APJDD Vol 5 No 1 (Jan 2018)

APJDD Vol 5 No 1 (Jan 2018)

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1. Editorial Comment

Angela J. Fawcett and John Everatt

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2. Misbehaviour and educational achievement among Arabic children

Yousuf Almurtaji1

1 Public Authority for Applied Education & Training, Kuwait

Abstract

Poor levels of behaviour can have deleterious effects on the prospects of children, as well as on fellow students and the ability of teachers to carry out their duties. Relationships between behavioural problems and educational achievement have been identified; however, perceptions of negative behaviours are culturally loaded, and a child’s age (school grade) may influence effects since development (or school systems) can lead to variance in behavioural responses. This study set out to measures such relationships across school years in a cultural context (Kuwaiti Arabic) that has received relatively little attention. Participants were children, and their parents and teachers, from primary school grades 4 and 5 and intermediate school grades 6 and 7. Parents/teachers completed an attention-hyperactivity questionnaire, designed specifically for an Arabic setting, and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which has been widely used internationally. Children performed measures of literacy and mathematics, scores on which were associated with the questionnaire data. The results showed associations between educational measures and negative behaviours (particularly hyperactivity/inattention and emotion problems) across parent/teacher data, but a potential focus on influences in the primary grades. Findings are discussed in terms of the need for intervention strategies, and similarities with other studies varying in cultural contexts.

Keywords: misbehaviour, educational attainment, cultural context, Kuwait

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3. Assessment of the Effectiveness of a Chinese Literacy Assessment tool for School Learners in Singapore

Tan Ah Hong1 , Priscillia Shen Peixin2 , Kong Yun Rui3*, See Lay Yen3 , Sha Lan3

1 Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, Asian Languages and Culture Academic Group

2 DAS Academy

3 Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

As more school learners face difficulties in learning Chinese and requests for exemption in school, there is no standardised Chinese literacy assessment tool in Singapore that can enable educators to assess and ascertain the learning needs of these learners. Consequently, educators are unable to provide the most appropriate learning support for these learners. Hence, the purpose of this study is to assess the reliability and validity of a Chinese Literacy Assessment tool which could be standardised in future to ascertain a learner’s language ability and learning difficulties. The Chinese Literacy Assessment tool (CLA) consists of five components: visuo-orthographic awareness, word recognition and morphological awareness, spelling, reading comprehension and copying. A total of 149 learners between the ages of nine to eleven years old participated in this study and underwent the CLA testing. Test of Cronbach Alpha shows that the orthographic awareness, morphological awareness, word recognition, spelling and copying tasks are reliable test items. Using one-way ANOVA, the CLA is valid in differentiating students with learning difficulties and of different ages and abilities. The results of this study suggest for revisions to be made prior to standardisation with a larger sample of students and potentially be used to inform instruction.

Keywords: Chinese Learning Difficulties, Chinese Literacy, Assessment, Singapore Mandarin, Second Language

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4. Evaluating an early literacy intervention in Singapore

Wong Kah Lai1* and Shakthi Bavani Sathiasilan1

1 Dyslexia Association of Singapore

Abstract

Research has shown that the early years can be critical for children’s progress in literacy and learning. Moreover, a number of predictors for success can be identified at this stage, including letter naming and phonological skills. An investigation into the effectiveness of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) Preschool Early Literacy Intervention Programme (ELIP) was conducted with 294 kindergartners in 2016. Pre and post test results indicated literacy gains in all areas of early literacy intervention. These areas include alphabet and phonogram knowledge, sight words, reading and spelling. Thematic analysis of feedback gathered from parents, early literacy intervention therapists, and children showed intangible gains such as a love for learning and increased confidence, which may point towards the emergence of resilience. A positive tri-partnership between the therapist, the child and the parent is critical for success.

Keywords: Preschool/kindergarten; early intervention; phonics; literacy; stakeholder feedback; Singapore

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