disability in English literature?

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Kathy Nguyen

Senior Member
Vietnam
Yesterday, I told my old teacher about a guy in my new class. I wrote " There is a native in my class. I asked the teacher why and she said because he has disability in Eng literature, they just put him in my class." You might be wondering what is wrong with the native. It is because my English class is ESL (English as a second language). I posted this sentence on a thread about the way using the word "has" in the sentence and a person said, "I probably wouldn't use the word "disability", and especially not with reference to a weakness in one subject only, for whatever reason."
May I ask the reasons why?
Thank you so much!
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Can you tell us more about the problems this individual has? "A disability in English literature" doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps the individual has a literacy problem, rather than a literature problem: that is, perhaps he has difficulties with reading and/or writing?
     

    Kathy Nguyen

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    Can you tell us more about the problems this individual has? "A disability in English literature" doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps the individual has a literacy problem, rather than a literature problem: that is, perhaps he has difficulties with reading and/or writing?
    Like you said, he has difficulties with both writing and reading.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Then, if I were your teacher and talking to you as a student, I'd simply have said: "He has some problems with reading and writing".
     

    Kathy Nguyen

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    Then, if I were your teacher and talking to you as a student, I'd simply have said: "He has some problems with reading and writing".
    Loob, is the word "problems" weak? I mean if he just had normal " problems" with reading and writing, he wouldn't be put in an ESL class.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    You need to tell us why the new student is having difficulties with English Literature: does he have something wrong with him - an illness or a condition? Or is it that he is simply not a good student?

    "Disability" is used to refer to a specific physical or mental condition that leaves the person who has that disability at a disadvantage when they are compared to other people.

    For example, If you only have one leg, you may be described as "disabled" - you have a disability. If you suffer from a mental illness or Down's Syndrome - you may be described as "having a mental disability" or "mentally disabled1." Such disadvantages would mean that, at school, in all subjects, or some specific subjects (e.g. sports), the student performed worse than other people.

    However, if you are, for example, a student who is top of the class in English, History, and Geography, but bottom of the class in Maths - then you do not have a disability: you are said to be good at English, History, and Geography, but bad/poor at Maths.

    So, when you say "she said because he has disability in Eng literature," this is wrong if he is simply "bad/poor/not good at English Literature".

    1 In fact, in the UK, and probably elsewhere, the words, disability, disabled are usually avoided and a euphemism is employed.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    And unfortunately the euphemism PaulQ mentions is often 'has learning difficulties' - which we all have, at some things, so it's really unhelpful in distinguishing being disabled in some way from being bad at maths.
     

    Kathy Nguyen

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    You need to tell us why the new student is having difficulties with English Literature: does he have something wrong with him - an illness or a condition? Or is it that he is simply not a good student?

    "Disability" is used to refer to a specific physical or mental condition that leaves the person who has that disability at a disadvantage when they are compared to other people.

    For example, If you only have one leg, you may be described as "disabled" - you have a disability. If you suffer from a mental illness or Down's Syndrome - you may be described as "having a mental disability" or "mentally disabled1." Such disadvantages would mean that, at school, in all subjects, or some specific subjects (e.g. sports), the student performed worse than other people.

    However, if you are, for example, a student who is top of the class in English, History, and Geography, but bottom of the class in Maths - then you do not have a disability: you are said to be good at English, History, and Geography, but bad/poor at Maths.

    So, when you say "she said because he has disability in Eng literature," this is wrong if he is simply "bad/poor/not good at English Literature".

    1 In fact, in the UK, and probably elsewhere, the words, disability, disabled are usually avoided and a euphemism is employed.
    Actually, I'm not sure at all since I've just been in that class for 1 week. However, I assume he cannot acquire knowledge as well as normal students. Sorry, that's all I can say
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    However, I assume he cannot acquire knowledge as well as normal students. Sorry, that's all I can say
    Then, I think that you should wait until his situation becomes clearer and then, with that context, return to the thread and ask again.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You need to tell us why the new student is having difficulties with English Literature:
    It seems (see posts 2-4) that he doesn't have problems with literature; he has problems with literacy.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Loob, is the word "problems" weak? I mean if he just had normal " problems" with reading and writing, he wouldn't be put in an ESL class.
    I'd use different words if I were talking to a fellow-teacher.

    That said, "problems" is fine. It implies "particular problems".
     

    Kathy Nguyen

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    I'd use different words if I were talking to a fellow-teacher.

    That said, "problems" is fine. It implies "particular problems".
    Thanks Loob, I would probably find out more information about that guy whether he has an illness or he's just simply too bad at English. :)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    There could be many reasons why he's having difficulties with literacy: none of them would imply he's "bad at English".

    I think your question about "disability in English literature" has been answered, though.
     
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