PEN Academic Publishing   |  ISSN: 1308 - 9501

Volume 11 Issue 3 (September 2020)

Original articles

Understanding Issues in Dyslexic learners’ Pedagogy, the Role of Assistive Technology, and its Challenges

Saima Khan

pp. 1 - 7

Abstract

Globally, 5 to 10 % of the total population is suffering from dyslexia. Since dyslexia is considered as an educational problem, with difficulties that focus on weaknesses in the acquisition of literacy skills, the main emphasis of assistance should be educational and must concentrate on improving those skills. Thus, such a language learning disability incurs fatal impediments in developing efficient language abilities both within and outside the academic realm. To overcome these difficulties early intervention is a prerequisite. The awareness level of dyslexia among masses is ever more decreasing, resulting in delayed diagnosis and remediation. In an attempt to assist in this direction, the present paper provides insights about language learning disabilities – dyslexia in particular, its characteristics, causes, as well as manifestations. By adopting a descriptive research methodology, the paper investigates the challenges dyslexia generates for academic literacy development and English language pedagogy. Further, the purpose of this study is to elaborate upon the affective as well as the psychological problems dyslexic learners struggle with and their contemporary challenges. This study also highlights and suggests ways of proven assistance for learners coping with dyslexia. Therefore, this paper is an attempt to offer a holistic review of language learning disabilities and aims at increasing awareness for early diagnosis of dyslexia and its treatment to a great extent.

Keywords: Dyslexia, language acquisition, language pedagogy, psychological factors, assistive technology.

Improving Student Participation in Group Project Work: Case Study

Worku Muluye & Seble Tadesse

pp. 8 - 16

Abstract

Group project work is a tool to share knowledge and skills among students and it is one way to assess students in a semester. However, a large number of students are not participating in group project work. This paper aims to improve students’ participation and identify challenges that hinder students’ participation in group project work. The primary data were collected by questionnaire and observation data gathering tools. Qualitative and quantitative research approaches and purposive sampling were used. Advanced Database Systems course was selected from the Information Systems Department and 13 groups were formed and each group has 5 members. The questionnaires distributed to all 65 students, and of which 61, were properly filled for analysis. Descriptive statistical analyses of percentage were calculated. The major factors that hinder students’ participation were a shortage of time, lack of interest and awareness, lack of monitoring, group members not given individual responsibility, and assessment method. The introduced interventions to improve students’ participation were creating awareness, distribute project guidelines, assigning roles, monitoring group members’ participation, and prepare assessment criteria. After the implementation of the interventions and there is a great change in the participation of students in the group project work.

Keywords: Case study, group project work, interventions, students’ participation

Determining the Relationship between High School Students' Critical Thinking Dispositions and Reflective Thinking Skills

Atilla Ergin, Yelkin Diker Coşkun, Esra Mutlu, Simge Kambur & Büşra Betül Altunbaş

pp. 17 - 34

Abstract

21st-century learners live more digitally and work with a fuzzy mind. Together with this century, we deal with individuals with new and different thinking styles. The current situation affects the thinking skills of high school students during a critical period such as adolescence. This effect forces us to ask the question. Is there a relationship between high school students' critical thinking dispositions and reflective thinking skills? Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between high school students' critical thinking dispositions and reflective thinking skills in terms of some demographic variables. This study, which was designed in a descriptive survey model, was conducted with 388 participants in a high school in the Kartal district of Istanbul in 2019/2020 academic year. In research, personal information form, California critical thinking dispositions inventory and reflective thinking level scale was used as data collection tools. The data obtained were analysed by the SPSS program and then analysed and interpreted the results. The analysis of the data was used Spearman correlation coefficient, point biserial correlation, Mann Whitney U test and Kruskal Wallis H Test. According to the findings, there is a positive and intermediate relationship between critical thinking dispositions and reflective thinking skills. In addition to this, critical thinking dispositions differ in terms of field, reading frequency, web usage purpose and academic level perception of the participants. Reflective thinking skills differ in terms of field, gender, reading frequency, web usage purpose and academic level perception of the participants.

Keywords: Critical thinking dispositions, reflective-thinking skills, high school students

The Reflective EFL Teaching Diary

Ethel Reyes-Chua & Ahmed Al Shlowiy

pp. 35 - 48

Abstract

What makes a good teacher? Literature in teacher education attests to the various complexities and difficulties in defining an effective teacher (Darling-Hammond, 2000). A good teacher should have knowledge, skills, and disposition (Glanz, 2009). However, these are not the sole elements for being a good teacher. We believe that going beyond these qualities and descriptions is the term ‘reflective.’ It is never easy to be a reflective practitioner, but it should be an integral part of your system in teaching. This paper examines the significance of Reflective Teaching Diary in improving the teaching and learning process, how it affects student learning, and its implications for teaching practice. As a result of this study, the authors have come up with their recommendations to continuously make reflections on their own teaching, record these experiences, and conduct series of studies on reflective practice. It is recommended that the reflective teaching diary should be tried out and used by EFL teachers as a tool to improve the teaching and learning process in the classroom.

Keywords: Reflection; Reflective Practice; Reflective Learning; Teaching and learning; Teacher’s diary.