• Influence of cooperative learning strategies for English Language Learners with disabilities

      Langworthy, Allison L. (2015)
      Research has shown the amounts of English Language Learners (ELLS) with disabilities are on the rise in the United States. Parallel to the rise of ELLs with disabilities, are the struggles these types of students endure in the classroom. This study investigated the use of specific Kagan cooperative learning structures in the classroom with ELLs with disabilities and if students’ engagement, motivation, and other positive outcomes were affected by these strategies. This study also investigated teacher perspectives in regards to Kagan cooperative learning strategies. Further, a case study was conducted evaluating the use of Kagan cooperative learning structures in the classroom, when implemented by two special education teachers. Overall, findings distinguished that when specific Kagan strategies were implemented in a classroom with ELLs with disabilities, these students experienced increased motivation, engagement, self-esteem, confidence, and peer-acceptance. Findings also determined the teacher perspectives were conclusive with previous literature and were affirmative. Implications for further research are discussed in regards to Kagan cooperative learning strategies use in the classroom.
    • The relationship between self-concept and academic achievement.

      Alrehaili, Naseebah (2015)
      This study focuses on the relationship between academic achievement and self-concept in students with learning disabilities attending an elementary school in Western Saudi Arabia. It is an attempt to answer the research question, "What is the relationship between self-concept and academic achievement in Saudi girls age 8-10 with learning disabilities?" The previous studies suggest that because of the cognitive challenges that students with learning disabilities have, it is understandable if they have negative academic self-concept. The participants of this study were six elementary students with learning disabilities and a control group of 12 students without learning disabilities. Students' self-concept data was collected using the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale™, Second Edition (TSCS™:2), which measures self-concept in six content domains: Physical, moral, personal, family, social, academic. A measure of students' academic achievement was collected as well by examining students' final school marks. The findings suggest that academic self-concept is affected by learning disability status, but not general self-concept, which is a similar finding with Al Zyoudi (2010) study, and confirms, as Zeleke (2004) pointed out, that general self-concept is less understood as a factor to academic success than academic self-concept is.
    • What research shows about literacy instructional strategies specifically for students with specific learning disabilities.

      Braunscheidel, Jennifer R. (2015)
      Within general education and special education classrooms are students with specific learning disabilities, and within these classrooms are general education and special education teachers who may or may not have specific training in how to teach reading to those students. This situation leads to the question of what literacy instructional strategies general education and special education teachers can use for literacy instruction with students who have specific disabilities related to literacy. The most appropriate way to answer this research question was with a research synthesis. The exhaustive literature review and subsequent research synthesis for this study produced three findings. The first is that research has determined five literacy instructional strategies that produce positive impact on students with specific learning disabilities: direct instruction with individuals, direct instruction in groups, repeated oral reading, technology integration, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies. The second is that the most useful and versatile instructional strategies are the three that produce positive results for all three age ranges of elementary, middle school, and adolescents: repeated oral reading which impacts oral fluency, direct instruction with an individual, and simultaneous use of multiple strategies, both of which impact reading comprehension. The third finding is that the main literacy skills to be targeted by literacy instruction for students with specific learning disabilities at the middle school and adolescent age range appears to be reading comprehension. These findings then form the basis of professional development for teachers that takes the form of an online interactive module.