For most learners, there is no single, clearly identifiable cause of their learning backlogs. When you measure backlogs as we do, what is very clear, is that no two learners’ backlogs are exactly the same. Backlogs may be similar in extent, for example: from three years back, but they are very different in their structure at a concept level.
As each learner’s learning experience is unique and different, they are affected differently in classroom activities. Even going to the bathroom at an inopportune moment can result in a learning backlog especially if it is not picked up early and corrected. Not having a good breakfast before school, having an argument with a best friend, a poor night’s sleep, troubles and stress in your family – these all can diminish concentration and the ability to understand in the classroom.
As teachers, even though we know that these issues exist and are common and impact on our learners’ learning, we have no control over them. Nevertheless – until we deal with their backlogs, learners are unable to learn in their actual grade classrooms.