Language Learners with Special Needs: An International Perspective

Edited by: Judit Kormos, Edit H. Kontra

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In this age of globalisation, people who do not speak a foreign language are at a serious disadvantage in the job market. It is therefore of great relevance that learners with learning disabilities are also provided with equal and appropriate opportunities to acquire a second or foreign language. The aim of the book is to give readers an insight into the language learning process of learners with disabilities. The articles discuss the learning process and the teaching of dyslexic as well as hearing impaired learners in various parts of the world, from the USA and Canada to England, Norway, Poland and Hungary. The intended audience of the book is language teachers, MA and MEd students, and researchers in the field of SLA, applied linguistics, or special education.

This book provides new and important insights into the subject of language learners with special needs from a number of perspectives, especially on topics related to learners' personal experiences of language learning. People with special needs are given a 'voice' which is imperative and very worthwhile, reflecting current approaches to understanding so-called "impairment" or "difference" in many other fields of study.

Many people with physical or learning disabilities would like to master a second language. Yet, as the Editors explain, existing methods and materials are usually geared at the needs of the more able majority, and little attention is devoted to those with special needs. This collection of research studies from five different countries put the spotlight on this latter group of potential learners by drawing attention to the fact that in order for them to succeed, they would need "different methods and materials, differently prepared teachers, more guidance and a much more supportive learning environment". Creating equal educational opportunities for all is a goal that every applied linguist would surely subscribe to and therefore I applaud this pioneering volume for contributing to the process of putting language education within reach for people with disabilities.

Judit Kormos is a senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University. She is the editor of the volume Language Learners with Special Needs: An International Perspective. She was the principal investigator of a research and teacher training project on the language learning processes of dyslexic and Deaf learners in Hungary.

Edit H. Kontra is associate professor at the Department of English Applied Linguistics of Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest. Her main research interest lies in individual differences, language testing and the methodology of teaching EFL.

Introduction - Judit Kormos and Edit H. Kontra

1. L1 and L2 Literacy, Aptitude, and Affective Variables as Discriminators among High- and Low-achieving L2 Learners with Special Needs - Richard L. Sparks, Leonore Ganschow and Jon Patton

2. Writing Abilities in First and Second Language Learners with and without Reading Disabilities - Katherine Ndlovu and Esther Geva

3. Second Language Assessment in Dyslexia: Principles and Practice - Turid Helland

4. Input, Processing and Output Anxiety in Students with Symptoms of Developmental Dyslexia - Ewa Piechurska-Kuciel

5. Vocabulary Learning in Dyslexia – The Case of a Hungarian Learner - Ágnes Sarkadi

6. An Experiment with Direct Multisensory Instruction in Teaching Word Reading and Spelling to Polish Dyslexic Learners of English - Joanna Nijakowska

7. Deaf EFL Learners Outside the School System - Ágnes Bajkó and Edit H. Kontra

8. Hungarian Teachers' Perceptions of Dyslexic Language Learners - Judit Kormos and Edit H. Kontra

9. Teachers' and Trainers' Perceptions of Inclusive Education within TEFL Certificate Courses in Britain - Anne Margaret Smith

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
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