Academic Research

Mature Students with identified disabilities

Introduction

Today’s mature student has a myriad of supportive technology at hand but may find it incredibly difficult to identify which technology will provide a best fit for their individualistic needs, after all one size does not fit all.

Liaising with a large city based university in the North of England, we were in a unique position to ask them to compare the C-Pen Reader with three other pieces of technology, Read and Write, Select & Speak and Claro Reader.

Hypothesis: The C-Pen reader would receive favorable comparison in relation to other supportive technology in trials undertaken by mature students with disabilities, due to its portability and variety of features.  

English as an Additional Language

Introduction

In 2013 just over a million pupils in England were identified as those for who English as an Additional Language (EAL) (cited in Strand, Malmberg and Hall, 2015) attended a mainstream educational establishment. 

EAL Students historically have been on a par as their First Language English (FLE) peers when undertaking GCSE’s. 58.3% of EAL students achieved 5+ A*-C in comparison to 60.9% FLE students. However, identified strengths have been in maths, as opposed to reading tasks. To date research has suggested the additional funding used to support EAL students has been influential in positive outcomes for this group of students. Current funding, for all students, has been cut; with this in mind it may well be prudent for secondary schools to consider alternate supportive strategies which continue to enable the EAL student to achieve academic success. 

The study is one of an initial growth of interest studies in relation to alternative supportive tools. This study will focus on the C-Pen Reader. EAL students were each given a C-Pen Reader for use in the classroom, free periods and home study. The students were encouraged to use the pen for social reading alongside encouraging their parents to make use of the pen; studies such as that conducted by Desforges and Abouchaar (2003) have suggested the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education. STUDY OF ENGLISH AS ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE STUDENTS AND THE SUPPORTIVE USE OF THE C.PEN READER - FEBRUARY 16, 2017 3 

As a first research paper on reader pens, this initial study will concentrate on suggestions for future studies alongside the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the research findings. 

Hypothesis: Use of the C-Pen Reader by EAL students will support them to gain understanding of any written text provided in lessons and enhance positivity of emotional well-being; namely confidence and attitude to learning.