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  1. Editorial Comment
  2. Investigation of cognitive factors related to Filipino and English reading literacy of third-grade Filipino children


Lhannie Estrera1 and Akira Uno1

1 University of Tsukuba


This study investigated the cognitive factors relating to the reading of a relatively transparent and an opaque script: Filipino and English. The characteristics of cognitive skills of good and poor readers of Filipino and English were also examined. A total of 98 Filipino third-grade children studying in Manila were assessed for their phonological skills, visual processing skills, receptive vocabulary, nonverbal intelligence and reading literacy skills in Filipino and English. Results of multiple regression analyses revealed that phonological awareness and naming speed were significant predictors for both Filipino and English reading. However, receptive vocabulary significantly predicted English reading, but not Filipino reading. Comparison of readers showed similar results in which poor readers showed significantly poor performance in phonological processes and naming speed in both Filipino and English. A significant difference was also found for receptive vocabulary between poor and good readers in English, but not in Filipino. It is likely that the difference in orthographic depth affected the degree of contribution of vocabulary towards reading in Filipino and English. Current findings have implications on assessing children with reading difficulties. Further research is recommended to have more in-depth understanding of reading for Filipino children.

Keywords: cognitive skills, Filipino reading, English reading

  3. Exploring the classroom practices of the English Exam Skills Programme for Singaporean primary school children

Edmen Leong1, Siti Asjamiah1, Andy Wang1

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore


Grammar, vocabulary and comprehension are key skills that are impaired in dyslexic children. In previous studies in Singapore, we have shown that dyslexic children can improve these skills significantly with structured intervention. In this controlled study, we demonstrate a highly significant improvement in these skills in a group of dyslexic children in comparison with a group of dyslexic children who did not receive the intervention. The strong effect sizes indicate that these improvements are not the effect of maturation and school based teaching, but reflect the impact of this targeted teaching on overall progress. Implications for dyslexia are discussed more generally.

Keywords: English Exam Skills, Classroom Practices, Teaching Styles, Teaching Processes

  4. Dyslexia and Champion L.I.R.M: Outcomes of a research study based on treatment of cross patterns


Piero Crispiani1* and Eleonora Palmieri2

1. University Macerata, Italy
2. Victor Center Macerata, Italy


Greater efficiency in reading is now recognised as a key to fluent reading. In this approach, based on over 10 years of observations, rehabilitative treatments and targeted experimental interventions with children with severe deficits, we testify to the effectiveness of a motor and fluency treatment. Through intensive practice based on cross pattern activation aimed at enhancing general executive functions, and procedural/sequential motor skills, we find that reading and writing improve in terms of fluency. A clinical trial, conducted before and after the Champion LIRM intervention, on a sample of 20 dyslexic children between 7 and 13 showed an average improvement of 50/60 percentage in activation timing, accompanied with an improvement in reading. After intervention, both measures were accelerated towards the performance of control children, who provided normative data for the study, although the dyslexic children remained significantly slower.

Working in intensive cycles of 2 or 3 days, for a total of 15 hours, using a constant rhythm, applying motor and coordinated sequences, we promote the underlying processes of rapid activation, improving the automatization of neural circuits and exchanges between the hemispheres. This improvement and functional gains are also extended to include attention, general responsiveness, balance, and language.

Keywords: executive functions, automatization, cross patterns, motor coordination, reading, dyslexia

  5.  Do Structured Writing Instruction and Writing Checklist aid Learners with Dyslexia in their Narrative Writing?: An exploratory case study

Serena Abdullah1*, Rosalyn Wee1 and Nur Alia Bte Salim1
1 Dyslexia Association of Singapore


Writing has been identified as a field that has not been extensively researched as part of dyslexia. The learners at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) are taught writing based on a structured writing instruction that follows the process genre approach (Badger & White, 2000) adapted alongside Derewianka's (1991) Curriculum Cycle (i.e. building knowledge of the field, modelling, joint constructing, and independent writing). Additionally, an adaptation of the 6+1 Trait® Writing (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004) was added to the writing instruction to create the platform for structured feedback as well as to make the process of writing more focused and meaningful for our dyslexics learners. Hence, a year-long case study was conducted at DAS to explore whether the use of a structured writing instruction and a student-friendly checklist based on the 6+1 Trait® Writing (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004) would lead to an improvement in dyslexic learners’ narrative writing skills. Four classes of students attending mainstream schools, ages 10 to 12 years, with similar abilities have been identified to take part in the study for four terms. They were grouped to either be in experimental 1 or experimental 2 group, with both groups exposed to the same structured writing instruction, but experimental 1 also receiving a structured checklist to support their writing. Results obtained from this writing research showed a significant impact for the lowest achieving children, and will be further discussed and analysed in this article.

Keywords: learning difficulties, dyslexia, teaching writing, writing difficulties, process genre approach, 6+1 Trait® Writing

  6. Increasing Academic Achievement for Students with Disabilities: Insights from a Study in India on Optimizing Learning Time


Radhika Misquitta1*, Manika Khanna1 and Sneha Rawlani1
1. The Gateway School of Mumbai


Academic learning time (ALT) in the classroom is a powerful predictor of achievement (Aronson, Zimmerman & Carlos, 1998). In this article, we describe a study undertaken in a school for students with special needs in Mumbai, India, that sought to optimise ALT in classrooms. As part of the study, we examined how learning time was distributed across different activities. Results indicated that the majority of time was devoted to instruction. Data indicated that while teachers were more proficient with teacher-led instructional activities, activities that supported student-led engagement were rarely employed. Results also indicated that certain accepted teaching practices may detract from learning time if ALT is not considered when planning classes. We discuss suggestions for optimising time and tools for data collection in developing countries.

Keywords: academic learning time, instructional time, students with disabilities

  7. Attitudes Towards New Technology In Teaching Dyslexics In Singapore: The Case Of The Mimio Teach Smart Bars

Soofrina Binte Mubarak1*
1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore


Technology has been an important factor in teaching over many years, with recent advances opening up many new opportunities for teachers. However, reactions to this new technology have been mixed. In this article, the attitudes and motivation of teachers to engage with this new technology in teaching small groups of dyslexic children were evaluated. Findings indicated a generally positive attitude towards the use of Mimio Teach Smart Bars, with some evidence for problems in setting up the equipment for some of the participants. The majority of participants intended to use this technology regularly. Moreover, the pupils who had taken part showed generally high motivation towards continued use of Mimio Teach Smart Bars, reflecting their confidence as ‘digital natives’. Implications of these findings for potential improvement in literacy will be discussed.

Keywords: Technology, Educational technologies, dyslexia, technology integration, literacy, technology adoption

   8. A Comparative Analysis of two Mentoring Approaches at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore


Sumathi D/O Krishna Kumar1*, Hani Zohra Muhamad1, and Sujatha Nair1
1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore


Mentoring is significant in the life of any new teacher, and has been shown to increase effectiveness and ensure retention, particularly for educational therapists of special needs. A mentoring programme aims to provide new educational therapists with support in the practical aspect of teaching. At the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), formal mentoring takes place over a period of six months. New educational therapists are paired with experienced educational therapists who guide them on lesson planning and delivery, as well as classroom and student behaviour management. This study examines the strengths of two types of mentoring approach currently adopted at DAS - (a) mentoring concurrently when formal teaching begins and (b) mentoring after formal teaching begins. The aim of this study was to examine the perceptions of two groups of educational therapists who received mentoring from the two approaches. A mixed-method comparative study which involved surveying educational therapists who had completed their mentoring programme using a questionnaire on a five-part Likert scale and face-to-face interviews were adopted. 28 educational therapists in their first two years of teaching were randomly selected for the survey. 6 educational therapists were then purposively selected for an interview to investigate their perceptions on the mentoring approach they had received. These findings will inform of the preferred mentoring approach and help to identify specific challenges, benefits and the impact either of these approaches had on educational therapists' performances. Results revealed that new educational therapists prefer to receive mentoring when their formal teaching begins as they felt more confident and assured when they had a mentor to guide them.

Keywords: mentoring, mentor, mentee, formal teaching, challenges.

  9. UnITE SpLD 2017 Conference in Singapore - Presentation Abstracts