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          1.    Editorial Comment
          2.    Behavioural self-regulation and its contribution to reading among Chinese poor readers

Kevin K.H. Chung 1*

1 The Hong Kong Institute of Education

This study investigated to which behavioural self-regulation and language skills could discriminate Hong Kong Chinese poor from adequate readers. A total of 78 Chinese first graders with 39 poor readers and 39 adequate readers participated and they were matched on age, parents’ education levels and nonverbal intelligence (IQ). The two groups were tested on the measures of behavioral self-regulation (the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders; HTKS), vocabulary definition, phonological awareness, morphological construction, rapid digit naming, and sentence comprehension. Results showed that the poor readers performed less well than the adequate readers in all cognitive-linguistic and reading comprehension measures. Among these measures, the HTKS, morphological construction, and rapid digit naming showed the greatest power in discriminating poor and adequate readers. Self-regulation skills accounted for significant amount of unique variance in reading comprehension after controlling for the effects of age and IQ. Together, these findings highlight the potential importance of the process of learning to read in Chinese for shaping one’s self-regulation skills.

          3.    Effectiveness of an Early Intervention Programme for Pre-School Children at Risk of Dyslexia in Singapore

Thomas W. T. Sim,1 & 2* Wong Kah Lai,1 Nor Ashraf Bin Samsudin,1 and Tim Bunn1

1 Dyslexia Association of Singapore
2 DAS Academy Ltd, Singapore

An investigation of the effectiveness of an early intervention programme for children at risk of dyslexia in Singapore was conducted with 56 children aged five to six years old identified to be at risk of dyslexia. After risk-identification, the children undertook a pre-test of literacy ability that measured alphabet knowledge, phonogram knowledge, sight word knowledge, reading ability, and spelling ability. The children then received intervention in the form of an early intervention programme at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. After which, the children were post-tested for their literacy ability to measure literacy gains. The results showed that literacy scores at post-test were significantly higher than at pre-test and that overall literacy gain was significantly positively correlated with length of intervention. These results indicated that early intervention was effective and that the longer the intervention the greater the gain in literacy ability.

          4.    The UK’s Dyslexia-friendly Initiative and the USA’s Universal Design Movement: Exploring a Possible Kinship

Barbara E. Pavey 1*

1 Associate Tutor, University College London Institute of Education

Within the competing discourses of dyslexia discussion, the pedagogical change represented by the Dyslexia-friendly “turn” is embedded within the sociological context of the social model of disability. Theoretical developments supporting this philosophical and ideological perspective have led to requirements for facilitatory practices in both the UK and USA. This paper compares two key protocols. As a result it is considered that the USA’s principles of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) demonstrate a kinship with the principles governing the UK’s Dyslexia-friendly (DF) approach. The paper explores the implications for wider dyslexia research and practice, and concludes by discussing how small scale research arising from the DF approach could contribute to an evidence base in support of the principles of UDI.

          5.    Educational Therapy in Singapore: Towards Professionalisation and Professionalism

Siew Hui Li, June 1*

1 DAS Academy, Singapore

the article aims to explore how professionalism and professionalisation can be developed and sustained in a context where the practice of educational therapy is newly emerging. The article also has implications for the rest of Asia and other countries across the world where professional standards have not yet been established.

          6.    Special Education Teachers’ Attitudes toward Including Students with SEN in Mainstream Primary Schools in Singapore 

Chee Soon Weng, 1 Zachary M. Walker, 1 and Kara Rosenblatt 2

1 National Institute of Education, Singapore
2 University of South Florida St. Petersburg, USA

Singapore, one of the world’s leaders in education, began including students with special educational needs in mainstream primary schools in 2004. Although teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion are well documented in other parts of the world, there is a paucity of research on inclusion in Singapore. This lack of research limits the ability of teachers and teacher educators in understanding the barriers that exist and how to overcome them. The goal of the present study was to examine special education teachers’ attitudes toward inclusive classrooms in mainstream primary schools in Singapore. Participants were thirty-eight special education teachers with at least one year of experience working with students with special education needs in mainstream classrooms. Data were collected using the Multidimensional Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education Scale. The overall findings indicated that, while additional research needs to be completed, participants’ in this initial study have positive attitudes towards inclusion in mainstream classrooms and are willing to make adaptations to the curriculum to accommodate students with special educational needs in their classrooms.

          7.    The Impact of Morphological Intervention on Spelling and Self Esteem in Adolescents with Dyslexia

Nicole Mei-Lin Chua 1*

1 Dyslexia Association of Singapore

One of the key issues in dyslexia research is how can we remediate dyslexic children who do not respond to phonics intervention? Chomsky (1970) described English language as a morphophonemic language. There are a number of English words that are non-phonemic and cannot be represented by letter sound correspondence. This study aims to establish whether or not morphology should be integrated with phonics instruction to provide an effective intervention to dyslexic teenagers, thereby increasing their self-esteem. This is a qualitative case study of a group of three 15-year-old dyslexic learners who were attending after-school intervention program at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. These learners showed little response to the current phonics based instruction based on the Orton-Gillingham teaching approach. The researcher developed specially designed morphological instruction adapted from Bowers (2010), into the established phonics intervention, to provide a compensatory strategy (Carlisle, 1987) for the atypical group of learners. The group of learners showed an increase in confidence and accuracy when attempting spelling tasks. All students’ responses indicated that morphological instruction was their preferred way to spell as they remembered word parts visually more easily and they can rely on phonics (sounds) should they fail to identify any word part. This case study suggests that morphology should be incorporated earlier at secondary level as it helps them to see the relevance of the intervention program to their academic work in school, and provides deeper understanding of language and its structure. 

          8.    Perceptions of Success in Dyslexic adults in the UK 

Neil Alexander-Passe 1*

1 Head of Learning Support, Mill Hill School, London

This paper reports on a reflective qualitative/quantitative study of 29 adult dyslexics and their perceptions of success. It compares depressive (N=22) to non-depressive dyslexics (N=7), with gender, age of diagnosis and academic success variables. Interpretive Phenomenology Analysis was used to investigate dyslexia and perceptions of success. The study uses both quantitative and qualitative data to understand how dyslexic adults perceive any life success, and whilst many were degree educated, this was not seen by many as enough to herald themselves as successful. Many talked about reaching one’s potential, but this was seen as a personal goal-setting exercise, with those who felt themselves as unsuccessful creating unrealistic goals. Whilst many were seen by others as successful, again they dismissed this and denied themselves such attributes.

From the quantitative data, overall the whole sample felt more successful than unsuccessful (65.4% to 30.8%). Males felt more unsuccessful (45.5% to 36.4%), but females felt significantly more successful (72.2% to 16.7%). The secondary questions gave a number of reasons for this: compared to females, males felt rejected by peers, felt inadequate, frustrated and self-blamed, with the strongest differences in terms of feelings of inadequacy in over 50% of both the depressed and non-depressed males.