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Perceptions of support for secondary school learners with dyslexia in France and in Wales : case study analyses

McCormack-Colbert, Anna (2015) Perceptions of support for secondary school learners with dyslexia in France and in Wales : case study analyses. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

The lack of consensus over the origins of dyslexia (Caroll & Snowling, 2004; Elliott & Grigorenko, 2014; Frith, 1999; Grigorenko, 2001; Hulme et al. 2005; Ramus, 2005; Ramus et al. 2013; Simos et al., 2002; Uppstad & Tønnessen, 2007; Ziegler et al. 2008), assessment practices (Backhouse & Morris, 2005; Habib, 2008; Simpson and Everatt, 2005; Smythe et al. 2005) and the impact on learners across languages (Caravolas et al. 2005; Goswami, 2002; Hu et al. 2010; Landerl et al. 2013; Ziegler et al. 2003; Ziegler & Goswami 2005; Ziegler et Montant 2005; Ziegler & Goswami, 2006; Ziegler et al. 2010) has led to different approaches to support being adopted across Europe (Smythe et al. 2005). This study aims at gaining an understanding of learners with dyslexic tendencies’ experiences and perceptions of the Welsh and French support systems. The cross-cultural dimension of the study makes the analysis pivot around some cultural differences which provide new insights. An interpretative approach lent itself to a “simple” multiple case study design. The convergence of multiple sources of evidence and thematic data analysis found existing similarities between learners’ experiences in the two countries: all learners first experienced difficulties associated to their learning difference in primary school and have experienced further difficulties ever since. Most learners are making slow or satisfactory academic progress and are not confident in class situations. Indeed, learners’ behaviour in school suggested that neither French nor Welsh support systems facilitated progress in learning in the mainstream classroom. Another commonality between participants was their perception of a poor working partnership between families and professionals involved in supporting learners. This research project highlights the importance of a learner centred approach and the need for families and professionals to work together. The analysis of existing similarities and differences between learners’ experiences support Bronfenbrenner’s work (1979): while the traits and characteristics of the individual learners are important, the relationships within their immediate family or school environment and the external cultural influences that affect that environment are equally as important. Adopting a well-coordinated approach to supporting children with a learning difference such as dyslexia could help them develop coping strategies which involve building on their own strengths.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences > School of Education
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2015 10:19
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 15:14
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/6020
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