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Practical Applications

Motivation of Teachers of Children with Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs): A Case Study of Teachers from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore
Michelle-Lynn Yap
Director of Continuing Professional Development
DAS Academy

Payne (2005) acknowledges the complexities behind being a teacher to struggling learners, and that these teachers are valued because of their “commitment to serve a vast dimensional group of children with educational needs” (cited in Feng, 2008, pp. 2). When teachers are motivated, it is likely that they will put in effort to become effective educators that “promote learning and boost performance of all students, including those who are at risk of continued failure” (Sanders & Rivers, 1996, cited in Hynds & McDonald, 2010, pp. 528).

The Importance of Vision, Visual Efficiency, and Visual Information Processing in the Management of Students with Dyslexia
Titus Lim
Senior Occupational Therapist


The first part of this article outlines the importance of vision and how vision can impact on our performance of daily activities. In this section, some common vision problems among individuals with learning disabilities will be described. The second section provides an account of some relevant literature and research studies specific to the dyslexic population. This is followed by a description of a 3-Components Model of Vision, defining the components of visual integrity, visual efficiency, and visual information processing. The importance of vision screening and vision interventions which an occupational therapist may use with the dyslexics will be discussed briefly. The article concludes with a discussion on vision screening and using vision therapy for dyslexics having visual deficits.

 

Does Singlish Hurt Spelling? The Impact of Colloquial English on the Literacy Abilities of Singaporean Students with Dyslexia
Jeanne Li Jun Tan1 and Puvaneswari Kurusamy2
1 Technology Programme Manager
2 Educational Therapist
Dyslexia Association of Singapore


In multicultural Singapore, there exists a colloquial form of English, known as Singlish that is heavily influenced by other Asian languages. This unique language situation has made teaching English language a challenge. Research has shown that teaching systematic phonics is an effective approach for students with dyslexia, a specific learning difficulty commonly associated with weaknesses in phonological processing. However, little is known about colloquial English and its impact on dyslexia. This case study aims to identify the relationship between Singlish and the spelling abilities of 15 elementary and secondary students with dyslexia who have received at least a year of phonics intervention. The students are from different socio-economic backgrounds and have varying language proficiencies. A range of tasks was administered to assess their listening and spelling abilities. A miscue analysis was later done to identify the types of errors made such as vowel substitutions and omission of ending consonants. Results showed that when Standard English was used as the medium, spelling accuracies improved when contextual sentences were provided as opposed to spelling words in isolation. This study has implications for English language teachers worldwide as the findings demonstrate the challenges faced by students with dyslexia in the learning of English using a phonics approach in a multilingual society.