Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Cognitive Neuropsychological Processes, Language Learning Disorders and Task-Integrated Pair Reading: Evidence from Dyslexic Efl Learners' Word Decoding Impairment

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Cognitive Neuropsychological Processes, Language Learning Disorders and Task-Integrated Pair Reading: Evidence from Dyslexic Efl Learners' Word Decoding Impairment

Article excerpt

Abstract

The present classroom-based quasi-experimental study has a shot at exploring and outlining developmental cognitive disorders in dyslexic EFL learners. The study follows a two-group pretest, treatment, post-test design and focuses on the different ways in which task-integrated partner reading activities are presented to dyslexic learners. The study documented 30 low-intermediate dyslexic Iranian EFL learners with the same proficiency level measured by an OPT test. The participants were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group that were exposed to task-integrated partner reading activities and traditional instruction respectively. Analysis of the data obtained from independent-samples t-test indicated that the participants of the experimental group improved in the four tested areas, and that there were significant quantitative and statistical differences in the output of participants from the two different groups, with learners who participated in the experimental group outperforming and incorporating significantly better reading skills in the posttest than learners from the control group.

Keywords: Task-integrated pair reading, Cognitive neuropsychology, Dyslexia, Word decoding.

1. Introduction

It is axiomatic that the prowess to communicate with foreign languages is a must in the multilingual modern society we live in today. Hence, a foreign language requirement is to be satisfied in our schools, universities and language centers, giving rise to manifold of problems for a number of language learners, who have always sustained defeat suffering from divergent magnitudes of vicissitudes in foreign language learning but, nonetheless, performing moderately well on other courses in hand. Numerous researchers have endeavored to expound on pivotal facets of the so called phenomenon. Paucity of aptitude in foreign language learning, dearth of motivation, anxiety, individual differences and neuropsychological correlates of intelligence have all been good cases in point. Meanwhile, no single rationale has been put forward to be the mere justification of successful or unsuccessful foreign language learning. Foreign language researchers, psychologists, neurologists and other scholars have not managed to specifically instigate any other principle reasons, but dyslexia for the aforementioned issue.

After the manifestation of Contrastive Analysis in the 1960's, Error Analysis in the 1970's and Larry Selinker's fossilization studies in 1972, many scholars in EFL end SLA studies have made an attempt to investigate English learning difficulties from different aspects. Recently, a growing body of researchers has shown an interest in studying the effects of dyslexia in learning a foreign language. Unfortunately, not many studies to this date have been carried out to investigate the effects of dyslexia on language learning. Hence, it is probably safe to say, without the fear of contradiction, that the study of dyslexia in EFL context is intermittent (see for example, Ho & Fong, 2005).

We shall say that the present article constitutes no disrespect to research studies regarding fossilization, contrastive analysis and error analysis. The author of this study has already investigated the notion of fossilization (Eliasi & Vahidi Borji, 2013a) along with the notion of error analysis (Eliasi & Vahidi Borji, 2013b) in EFL context in Iran and has got somewhat fervent reasoning for investigating research paths in language learning disorders that should be carefully juxtaposed alongside fossilization and error analysis studies. We suggest that the study of dyslexia is not without peril, but nevertheless the approach we espouse in this study inverts the viewpoint from linguistic failures associated fossilization, intralingual and interlingual errors to language learning disorders, which may be quite perilous itself.

It is widely known that learning disabilities are not likely to be singled out for treatment. …

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