Evaluation of the effectiveness of a literacy intervention program on enhancing school outcomes for secondary students who are having dyslexia and specific reading and writing difficulties in Hong Kong

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Evaluation of the effectiveness of a literacy intervention program on enhancing school outcomes for secondary students who are having dyslexia and specific reading and writing difficulties in Hong Kong

 

Author: Tam, Oi-lan Irelan
Title: Evaluation of the effectiveness of a literacy intervention program on enhancing school outcomes for secondary students who are having dyslexia and specific reading and writing difficulties in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2016
Subject: Dyslexics -- Education -- China -- Hong Kong.
Literacy -- Study and teaching (Secondary)
Learning disabled children -- Education.
Learning disabled children -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: iii, iii, i, 255 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2929073
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8760
Abstract: Students with dyslexia are reported to encounter significant difficulties in reading and writing. This often results in academic problems, which may lead to psychological issues such as lack of motivation in classroom learning, low self-esteem and school discipline problems etc. The intervention programs in Hong Kong focused mainly on primary students and there were limited published studies on the effectiveness of these intervention programs as well as lack of studies on the effectiveness of the specialized training provided to the teachers to teach secondary students with dyslexia. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a structured literacy intervention program dedicated for secondary school students with dyslexia. The intervention program was one of the very first local studies using small-size, classroom-based and split-group intervention setting. The program strategies included over 100 hours of teachers' training on curriculum planning and intervention strategies as well as co-teaching conducted by Professional Specialist teachers in daily intervention lessons for both Chinese and English language, including both phonological and literacy content, throughout one academic year with approximately 160 intervention hours. This study adopted a mixed method design with quantitative and qualitative approaches. For the quantitative part, quasi-experimental design was adopted with three schools as intervention schools (116 students) and three schools as control schools (98 students). Students were assessed on their academic performance using locally developed assessment instruments and they were also requested to complete questionnaires on their learning outcomes before and after intervention. Teachers were requested to complete a questionnaire on teacher efficacy before and after intervention.
The quantitative outcomes of the quasi-experimental study and qualitative analysis both showed positive change in students' learning outcomes and some limited improvement in their academic achievement. The implication from the study showed that with appropriate instruction, in a small-size, classroom-based and split-group intervention setting through an intensive daily intervention, secondary school students with dyslexia showed improvement in behavioral and cognitive aspects which would be likely conducive to future success in academic learning. In addition, findings from qualitative interview with school principals and teachers highlighted the challenges of future sustainability of the intervention program. Concerns included insufficient teaching resources, teachers' knowledge and confidence in integrating intervention content into school curriculum and skills in managing classroom behavior in an inclusive educational environment. This indicated the critical importance of school level support in the provision of teaching and educational resources, principal's leadership in supporting continuous professional development for teachers to equip them with pedagogical skills and intervention strategies to enhance teaching practices.

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