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No bar to learning a language

The Government's aim of introducing all pupils to a modern language has led to a pack of materials for those with special needs. Europe, Language Learning and Special Educational Needs is intended to help teachers in mainstream and special schools. It is geared particularly to those with impaired hearing and specific learning difficulties.

The Education Minister said: "It is important that all our young people have the chance to benefit from learning a modern European language. The benefits are the same for all learners, whatever their circumstances." Brian Wilson added that schools should ensure pupils with special needs had a clear sense of themselves in their local, national and European communities.

Three years ago the Scottish Office set up the Euro-Di project to create a European dimension for SEN pupils, especially by way of a language. Curriculum development was led by Hilary McColl, principal teacher of modern languages at Alyth High until she retired in 1995.

The new pack of materials will be sent to all secondary and special schools and teacher education institutes. Other recent curriculum projects for special needs have included Opening Doors, for the physically handicapped; Taking up the Challenge, for those with moderate learning difficulties; and a pack on health education.

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