Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Meeting the Challenge of Diversity: Students with Learning Disabilities in the Foreign Language Classroom

Christine Anton, Lucia Llorente.

Increasing sophistication in the workplace, changes in technology, and expanding societal expectations for education are factors that are interacting to increase the importance of a postsecondary education. To improve the likelihood of success in the 21st century, often it is necessary to earn at least a bachelor’s degree from a college or university. In the past decade, this assumption has been reflected in a dramatic increase in college or university enrollment of students with learning disabilities (LD).
This significant increase in the last ten years in the number of students with LD attending colleges and universities has also caused professionals in the field to be concerned about the lack of success and academic failure rate of these students. What limited information has been provided in the literature indicates that there is reason to be concerned about degree completion by students with LD. What is lacking in the literature is information identifying factors contributing to success for college students with LD. Knowledge of these success factors may provide critical information in the assessment of a student’s readiness for the postsecondary environment. This presentation will first, explore characteristics of learning disabilities in second language acquisition, and second, provide information and key questions to assist instructors as well as students in identifying factors that may contribute to the student with LD’s chances for academic success.
In order to be successful at the college level, many students with learning disabilities need to have the foreign language classroom setting modified. With a controlled enrollment, a modified curriculum, concerted effort, and a highly skilled instructor, most students with learning disabilities can complete at least two semesters of modified foreign language study.


Christine Anton  (United States)
Assistant Professor of German
Department of Foreign Languages
Berry College

Christine Anton is currently an assistant professor of German at Berry College. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996, where she wrote a dissertation under the direction of Siegfried Mews on the art theory in 19th century Realism. She has published articles on Ebner-Eschenbach, Adalbert Stifter, Friedrich Schiller, and Eichendorff, and has published a book on “Poetic Realism.” Her research and teaching interests include German literature, philosophy and culture of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Before teaching at Berry College she taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and at UNC Chapel Hill.

Lucia Llorente  (United States)

  • Learning Disabilities
  • Second Language Acquisition

(Virtual Presentation, English)