ADHD with prevalent hyperactivity symptoms related to motor control, whereas Piotr and Aleksander display a higher degree of attention deficit. Motor hyperactivity and attention deficit affect the functioning of the brain as well as attention and memory.
Ensuring the right type of learning environment is extremely important to the students’ attention span. The classroom where students are to have their lessons must be cleared of all the objects that might turn into potential distracters. The desk of the student must be kept clean and in perfect order; there should not be any objects or materials that are not part of the lesson plan. Karol, second-grade student, was seated close to the teacher’s desk, away from any doors, radiators, plants, or teaching aids. Unfortunately, it was impossible to eliminate noise coming from the outside or to cover windows or to provide the ADHD student with a completely distracters-free place.
As per teacher’s request, both Alexander and Piotr’s parents prepared the rooms where lessons where to take place by removing every item that was near the desk, so that the students could focus their attention on the subject-matter of the lesson. The parents also ensured a quiet working environment.
English vocabulary lessons provided a fertile ground for extending attention span of the students as well as shaping various types of their memory.
Focusing attention of the ADHD students was influenced by a number of factors such as interesting activities during the lesson, eye-catching teaching aids, the speed of activities, gradation of difficulty level of tasks, encouragement, assistance from the teacher, praising, rewards, the length of the lesson, and the physical proximity of the teacher.
Observing the work of the three students has shown that they can willingly focus their attention on short, simple, and easy tasks that have been tailored to their physical and intellectual abilities. More difficult exercises requiring a greater mental effort and longer completion time would immediately cause the loss of attention. The students could not work intensely for a prolonged period of time, which causes them to focus their attention on trivial things such as hairs, dust, a pen, a tissue, or a nearby tape player. Their thoughts seemed to be far and away. The teacher’s assistance or encouragement proves to be a great help in such situations, spurring students’ effort to complete the task.
Attention is also affected by the time of the day, during which the lesson is to be held. Karol and Aleksander could focus more easily on tasks in the morning, displaying a longer attention span, whereas in the afternoon they seemed to be mentally exhausted, which was visible in the motor movement, yawning, wandering of eyes, tired and somber looks on their faces. In such situations it was extremely difficult to motivate them to work, especially to make them do more difficult tasks. Regardless of the time of the day Piotr appeared to be tired and bored during every lesson.
The dominant factors affecting the attention span are interesting activities, the speed of teaching, and teaching aids which primarily utilize the student’s auditory and visual channels. Karol’s attention is immediately drawn by any type of physical activity, therefore, a fast pacing lesson produces a longer attention span during interesting, dynamic activities in which he becomes fully engaged. The lessons could also provide the student with an opportunity to vent the surplus of energy. The need for movement that is physiologically motivated in the ADHD students with prevalent hyperactivity symptoms is the most frequent cause of attention loss.
A longer attention span of Piotr and Aleksander is triggered by interesting games, songs, and various teaching aids. During the vocabulary lesson devoted computer terms Alexander was completely focus on a computer monitor. This type of equipment made him want to work with enthusiasm, significantly extending his attention span, which in the result produced a much better engagement in his work and progress in his learning.
Piotr’s attention was positively affected by the games in which he was to recognize a fruit when using the sense of touch, smell, and taste. He was also engaged in Bingo as well as consolidating exercises, during which he could ask questions and work together with the teacher.
The memory of the ADHD students correlates with their attention span and is mostly dependant on it. English vocabulary lessons may develop students’ fresh memory, provided that the students focus their attention on the audio-visual presentation of the new vocabulary. The vocabulary lessons provide such an opportunity since they introduce new lexical items that the students will have to memorize.
Observing Karol when he was fully motivated and engaged in an activity, it became clear that he had a good fresh memory. Movement and variety of dynamic tasks positively influenced his memorization process; he could remember more lexical items than other students when he was fully concentrated and focused on the task at hand.
Piotr’s fresh memory showed a much greater fluctuation, depending on how much his attention was focused during the presentation of the new lexical items. There was an impression that when he first heard a word, he was not paying attention to it. Consolidating exercises have proved that the student can remember most of the words.
Lessons with Aleksander have proved that the student has a poorly developed fresh memory, which was visible during consolidating exercises, which the student did mechanically without thinking, producing a lot of mistakes.
The effectiveness of vocabulary learning is mainly dependant on the function of both auditory and visual memories, which can be further developed through a variety of exercises. The development of these two types of memory in ADHD students is often affected by individual- and group word repetition exercises, graphical representation of words, letter jumbles, word- and sentence jumbles, songs, texts, computer games, as well as many other activities.
Karol is believed to have a slightly weaker audio-visual memory due to his losing attention caused by the necessity to unload the surplus of energy. Piotr has a poorly developed visual memory, which affects his reading and writing abilities, in both Polish and English. The student has difficulties in memorizing written words, but his auditory memory functions rather well. During the classes he could flawlessly repeat new words. Lessons with Aleksander indicate that he has some problems with auditory memory. The teacher had to repeat instruction, commands, or word definitions several times so that the student could understand them correctly. When listening, the student very often seemed confused, giving the impression that he could hear only some of the instructor’s words. This was a clear evidence of his lack of attention during listening. Alexander could vividly remember the spelling of the newly introduced words, making only occasional mistakes. He did not seem to have problems with reading activities, reading all text fluently with a small number of pronunciation errors. This was an evidence for his well developed visual memory. The presentation, revision, and consolidation of vocabulary items was mostly based on the involvement of visual stimuli motivating the student’s engagement into effective vocabulary learning.
It is noticed that interesting sets of revision and consolidating tasks that motivate the ADHD students toward effective work can also affect their long-term memory, which has a crucial role in the process of teaching and learning. The final tests have shown that Karol has very good long-term memory while Piotr and Aleksander’s memory is good.
The observation of attention and memory processes of the three ADHD students laid a foundation for determining their individual learning styles. Karol learns most effectively through physical activities involving movement, touching objects, which is characteristic of the kinesthetic learning style. Piotr relies on auditory memory, which is characteristic of auditory learners, and Aleksander is a typical representative of a visual learner.
Summarizing the significance of memory in the learning process of ADHD students, it should be stated that it correlates and is fully conditioned on the students’ attention span, which constitutes the basic prerequisite during the process of memorization of new vocabulary.

4.9.5 Behavior

The academic success of the ADHD students is also affected by the personal conduct in the school environment. The hereby study has demonstrated tat there are no quick and simple solutions to correct behavior of ADHD students with dominant motor hyperactivity. It becomes apparent that these students need constant monitoring throughout a lesson. When rules are broken there is a need for immediate response in the form of a comment or appropriate educational measure.
One of the most useful forms of influencing the behavior of grade-II students was the introduction of a code of conduct for all students, including Karol, ADHD student with the dominance of motor hyperactivity syndrome. Despite being rewarded after each lesson and constant repetition of the rules, Karol managed to abide by the code only in the initial two-week period. In order to improve the behavior of the ADHD student, a parallel code of conduct containing symbolic representation of the rules was introduced along with the system of rewards for the student. At first, the students made an attempt to comply with the code terms, for which he was rewarded at the end of each lesson, but there were days when his behavior was objectionable and the educator had to cross out some of the symbols on his board. Karol reacted to that negatively by rebelling since he liked receiving prizes after the lessons.
ADHD students who attend regular classes should have an individual code of conduct, because such a code is more effective than a whole class code. The teacher however must constantly remind the students of the rules since they tend to be easily forgotten.
Piotr and Aleksander, who suffer from ADHD with dominating attention disorder and who do not disturb others in the course of lessons, were given work-time instructions and a self-assessment card respectively, so that their attention span could be successively extended, which is an important element of the educational process. The work-time instructions had a very positive influence on Piotr’s self-esteem, providing a stimulus to become more engaged in all class activities. For the first time in four years the student felt that he could succeed in learning. He enjoyed prizes and rewards each time he received one, which seemed to have a further motivating effect on his willingness to learn new words.
The self-assessment card affected Aleksander’s attention span in a rather unstable way. This probably depended on the time of the day as well as on how the student was feeling. At the beginning Aleksander found it difficult to assess his own work, so he asked the teacher for assistance. At times the gap between the student’s self-assessment and the teacher’s assessment was too wide, which was an indication that the student had lost his attention. Despite all the minor slips, the student received some small rewards, which he always accepted with a smile.
The ADHD students have a much greater difficulty in behaving in accordance with the rules and expectations imposed on them by their environment. This requires a lot of effort on their part and each such effort should be appreciated and praised. Praising has always a positive influence that may have a motivating effect.
ADHD students like being praised in front of the entire class. Karol especially enjoyed his new role as a teacher’s assistant. He fully engaged in classroom activities and attempted to fulfill his duties to the best of his abilities. The student rebelled when he was suspended in this function after failing to abide by the code of conduct.
Praising in front of the class and encouragement to work are not always sufficient however. Another positive stimulus affecting both behavior and self-esteem of the student is a reward or a prize, which can be a little gadget, a candy, school accessories, or classroom privileges.
English lessons are the best example that rewards have always been enthusiastically received, improving students’ mood and motivating them into further learning and better behavior. The educator should focus on the rewarding aspect instead of the punishment, since rewards constitute a positive stimulus toward more effective work and proper conduct. Over time the system of rewards can be replaced with praising and letters of distinction, especially when students begin to learn for their own satisfaction. One must be cautious however, because ADHD students may display a number of unpredictable behaviors, which might require that the teacher return to the old strategies or search for new methods of dealing with the problem. Establishing effective reward and punishment systems is a dynamic process which takes into account individual needs of an ADHD student.
Karol was extremely disappointed each time he was administered a punishment, which included crossing out symbols on the board for infractions of the code of conduct, suspension his duties s a teacher’s assistant, or exclusion from classroom activities for overly impulsive behavior. The student’s improper behavior was met with disproval of other students. Karol would very often try to draw the teacher’s or his classmates’ attention by displaying questionable behavior, frequently just to avoid doing classroom activities.
Minor infractions of the ADHD students should be rather ignored so that the rest of the students are not distracted in their tasks. During the presentation of new vocabulary items utilizing a gesture technique, when students were asked to come to the blackboard and to show the action denoted by the new verbs, Karol came and stood in the middle of the classroom, observing his fellow students. Such situation never called for the teacher’s intervention.
Behaviors that interfere with the process of teaching and learning or the ones that constitute a hazard to other students must never be ignored. The student could be brought back to order with short and consequent calls or via eye contact or touch. Karol would calm down very quickly each time the teacher approached him and patted him on the shoulder, reminding the rules of proper behavior. Physical proximity of the teacher had a positive influence on him.
ADHD students who display motor hyperactivity frequently wait for a good reason to increase their physical activity. Karol could unload the surplus of energy during halftime breaks, where he could constantly run, shout, and provoke other students. English lessons do not provide too many opportunities for students to vent their energy. It is worthwhile to engage ADHD students in various types of games or activities that require some movement e.g. to be a teacher’s assistant and be able to move around the classroom, provided that they do not disturb other students. The teacher should make short breaks in classroom activities and organize some physical exercises or engaging students in singing songs and moving around.
It was noticed that Karol’s behavior was frequently independent of his will. Wandering eyes and spontaneous movement of his body were good examples of the excess of energy accumulated in him. The hyperactive children have tendency to strive for physical activities, which seems to be physiologically coded in their nature, having no control over that urge.
ADHD students are frequently unstable in their moods and behavior; sometimes they have good days and sometimes the days are not too good. This is determined by a number of factors such as the weather conditions, how they feel, or time of the day. After longer periods of rest during summer or winter holidays or even after long weekends they are thrown off the rhythm, forgetting all kinds of rules regarding their duties and responsibilities. The role of the teacher is to remind them of what they should focus on as well as the proper code of conduct. Karol had also his good and bad days. He could behave flawlessly during interesting and dynamic lessons, focusing on a task sometimes too excessively. The most effective learning took place during his physical activities when he could freely move and touch various objects. Movement seemed to help the student to remember as well as to process the information, which is typical of kinesthetic learners.
Experience shows that teaching discipline to ADHD students is a long process that may stretch over a number of months. It is important not to give up, because the ADHD students cannot change over night. The attitude of the teacher who is demanding and consequent as well as the acceptance of the teacher by the students with ADHD are crucial in the process.
Students with ADHD are present in all schools, thus making it incumbent upon teachers to have some basic competence in identifying such students. Every student should be observed from an early age, starting in the kindergarten through primary school so that any potential behavioral problems could be remedied as soon as they are identified. When the pattern of behavior indicates some symptomatic disorder, the student should be sent for medical consultations with experts at psycho-pedagogical counseling services.
An early detection of ADHD will provide the right type of response from the teachers, pedagogues, psychologists, and specialists as well as it will develop a partnership with a child’s parents. A quick intervention combined with an appropriate teaching strategy will prevent the accumulation and escalation of negative symptoms of the disorder.
During the absence of an ADHD student, the educator should talk to his/her pupils about academic problems and personal conduct of students afflicted by ADHD, so that the pupils are also aware about the nature of the disorder. The classmates of an ADHD student should know why the teacher will spend more time with that student and why certain educational strategies will be used.
ADHD students with a dominant motor hyperactivity will always constitute the greatest challenge for the teacher since they cannot control their behavior. They may become a hazard to other students, threatening their safety, especially during intermissions.
In order to help teachers with realizing the curriculum as well as with educating their ADHD pupils, the school should employ teacher assistants or auxiliary teachers.
ADHD students cannot predict the consequences of their actions, very often being unable to learn from their own mistakes. They should attend public schools together with other children so that they can see acceptable behavioral patterns.

Concluding remarks

The observation of the ADHD students has demonstrated that the Polish system of educating students affected by the disorder will have to be changed. In Poland there seems to be a shortage of experts specializing in the area of special education, especially in ADHD. This situation can be remedied by organizing training programs in all major Polish cities. Starting with the management of the primary and secondary schools with respect to the organization of work with ADHD students, the training should also embrace teachers, giving them basic tools to understand the disorder. There also seem to be a need for volunteers willing to assist teachers in their work.
Each school should have a similar response system in terms of how to educate ADHD students to be applied during all lessons by all teachers. The school principals should organize a group of coordinators consisting of the teachers who are responsible for overall educational process of ADHD students as well as advisory board such as psychologists, pedagogues, doctors, and parents of the students. The main task of the group of coordinators and the advisory board would be to work out a variety of teaching strategies and behavioral controls that could be tailored to individual needs of the students while providing support for the teachers and parents as well as ensuring that schools have sufficient amount of ADHD informational materials and receive proper funding.
All of the above can positively influence the situation of students with ADHD in Poland, giving them an opportunity to complete all levels of education so that they could have a fully productive life.


This paper aims to prove that ADHD students can successfully learn English vocabulary. Students with motor hyperactivity and a short attention span should be taught by teachers possessing adequate knowledge in the area of psychology, pedagogy as well as methodology of teaching.
The first part of the thesis has consisted of three chapters devoted to theoretical background. Chapter one has presented what is known about ADHD, focusing on definitions of the disorder, history of research dating back to the 20th century. Genetic causes together with typical symptoms of the three subtypes of ADHD and co-occurring disorders have been described. Chapter two has discussed the ESL methodology of teaching English vocabulary. Various methods of presenting, consolidating, and revising vocabulary have been analyzed, stressing the significance of memory and attention in the process of learning.
The theme of Chapter three revolves around educational implications, which greatly influence students' academic achievements, providing information on issues concerning behavior of ADHD students. Chapter four has provided a thorough description of the psycho-pedagogical examination of the three students focusing on detailed accounts of 12 lessons devoted to English vocabulary with evaluation in home and school environments.
The author has drawn her own conclusions based on the case study with respect to teaching and behavior of ADHD students. After analyzing the effectiveness of presentation techniques for introducing English vocabulary, the research has shown that the ADHD students can quickly and flawlessly associate the meaning with form of the newly introduced words when object-, picture-, or model demonstration techniques have been used. Definitions, antonyms and synonyms, on the other hand, greatly extended the time of vocabulary presentation, introducing an element of uncertainty as to whether the new words were understood correctly.
The next step underlines the significance of consolidation and revision activities in the learning process. A variety of constantly modified and improved activities activating the students’ interest prove to be the most crucial factor in remembering new vocabulary. The exercises allow the students’ knowledge to be extended, eliminating spelling/pronunciation errors in the process.
During the vocabulary lessons it was noticed that the positive effects of teaching ADHD students mostly depend on their attention span combined with the properly functioning memory. It was also observed that more difficult tasks involving greater mental efforts and longer duration caused attention loss and lower interest, which had a de-motivating effect on the students. The academic success was also dependant on the students’ behavior. The research proved that it was more difficult to work with ADHD students with dominant motor hyperactivity as they required constant monitoring during the lessons as well as additional measures to be taken in case they disobeyed the code of conduct. It was also noticed that encouragement, praising, and rewards positively influenced the students' motivation, increasing their self-esteem and improving their overall behavior in the learning process.
Careful observation of the work and behavior of ADHD students during their English vocabulary classes shows that they are capable of effective acquisition of lexis, provided that appropriate teaching and behavioral strategies are implemented. Their academic achievements are dependent on the teacher's specialized knowledge of the disorder and, most of all, on developing and implementing uniform response systems that will positively affect the educational process of the ADHD students.


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Agnieszka Ziółek (Olborska)

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