Banner Publications

Contents    
     
    Click here to download the full copy of the journal.
     
Alternatively, click on individual papers below:  
     
  1. Editorial Comment
     
  2. How does the understanding of dyslexia impact on University support in the UK: a survey of staff
   


Margaret Meehan1

1 Swansea University, Centre for Academic Success

Abstract

Dyslexia is a condition that impacts throughout the lifespan, particularly affecting the progress of students at University level. Continued support needed is in advice and planning, writing and studying, and goal setting (Stack-Cutler et al., 2015). In a previous article (Meehan, 2016) the author examined the experiences of a group of dyslexic students in a university setting in the UK. A comparable questionnaire study is reported here, 91 staff from the same university providing their views on the difficulties experienced by dyslexic students at University level.

Interestingly, there is significant evidence of ongoing problems with spelling, but variability in the other skill needs identified. Although some staff were skeptical about the needs of dyslexic students, most staff used multi-sensory techniques and aids to support students, and this was not dependent on the age or training of the teacher, suggesting a high level of awareness of dyslexia. The potential impact of changes in government funding on support and implications for Asian countries where support is still developing are considered.

     
  3. Early predictors of dyslexia: Parental literacy skills, home and phonics support predicting preschoolers' phonological and literacy skills 
   


Pei Yi Fong1*, Vicki Lim1, Shehnas Alam1, Lois Lim1

1 Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

In Singapore, early identification and intervention of literacy difficulties during preschool are important due to the heavy academic demands placed on children. Previous research have shown that parents’ literacy skills, amount of home support given, and prior phonics exposure are associated with reading skills. The impact of home support, phonics-based support and parental factors on preschool students’ literacy and phonological skills were investigated in this study. It was found that the provision of phonics-based intervention significantly predicted better phonological processing skills. Both mothers and fathers also impacted on their child’s literacy and phonological skills but in different ways, suggesting that parents play distinct roles in their child’s literacy development. On the other hand, home support did not appear to confer the expected benefits in terms of literacy development. This may be associated with the differences in the learning processes at home.

     
  4. The Integrative Technology Initiative (ITI) at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS)
   


Soofrina Mubarak1* and Geetha Shantha Ram1

1 Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

Current perspectives on specialist education encourage a seamless integration of technology into the design and delivery of a programme. The Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) conducted a trial study of the Integrative Technology Initiative (ITI) with thirty-seven educators and ninety-one students. The pre-trial study, comprising a survey and dialogue session, revealed that a successful integration of technology hinged heavily on the positive mindset shift of the educators.

Consequently, phase one of the ITI trial evaluated the appropriateness of the use of iPads as an administrative tool to reframe educators’ views on ITI. With an achieved receptivity, the ITI trial entered the second phase where suitable iPad applications, which may effectively assist students to learn and cater to the differing needs of individuals within a group without compromising the quality or quantity of learning outcomes were utilised in instruction. Phase two of the ITI trial therefore evaluated the effectiveness of the use of iPads in a classroom through the feedback from students and educators. This paper explores results from the ITI trial and discusses the implications and future initiatives to be undertaken so that DAS can truly enable students to achieve their potential.

While the usual variables for acceptance of technology such as perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are found to be important in the implementation of new technology initiatives, our findings show that other factors, such as the issue of device ownership, are equally important factors in the successful implementation.

     
  5. 

The Teaching of Maths to Students with Dyslexia: A Teachers' Perspective

   


Hani Zohra bte Muhamad1*, Zachary Walker1, Kara Rosenblatt2

1. National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

2. University of Texas of the Permian Basin , USA

Abstract

This case study explores the perceptions of teachers who teach maths to students with dyslexia at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). The authors examined the challenges participants faced when teaching students with dyslexia maths, the processes that were used to help their learners understand maths concepts, and supports that were provided to minimise student anxiety and boost self-esteem. Four distinct challenges emerged including inadequate training, content area language barriers, cognitive style implications and their impact on maths learning, and addressing and remediating students’ anxiety towards learning maths and the impact on their self-esteem. Results indicated that teachers enjoy teaching maths to students with dyslexia but find that adequate training, teaching experience, and exposure to multiple teaching strategies are required for success.

As DAS is a unique organisation that helps students with dyslexia improve their literacy and numeracy skills, teacher professional development and teacher training are important aspects that need to be in place so that teachers are well-supported and guided to coach these students. Suggestions to meet these challenges are provided.

     
  6. Evidence-led improvements to the DAS Maths Programme
   


Anaberta Oehlers-Jaen1*, Rebecca Yeo1, Siti Aishah Bte Shukri1 and Aishah Abdullah1

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

A case study on The Teaching of Maths to Students with Dyslexia: A Teachers' Perspective by authors Muhamad, Walker and Rosenblatt, drafted in 2015 and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2016, looked at the perceptions of three DAS Maths teachers and how they viewed the teaching process.

Four main challenges for Mathematics teachers emerged from the analysis of the qualitative structured interviews that were conducted in the research by Muhamad et al. Namely, inadequate training, content area language barriers, cognitive style implications and their impact on maths learning, and addressing and remediating students’ anxiety towards learning maths and the impact on their self-esteem. Of interest to the Maths team in particular was “inadequate training” which was cited as one of the challenges faced by the teachers interviewed. This paper therefore aims to highlight the training pathways for DAS Maths Teachers which are currently in place since Muhamad et al., (2016), conducted the case study and teacher interviews in 2014.

     
  7. How can 5 + 6 = 7? Exploring the use of a screening tool to investigate students’ mathematical thinking in class two in Kolkata, India
   


Melinda Eichhorn1*

1 Gordon College (USA)

Abstract

Difficulties in math can begin very early in children’s development, as some students come to school with a limited amount of number sense. By assessing number sense in the initial stages of elementary education, teachers can identify students experiencing difficulties in mathematics and begin early intervention. In this mixed-methods pilot study in Kolkata, India, second grade students (n = 185) completed a researcher-constructed mathematical screening tool. Using the theoretical framework of constructivism and the Response to Intervention (RtI) model, the findings of the mathematics screening are presented, viewing students’ errors as an opportunity for teachers to learn and understand students’ misconceptions with the goal of intervention in mind, as opposed to waiting for students to fail before addressing their difficulties.