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MAP provides a comprehensive and quality curriculum to support students with dyslexia facing literacy challenges. The MAP curriculum integrates key essential learning components that are crucial in remediating students with learning difficulties and these recommended areas of instruction are adapted from the National Reading Panel, 2000.
Engagement, anticipation, concentration and emotions such as excitement, enjoyment are some of the basic key ingredients that lead to active participation and learning in the classroom. They are also indicators of students’ levels of interest in the classroom. Today, more than ever, the role of educational technologies is of great importance and it is becoming the commonplace in the area of education to harness the interest of students and add value to the learning objectives.
The EdTech team at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore recognises that in just as almost all aspects of our society, the education field has been vastly impacted by the incorporation of educational technologies in the last ten years or so. More importantly, not only has technology modernized the physical classroom, it has also modernized the way our 21st-century learners seek knowledge.
Catering to dyslexic learners and the DAS educators, the DAS EdTech team aspires to level up both skill sets and infrastructure to realise the full benefits of investments in educational technologies. Our scope of services cater mainly to dyslexic learners, educational therapists and parents by collaborating with external vendors for services and partnerships with those who share our objectives.
Technology integration for digital literacy and the 21st century skills of critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and communication and information literacy have become increasingly important. By using technology, these skills can be imparted to the learners. However, to do this effectively, pedagogical models need to be used.
Some of the main guiding pedagogies employed by EdTech are TPACK and SAMR models. The TPACK - Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge - is about designing lessons incorporating technology to support the arranged content through a pedagogically supported approach (Figure 1). The SAMR model (Figure 2) on the other hand facilitates the practical aspect and scales the various levels of use of educational technologies into four broad levels so that educators can know the level of their technology integration in the lesson (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) and how they can further elevate the activity.
The EdTech Team is focused on the application and study of educational technologies and how it enhances skills and cognitive characteristics in both educators and learners. The team thus pilots and leads initiatives with educational technologies such as studying users’ perceptions on uses of iPads in the DAS classrooms, impact of Mimio Teach Smart Bars on educators and dyslexic learners, and the formative approach to the digitalization of the Curriculum Based Assessments.
EdTech in DAS is at its beginning stages but the bigger plans are on the way to ensure that not only traditional learning methods are modernized but also that the use of educational technologies are purposeful to student-oriented learning.
Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
The provision of a multi-sensory and highly structured phonetic instruction through the Essential Literacy Approach (ELA) has been incorporated into MAP lessons to promote and facilitate reading and spelling development in our students.
MAP lessons emphasise the importance of reading fluency through the deliberate planning of reading tasks that take into account students' reading fluency and accuracy to ensure that reading comprehension is not impaired by effortful and inaccurate reading.
The Reading Comprehension Curriculum includes essential reading comprehension skills that are closely aligned with the mainstream curriculum. It also consists of skills that are taught and delivered according to the PPP (Presentation, Practice, Production) stages to:
Writing is taught to students in a structured, cumulative and sequential manner. The process of writing emphasises not only on skills such as planning, drafting, revising and editing, it also stresses upon the importance of linguistic knowledge, such as grammar and text structure, to make writing more focused and meaningful for our students.
Beyond phonics, MAP explicitly emphasises vocabulary development of morphemes, sight and high frequency words through instructions leveraging on Assistive Technology to improve students' language acquisition skills.
Localisation of Curriculum
The MAP curriculum and resources have been localised to better suit our bilingual learners and more importantly, to make learning more accessible and contextualised for them.
Lessons are taught in accordance to the Orton-Gillingham principles:
Funded by Government and 2015 Audit
“Services offered under MOE-aided DAS Literacy Programme are appropriate, and remain highly relevant in providing additional literacy support for students with dyslexia”
Provision for MAP - DAS Bursaries
DAS believes that no child should be left behind because he or she cannot afford the cost of a DAS education. The provision of bursaries is critical as it levels the playing field for children with dyslexia from lower families. DAS and MOE provide financial assistance in the form of bursaries to Singapore students, or to students who have at least one parents who is a Singaporean.
The student must also be attending a MOE mainstream school between Primary One (1) and Secondary Five (5).