An Evaluation of the Preference-Based Teaching Approach for Children with Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviours

An Evaluation of the Preference-Based Teaching Approach for Children with Dyslexia and Challenging Behaviours

Sharyfah Nur Fitriya, Masters in Special Educational Needs
University of South Wales, Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS)
sharyfah@das.org.sg

 

Dyslexia is characterised by difficulties in accurate and/or fluent word
recognition, reading comprehension, written expression and poor spelling.
These are due to deficits in the phonological component of language that
are often related to other cognitive abilities which can cause behavioural
or emotional problems.

 

Dyslexia is often accompanied by challenging behaviours which are
defined as externalising disorders. 


Externalising behaviours refer to conflicts with other people, such as
rule-breaking behaviour, aggression, social problems and problems with
attention. These students frequently suffer from attentiveness and
concentration issues, which may result in losing interest in the tasks that
are assigned to them.


For this study, the preference-based teaching approach will tap into a
student’s interests and existing knowledge.

These will be integrated into the lesson to increase on-task behaviour and
improve attentiveness in the classroom setting.
This study aims to help teachers to better manage students with dyslexia
and their challenging behaviour and at the same time increase
engagement of students with dyslexia.

 

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Evaluating Reading Gains in Learners with Dyslexia Across a Continuum of Literacy Bands using Curriculum Based Assessment

Evaluating Reading Gains in Learners with Dyslexia Across a Continuum of Literacy Bands using Curriculum Based Assessment

 

Sujatha Nair, Assistant Director (QA), English Language and Literacy Division, DAS | sujatha@das.org.sg
Pratyusha Sridhar, Senior Educational Therapist & Educational Advisor, DAS | pratyusha@das.org.sg

 

The Main Literacy Programme (MLP) at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) only admits
students that have been assessed for and given a diagnosis of Dyslexia. Following admission, students’
cognitive and literacy profiles are further analysed to assign a band (Ram et.al., 2015) for their
educational placement within the programme enabling MLP to offer individualised lessons taught in
accordance to the Orton-Gillingham Principles (Ritchey & Goeke, 2006; Rose & Zirkel, 2007). Each
band has three levels of literacy learning, making it a total of nine levels across bands “A” to “C”. There
are four core skills that are covered in cumulation - from emergent to functional to advanced literacy
skills - across these bands; they are phonics, language & vocabulary, reading comprehension and
writing. Students’ progress across these skills is then monitored using digitised Curriculum Based
Assessments (CBAs).


The rate of progression across the four skills is not expected to be uniform - owing to varying student
profiles and ensuing curriculum. In a previously conducted study (Nair, Ram & Kurusamy, 2018) it was
observed that the Band A students generally made the most significant progress in reading. The
current study aims to check if the reading gains made by Band A students still holds true and to further
analyse the profile of the learners making the reading gains.

 

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The construction and evaluation of an English Exam Skills test for Primary School students with Dyslexia

The construction and evaluation of an English Exam Skills test for Primary School students with Dyslexia

Edmen Leong, Director of Specialised Educational Services, Dyslexia Association of Singapore |  edmen@das.org.sg
Dr. Hu Guangwei, Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 

The construction of a test previously used successfully with dyslexic children and low
achievers to assess performance is formally evaluated in this study. An English Exam
Skills Programme (EESP) was developed and implemented in 2013 with the goal of
helping primary school students with dyslexia develop their English Language skills
and achieve in their school and national examinations. The design of the EESP adhered
to the Orton Gillingham principles and aimed to ensure that the pedagogy would
allow students to transfer skills and concepts learnt to their examination performance.
Leong (2015) reports a study conducted to evaluate the progress of students in the
EESP using a pre-test and a post-test design. Results from the study suggested that
the EESP was effective in addressing the English Language development and
examination needs of primary school learners with dyslexia. The study however was
based on tests that were designed by the curriculum developers of the EESP and were
not subjected to a full validation process. To accurately establish the effectiveness of
the EESP, it is also important to ensure that the testing procedures used are optimally
reliable and valid. In order to achieve this goal, a new English Exam Skills test for
primary students enrolled in the EESP has been developed and validated, following
McNamara’s (2000) “testing cycle” of the design stage, the construction stage, the
try-out stage, and the operational stage. Results obtained from the trialling and
validation of the test, including item and whole test analyses, were used to refine and
finalize the test. Test takers’ performances on this test (both the original and revised
versions) were compared with their performances on a test conducted in mainstream
primary schools. Substantial correlations constituted evidence of convergent validity.
The analyses not only helped to establish the construct validity of the newly
developed test but made it possible to predict EESP students’ performance on their
school and national examinations. In addition, such analyses helped to gauge the
effectiveness of the EESP curriculum and the English Language development of
dyslexic learners in primary schools.

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Difficulties in expressing numbers in words - A study on Grade Four Dyslexic Students in Singapore

Difficulties in expressing numbers in words - A study on Grade Four Dyslexic Students in Singapore

Rebecca Yeo, Maths Programme Manager, Lead Educational Therapist | rebecca@das.org.sg
Siti Aishah Bte Shukri, Senior Educational Therapist | siti.aishah@das.org.sg
Aishah Abdullah, Lead Educational Therapist | albel@das.org.sg
Serene Low, Educational Therapist | serene@das.org.sg

 

It is widely acknowledged that any natural number can be expressed
in three forms: its Arabic-numeral form (also known as symbolic
form), its word form and its non-symbolic form (such as repeating
the same shape to represent the quantity). The ability to read and
recognize numbers is one of the basic skills in mathematics.
Research has found that children’s ability to recognize number in
kindergarten is a good predictor of their mathematical achievement
in first grade (Hornung, Schiltz, Brunner & Martin, 2014).
The process of translating numbers from one representation to
another is called transcoding. In this research, we are interested
in the process of transcoding numbers from their Arabic numeral
form to their word equivalent. While there has been some research
on this process, the existing models fail to consider how language
features, such as spelling, the appropriate use of punctuation and
grammatical structures like the appropriate use of the connector
“and” also affect the accuracy of transcoding. These models are
also based on people without any language difficulties and may
not be sufficient to explain how people with dyslexia transcode
numbers from their Arabic numeral form to words and the
difficulties they may experience when doing so. This study
seeks to explore the difficulties Primary Four students with
dyslexia would have with expressing 5-digit numbers in words
by looking at the types of errors they were making in this task.

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Behaviour IS a form of Language

Behaviour IS a form of Language

DAS Preschool Educational Therapists | Cheryl Yeo, Natasha Mastura Malek, Joanne Tan
cheryl.yeo@das.org.sg | natasha@das.org.sg | joanne@das.org.sg

 

Children with emotional and behavioural issues tend to fall
behind in all areas of developments, especially academic
achievements. Often, managing these emotional and
behavioural issues lead to unnecessary struggles and
painful interactions with young children.


Parents and educators need see behaviours as a form of
language that communicates children’s worries, fears,
anxieties and anger. Close observation helps parents and
educators understand the reasons behind children’s
emotional and behavioural issues . With visual cue aids,
adults can help regulate and manage children’s emotions
and behaviours.

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