Certificate in Specialist Teaching of Ākonga/Individuals with SLD (Cert Tchg SLD)

The training programme (600 hours) consists of two modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to SLD
    • This module aims to provide teachers and professionals working in related fields of health and education with a framework to identify and understand Specific Learning Disabilities and their effect on the development of individuals, provide a brief introduction to remedial teaching methods, and look at ways of assisting the ākonga/student with SLD in the classroom.
  • Module 2: Teaching students with SLD
    • This module is intended to provide supervised practice. It will concentrate on programme planning, and reflective evaluation and practical application of knowledge and skills to the teaching situation.
More on Module 1

This course is open to teachers and professionals working in related fields of health and education and aims to provide them with a framework to identify SLD, recognise their effects on the behaviour and learning of learners, and understand assessment and intervention principles. Remediation techniques will be provided and emphasis will be on development of individual intervention plans for one to one or small group delivery. The course includes 300 hours of lectures, reading, guided activities including 7 assignments over three terms.


Teaching Content:
Unit 1. Definition of SLD
- Covers a brief history of the field of SLD, biological, neurological, and information processing correlates of SLD, and the difference between SLD and other learning difficulties.

Unit 2. Characteristics of SLD
- Covers specific dysfunctions associated with SLD: attentional, perceptual, cognitive, language, motor, and metacognitive, and their effect on learning and behaviour.

Unit 3. Intervention & Teaching Principles
- A closer look at the effect of SLD on the acquisition of reading, mathematics, spelling, written language, comprehension, organisation, and study skills, with an overview of appropriate teaching strategies.

Unit 4. Management Principles
- An overview of strategies and measures that can be implemented in the classroom, at home, or in other social situations to minimise the effect of SLD.

Unit 5. Programme planning
- Analysis of assessment reports and planning of individual intervention plans.

Teaching Format:
The course consists of 19 days of lectures including:

  • Video presentations
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Set readings
  • Assignments

This will represent 300 hours of work spread over three terms.

To accommodate classroom teachers, the course runs in block courses during holidays, as well as some Saturdays during term time.

More on Module 2

This course follows on from the Introduction to SLD course. It concentrates on the practical application of the skills learned during the first course, as well as analysis and critical review. The course is intended primarily for certificated teachers who have completed the Introduction to SLD Certificate and are considered to have all the required attributes to be a successful SLD teacher, and are eligible for provisional registration with the Seabrook McKenzie Centre. This will require a police vetting and adherence to the code of ethics and all quality assurance measures implemented by the Centre.

Teaching Content:
Unit 1. Teaching strategies 
- Candidates will attend lectures and do prescribed research/application assignments, which will be presented and discussed by the group.

Unit 2. Practical component
- Trainees will teach a minimum of 60 lessons, keeping detailed teaching diaries including preparation, lesson plan, and reflective evaluation. Each trainee will also be assigned to a mentor who will provide guidance and advice, and attend monthly tutorials. These will provide an opportunity to discuss practical issues in small groups led by a supervisor.

Teaching Format:
This stage comprises of a total of 300 hours over the length of 3 - 4 terms:

  • 4 full-days of lectures and assignment presentations (45 hours)
  • 6 half-days of  tutorials (25 hours)
  • 10 hours of individual mentoring sessions and lesson observations
  • 4 assignments including research application and critical evaluation components  (70 hours) 
  • A practical teaching component (150 hours)
Evaluation & Awards

A certificate of attendance for each module will be given after completion of the set assignments spread throughout the course, provided attendance has been satisfactory.

The SMC Certificate in Specialist Teaching of Ākonga/Individuals with SLD (Cert Tchg SLD) will be awarded on successful completion of both modules.

Entry Requirements & Selection

1 is open to teachers, teacher aides, and professionals who may come in contact with people with SLD through their work in the fields of health, education, or disabilities (e.g. occupational therapists, speech therapists, early childhood educators, and counsellors). Some experience of working with children with special needs is an advantage.

As Module 2 involves a practical component, all trainees will have demonstrated competence in programme planning by successfully completing the assignments in module 1 before starting work with individual students. A police clearance will be required, and the candidate will need to be provisionally registered with the Seabrook McKenzie Centre and abide by all its policies and procedures.

Applicants are required to return an application form with evidence of their previous qualifications, if applicable. We reserve the right to decline applications.

The Seabrook McKenzie Centre does not accept responsibility for providing any teaching employment on completion of this course.

Please email  for an application form.