This paper examines issues surrounding simplified English materials (SEMs) and their usage. It considers their value in light of widespread support for authentic materials, the communicative approach and bilingual support and learning, contrasting this with the call for language simplification for children with Down syndrome. It sets these conflicting messages against a discussion of differentiated materials and current classroom practices. Drawing on these two different strands it suggests that SEMs could serve a very effective strategic role with all pupils as the starting point of lessons
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