‘Assessment accommodations support learners who stutter in oral exams’ – Juan-Pierre Moller

Adolescents who stutter are often disadvantaged in formal oral examinations. Stressful exam situations exacerbate stuttering resulting in decreased marks. This study focused on changing the ways that teachers conduct oral assessments in order to give learners who stutter the best chance to show their potential. This qualitative study was conducted in a remedial secondary school. Data were collected from semi-structured, in-depth interviews with the school principal, and teachers of the school-based support team. Content analysis revealed specific assessment accommodations for support.

Findings highlighted supportive accommodations: Extra time, using a separate venue,  singing the oral assessment, using text-to speech applications, speaking in front of smaller groups until they are comfortable in front of larger ones. Using technologically advanced options, such as video or audio recordings, could also allow the learner to do the oral performance in the comfort of their own home. These simple accommodations could have far reaching implications for supporting learners who stutter.