Helping struggling learners of English as an additional language succeed with interactive multisensory structured strategies

  • Elke Schneider Winthrop University
  • Andrea Kulmhofer Federal Institute for research, innovation and development of the Austrian school system
Keywords: multisensory structured language learning, struggling learners, learning strategies, study strategies, metalinguistic awareness, cross-linguistic awareness.


Based on cross-linguistic and interdisciplinary research of several decades that bridges learning an additional language with the field of learning differences/disabilities, this article shares research-evidenced practices to effectively address the needs of struggling foreign and second language learners of English in Brazil. These multisensory structured strategies enhance pronunciation, listening, reading and writing skills and strengthen grammar and vocabulary competencies of struggling learners. The selected multisensory structured metacognitive strategies can easily be infused into existing English as a foreign/second language curricula.


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Author Biographies

Elke Schneider, Winthrop University
Elke Schneider received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Eichstätt, Germany where she specialized in Learning Disabilities and foreign/second language acquisition. She has written and presented on this topic nationally and internationally. Past experiences include teaching foreign/second languages in different countries, and teaching German and education courses at Miami University (OH). At Miami, she ran a Reading Center as part of an undergraduate MSL teacher training course for 3 years. As Assistant Professor at SUNY College of Fredonia, New York she taught graduate literacy courses and ran a service learning Reading Center that emphasized training teachers in MSL methodologies. Currently, she is full professor for Special Education, Literacy Education and Second Language Acquisition at Winthrop University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in all three disciplines. She recently completed a four- year $1 million federal grant to enhance teacher’s assessment and instructional skills with MSL principles for dyslexic students and non-native speakers of English.
Andrea Kulmhofer, Federal Institute for research, innovation and development of the Austrian school system
Andrea Kulmhofer is a trained foreign language teacher for English and French. She is currently involved in national and standardized assessment as well as educational research. She is also a Ph.D candidate at the University of Graz, Austria and researches reading instruction of foreign and second languages.


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How to Cite
Schneider, E., & Kulmhofer, A. (2016). Helping struggling learners of English as an additional language succeed with interactive multisensory structured strategies. BELT - Brazilian English Language Teaching Journal, 7(1), 3-25.
Original Article