Behavioral Problems in the Classroom and Underlying Language Difficulties

Jodi Tommerdahl, Peggy Semingson


Dealing with the behavioral problems of students is one of many dimensions of most educators’ and schools’ requirements. While research has repeatedly shown that a large number of children with behavior problems have underlying, unrecognized language difficulties, few schools have implemented programs where children with problem behavior are evaluated in terms of these skills. This paper provides information to teachers about (1) the links between behavior and language, (2) the levels at which language can be impaired including phonology, grammar and pragmatics, (3) how language impairment can be recognized and (4) what can be done in the classroom to support the language skills of this group. Special attention is paid to the pragmatic level of language as impairment at this level may be misdiagnosed as behavior problems. The information provided is targeted towards pre-K and elementary school age, but can also be adapted for older children.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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