04 SES 09 B, Transition to Higher Education and Employment
In inclusive classrooms, teaching English as a second language to students with and without hearing impairment has been a challenge, especially, in higher education (Lang, 2002). Some problems have been found for both groups of students. First, students with hearing impairment may develop English skills at a slower rate than hearing students (Andrews, Leigh, & Weiner, 2004; Gearheart, Weishahn, & Gearheart, 1996; Luckner & Friend, 2006). Second, due to the difficulty in communicating and underdeveloped speech and language skills, students with hearing impairment may have fewer social interactions with hearing students so students with hearing impairment tend to have fewer friends and are at risk for loneliness (Hallahan & Kauffman, 2003; Luckner & Friend, 2006; Moores, 2001). In addition, a number of studies have suggested that students with hearing impairment, especially in higher education classrooms, may not be able to actively participate in class activities due to the teaching pace, the number of speakers involved, and language differences (Foster, Long, & Snell, 1999).
In Thailand, students with hearing impairment use Thai sign language as their first language (Dangsaart et all, 2008), learning English as a foreign language is thus one of the big challenges in higher education study (Deaf port project, 2008). The preliminary studied by Suthipiyapathra, Vibulphol, and Prongsantia (2015) found that inclusive classrooms gave the opportunity for students with and without hearing impairment to make new friends and learned to adjust themselves with people who are different from them. However, students with hearing impairment and hearing students didn’t often interact with each other. In addition, students with hearing impairment didn’t get much involved in classroom activities, especially, listening and speaking activities.
Thus, this study aimed to develop an English instructional model to enhance English learning achievement, social skills, and learning engagement of undergraduate students with and without hearing impairment in inclusive classrooms.
In inclusive classrooms which include students with and without hearing impairment, a “one-size-fits-all” approach in which all students receive the same instruction may not work effectively (Haager & Klingner, 2005). This study therefore proposes an instructional model that integrates the principles of the Differentiated Instruction (DI) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approaches to respond to the diverse needs of the learners in inclusive English as a second language classrooms. According to Udvari-Solner, Villa, and Thousand (2005), Differentiated Instruction (DI) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) are well suited with each other because Universal Design for Learning is “a systematic decision- making method for differentiation” (p.138). To elaborate, Differentiated Instruction (DI) allows the teacher to differentiate elements of a curriculum (content, process, and product) in order to engage and maximize the learning potential of each student (Tomlinson et al., 2003) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides each learner equal opportunities to learn and support the different learning needs of the diverse students in inclusive classrooms by using flexible instructional materials, teaching methods, and assessment (Hall, Strangman, & Meyer, 2003; Udvari-Solner, Villa, & Thousand, 2005). The integration of these two approaches will therefore complement each other to serve the needs of the learners in inclusive classrooms.
Andrews, J., Leigh, I., & Weiner, M. (2004). Deaf people: Evolving perspectives from psychology, education, and sociology. Boston: Pearson Education. Dangsaart, S., Naruedomkul, K., Cercone, N., & Sirinavakul, B. (2007). Intelligent Thai text-Thai sign translation for language learning. Computers & Education, 51(2008), 1125-1141. Deaf Port Project. (2008). Analysis of needs, constraints, practices, and challenges to the deaf and hearing-impaired learners of language: Education and culture DG, Lifelong learning program. Foster, S., Long, G., & Snell, K. (1999). Inclusive instruction and learning for deaf students in postsecondary education. Journal of Deaf studies and Deaf education, 4(3), 225-235. Gearheart, B., Weishahn, M., & Gearheart, C. (1996). The exceptional student in the regular classroom (6th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Haager, D., & Klingner, J. (2005). Differentiating instruction in inclusive classrooms: The special educator's guide. Boston: Pearson Education. Hall, T., Strangman, N., & Meyer, A. (2003). Differentiated instruction and implications for UDL implementation (pp. 1-24): National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. Hallahan, D., & Kauffman, J. (2003). Exceptional learners: Introduction to special education (9th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2004). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Boston: Pearson Education. Lang, H. (2002). Higher education for deaf students: Research priorities in the new millennium. Journal of Deaf studies and Deaf education, 7(4), 267-280. Luckner, J., & Friend, M. (2006). Students with deafness and hearing loss. In M. Friend (Ed.), Special education: Contemporary perspectives for school professionals. Boston: Pearson Education. Moores, D. (2001). Educating the deaf: Psychology, principles, and practices (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Suthipiyapathra, S., Vibulphol, J., & Prongsantia, S. (2015). Learning Experiences of Hearing Impaired Students in Inclusive English Classrooms. Paper presented at the The 35th Thailand TESOL International Conference Proceedings 2015. Tomlinson, C., Brighton, C., Hertberg, H., Callahan, C., Moon, T., Brimijoin, K., . . . Reynolds, T. (2003). Differentiating instruction in response to student readiness, interest, and learning profile in academically diverse classrooms: A review of literature. Journal for the Educationof the Gifted, 27(2/3), 119-145. Udvari-Solner, A., Villa, R., & Thousand, J. (2005). Access to the general education curriculum for all: The universal design process. In R. Villa & J. Thousand (Eds.), Creating an inclusive school (pp. 134-154). Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).
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