A Framework for Learning Languages Inspired by Special Needs Education – Combining a Whole Language Approach with Phonological Strategies (72529)

Session Information: Literature, Literary Studies and Theory
Session Chair: Eiko Ohira

Friday, 22 September 2023 12:40
Session: Session 2
Room: Gracia
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

An increasing number of adult immigrants who prepare for an education in Norway have little or no school background from their home country, and weak reading skills in both L1 and Norwegian is a huge obstacle for many. Students in adult learning are often aware of this obstacle, however, lack adequate strategies to improve their skills. To meet this challenge, reading courses with focus on language learning strategies combining a whole language approach with phonological strategies was applied, representing a balanced approach to learning how to read with focus on both parts of the language and whole texts. This approach, which was inspired by methodology developed in the special needs education field, provides practice in decoding, word recognition and comprehension, which are all necessary components to become a good reader. The study presents a mixed-method design, including 20 students from two groups at a small adult learning centre. The results show that most of the students improved considerably both on the wordchain test and the reading test applied before and after the intervention, meaning that they improved their decoding and comprehension skills. Five teachers were involved in giving the courses, and all of them agreed that this type of approach had a great potential in second language learning. The students also agreed that they profited from the course. ‘This strategy has made me enjoy reading, because I notice that I master it’, was a comment from one of the students.

Erik Brennsæter, Birkenes Learning Centre, Norway
May Olaug Horverak, Birkenes Learning Centre, Norway

About the Presenter(s)
Dr May Olaug Horverak is a School Administrator at Birkenes municipality in Norway

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00