Academic journal article International Education Studies

The Effect of IPad on School Preparedness among Preschool Children with Hearing-Impairments

Academic journal article International Education Studies

The Effect of IPad on School Preparedness among Preschool Children with Hearing-Impairments

Article excerpt

1. Introduction and Background

The early years of a child's life is a decisive stage, for they are the basis on which successive developmental stages are formed. These stages involve the creation of his or her personality, traits and attitudes as well as the child's physical, mental, social and psychological development. During these years, children begin to understand basic concepts and acquire learning skills (Al-Hashmi & Abdel-Razzaq, 2012; Saleh, 2012). Because this stage plays such a critical role in the future achievement of a child, it may be possible to predict the level of a child's success at school at a later time by analyzing his social, emotional and mental skills during his or her preschool years (Burgess, 2005).

A child in school must have appropriate and effective social, mental, kinetic, and lingual development in order to learn the necessary skills of reading, writing and mathematics. Studies indicate that the main factors influencing a student's preparedness for learning these skills stem from the developmental stages (Awwad, 1998).

Borgess (2005) and Awwad (2001) identified a number of basic factors that overlap with each other to form a child who is ready for school entry, including his or her mental, physical, personal, and lingual readiness. Kinetic readiness refers to the child's ability to have specific and large movements.

Lingual readiness refers to a child's degree of lingual development that allows him to participate and interact in the school and express himself. Children must have a certain development of lingual and speech skills to qualify them to enter school (Abu-Ma'al, 1996).

The child needs also some level of mental abilities that enable him to start school such as sequencing, developing wrong and right concepts, and solving simple problems (Mohammad & Mahmoud, 2003).The child who does not reach this certain developmental stage of appropriate mental ability is not likely to accomplish school requirements that require ideas.

In addition, emotional and social readiness is represented in the child's psychological wellbeing, emotional stability and social skills. These skills help him or her communicates and interacts with others and creates healthy relationships within the school environment (lberts & Jesler, 1996).

For hearing-impairment children as well for unimpaired children, their time in preschool is a transitional stage between previous developmental stages and the next developmental ones. Hearing-impairment children in their early stages need a change of activities with verbal characteristics as well as tangible experiences, such as pictures, drawings and illustrative shapes (Saleh, 2012). They are also in need of games and activities in which tangible, kinetic, visual, and audio activities are consolidated (Saleh, 2012).

Hearing-impairment children are characterized with continuous movement around the classroom in order to get closer to sound sources (Marshark, 1997, Halawah & Abdo, 1996; Hanafi, 2003). These researchers (Marshark, 1997, Halawah & Abdo, 1996; Hanafi, 2003) believe that hearing-impairment children go through the same developmental stages as normal children; there are no apparent differences with regard to physical development and requirement.

Al-Khateeb (2002) pointed out that more than 150 published studies during the last fifty years on speech skills in hearing-impairment children show that the effects of this disability on language development vary greatly. The ultimate conclusion is that a hearing-impairment may have only a small effect on speech and language for the majority of those with this impairment. Abdel-Muti (2000) indicated that the children with hearing-impairment out performed those without impairments in some cognitive strategies such as slow mental analysis, while non-impaired children outperformed hearing-impairment children in successive mental analysis.

When studying hearing-impairment child psychology, two main views are found. …

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