Teachers’ Perceptions of Practices and Challenges of Innovating for the Inclusion of Special Needs University English Language Learners in Oman

Saleh Al-Busaidi, Victoria Tuzlukova

Abstract


This study explored how English language teachers at Sultan Qaboos University’s Center for Preparatory Studies in Oman perceive practices and challenges related to inclusive education and innovating in teaching English to visually impaired students. The study was carried out taking descriptive qualitative approach. Interviews with seven English language teachers were used to collect data. We asked them about both successful and challenging aspects of creating an inclusive language learning environment and using assistive technologies. We found that assistive technology is crucial to language learning of special needs students. The identified challenges include insufficient teachers’ knowledge and expertise in inclusive education, lack of institutional focus of attention on systematic planning and material design for inclusion, novelty of the concepts of inclusive education and assistive technology among others. The results of the study indicate the need for targeted teacher training and professional development, and suggest that innovations in education and technology can be effectively used to shift practices and perspectives of English language teaching in the context of Oman to being universally accessible, equally usable, more inclusive and tailored to students’ individual needs.


Keywords


Innovations in education, visually impaired students, language learning, Sultan Qaboos University

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ainscow, M. (1999). Understanding the Devel-opment of Inclusive Schools. London: Falmer.

Ainscow, M. (2005). Developing inclusive ed-ucation systems: What are the levers for change? Journal of Educational Change, 6, 109–124. DOI 10.1007/s10833-005-1298-4.

Al Ghafri, M. (2015). The challenges that visu-ally impaired students at Sultan Qaboos University face in learning English. Pro-ceeding of the 3rd Global Summit on Edu-cation GSE 2015, 9-10 March 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Retrieved April 6, 2017 From: http://worldconferences.net/proceedings/gse2015

Al Riyami, T. (2015). Main approaches to edu-cational research. International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sci-ences. 2(5), 412-416. Retrieved October 28, 2016. From:

Alirezaeian, V., Chegini, A.S. & Farjad, Z.N. (2015). A Portrait of Computer-Assisted Language Learning research: History, ty-pology, and normalization. International Journal of English and Education, 4(2), 94-104. Retrieved February13, 2017. From: http://www.ijee.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/10.86141412.pdf.

Al-Zayoudi, M. (2006). Teachers’ attitudes to-wards inclusive education in Jordanian schools. International Journal of Special Edu-cation, 21(2), 55-62. Retrieved June 1, 2017. From: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ843606.pdf.

Bogdan, R.C. & Biklen, S.K. (2003). Qualitative research for education. An introduction to the-ory and methods. 4th ed. United States of America: Pearson Education Group Inc.

Bowman, I. (1986). Teacher training and the integration of handicapped pupils: Some findings from a fourteen nation UNESCO study. European Journal of Special Needs Ed-ucation, 1, 29-38.

Dudeney, G. & Hockly, N. (2012). ICT in ELT: How did we get here and where are we going? ELT Journal, 66(4), 533-542. Re-trieved May 23, 2017. From http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccs050.

Elliott, R. & Timulak, L. (2005). Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research. J. Miles & P. Gilbert (Eds.). A handbook of research methods for clinical and health psychology, (pp.147-160), Oxford: Ox-ford University Press.

Elliott, R. (2000). Rigor in psychotherapy research: The search for appropriate methodologies. Un-published paper, Department of Psychol-ogy, University of Toledo.

Evans, J. (2017). Equality, education, and physical education. Routledge Library Editions: So-ciology of Education.

Hill, C. E., Thompson, B. J. and Williams, E. N. (1997). A guide to conducting consensual qualitative research. The Counseling Psy-chologist, 25, 517–572.

Hock, R. (2015). Book review: Hayes, D. (Ed.) (2014). Innovations in the continuing pro-fessional development of English language teachers. LC Forum, 12, 6-8.

http://www.ijires.org/administrator/compo-nents/com_jresearch/files/publications/IJIRES_361_Final.pdf.

http://www.llcc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Optimizing-Learning-Environment-1.pdf.

https://www.mindbank.info/item/5889.

Hui, M. (2015). Factors Influencing the Success of Inclusive Practices in Singaporean Schools: Shadow Teachers’ Perspectives. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Oslo.

Hussien, J., Al-Shayeb, A.O. & Al-Qaryouti, I. (2015). Omani stakeholders’ preferences for educational placement of students with disabilities. Journal of Educational and Psychological Studies, 9(4), 628-644. Re-trieved May 15, 2017. From: https://www.squ.edu.om/LinkClick.aspxfileticet=QCTFPvysbyQ%3D&portalid=53.

Hwang, Y. & Evans, D. (2011). Attitudes to-wards inclusion: gaps between belief and practice. International Journal of Special Edu-cation, 26(1), pp. 136-146.

Klein, H. K. & Myers, M. D. (1999). A Set of Principles for Conducting and Evaluating Interpretive Field Studies in Information Systems. MIS Quarterly. 23(1), 67-94.

Klein, K. J., & Knight, A. P. (2005). Innovation implementation: Overcoming the chal-lenge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(5), 243-246.

Klein, K.J., & Sorra, J.S. (1996). The challenge of innovation implementation. Academy of Management Review, 21, 1055–1080.

Lindsay, G. (2007). Educational psychology and the effectiveness of inclusive educa-tion/mainstreaming. British Journal of Edu-cational Psychology, 77(1), 1-24.

Manset, G. & Semmel, M.I. (2016). Are inclusive programs for students with mild dis-abilities effective? A comparative review of model programs. The Journal of Special Education, 31(2), 155 – 180.

Meijer, C. J. W. (2010). Special needs education in Europe: Inclusive policies and practices. Zeitschrift für Inklusion. Retrieved on June 19, 2017. From: http://www.inklusion-online.net/index.php/inklusion-online/article/view/136/136

Meriam Webster Dictionary (2017). Innovation. Retrieved May 27, 2017. From: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovation.

Method and system to convert portable docu-ment format to Braille. (2017). SQU website. Retrieved May 31, 2017 from https://www.squ.edu.om/squresearch/News-Studies/SQU-2nd-Patent.

Milrood, R. (2004). Training Teachers as Managers of Innovative Projects: from indifference to power. Tambov: Tambov Pedagogical Uni-versity Printing Press.

Optimizing the learning environment for stu-dents with disabilities (2014). Retrieved May 1, 2017. From:

Permvattana, R., Armstrong, H. & Murray, I. (2013). E-learning for the vision impaired: A holistic perspective. International Journal of Cyber Society and Education, 6(1), 15-30, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2017. From: http://www.academicjournals.org/ojs2/index.php/IJCSE/article/viewFile/1029/136.

Plummer, K. (2001). Documents of life 2. An in-vitation to a critical humanism. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Rafferty, Y., Boettcher, C. & Griffin, K. (2001). Benefits and risks of reverse inclusion for preschoolers with and without disabilities: Parents' perspectives. Journal of Early In-tervention, 24(4), 266-286.

Sanghvi, A. (2015). Effective use of online re-sources for provision of reading materials to ensure participation, critical thinking development and fair and full inclusion of visually impaired students in the main-stream university classroom, Y. Ono (Ed.), 59th Yearbook of Teacher Education (pp.557-576). Naruto University of Education, Naruto: Japan. Retrieved May 23, 2017. From: http://www.icet4u.org/docs/Naruto__2015.pdf.

Sharma, U., Loreman, T., & Forlin, C. (2012). Measuring teacher efficacy to implement inclusive practices. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 12(1), 12–21.

Snyder, R. (1999). Inclusion: A qualitative study of in-service general education teachers' attitudes and concerns. Education, 120(1), 173-181.

The best definition of innovation (2016). Scott Berkun website. Retrieved May 27, 2017. From: http://scottberkun.com/2013/the-best-definition-of-innovation/.

The glossary of education reform. (2013). Re-trieved May 1, 2017. From: http://edglossary.org/learning-environment/.

The value of inclusive education. (2015). Open society foundations website. Retrieved April 24, 2017. From: https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/value-inclusive-education.

Torreno, S. (2012). The history of inclusion: Educating students with disabilities. Bright Hub Education. Retrieved on June 15, 2017 from: http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/66803-brief-legal-history-of-inclusion-in-special-education/.

Tuzlukova, V. (2009). Challenges and opportuni-ties of using regional English language mate-rials. Paper presented at the 5th VTTN Na-tional ELT Conference, Learning English in a Changing World. 16 - 17 January, 2009, Hanoi, Vietnam.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser-vices Administration on Aging. Fact Sheet. (2003). Retrieved on June 15, 2017. From: http://gero.usc.edu/nrcshhm/resources/fs_assitive_tech.pdf.

Walsham, G. (1993). Interpreting information systems in organizations. Chichester: Wiley.

Welfare and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities act. (2008). Retrieved May 1, 2017. From:

Wiazowski, J. (2009). Assistive technology for students who are blind or have low vision. J. Gierach (Ed.). Assessing Students’ Needs for Assistive Technology. (pp.1-30). Wisconsin, USA. Retrieved June 1, 2017. From: http://www.wati.org/content/supports/free/pdf/Ch12-Vision.pdf.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jeps.vol12iss4pp659-671

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Saleh Al-Busaidi, Victoria Tuzlukova

JEPS 2017-CC BY-ND

This journal and its content is licensed under a Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.

Flag Counter