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Impact of iPod nano on Low-level Reader's Fluency
By Lorena Zúñiga Roa, Elementary ELL Teacher
Download a copy of my presentation here:
My purpose in conducting this research is to determine the advantage that a student with certain difficulties to learn to read and write may gain when using an Ipod Nano to record her voice while reading aloud and listening to herself after recording. Since this third grader was at level 16 DRA in September, I want to see if this technology implementation will enhance my understanding of her reading and writing process to find the right accommodation for her in class.
II. Research Questions
What happens when a teacher implements Ipods nanos to accelerate a student with certain reading & writing difficulties?
My school district, like many other school districts in Oregon and throughout the country, is extremely aware of the legal problems when classifying a specific student with a learning disability or difficulty to learn. My research has led me to be exceptionally careful when “labeling” a student. On the other hand, one student presents undeniable characteristics of dyslexia and, as teachers, we need to find ways to help her to overcome this issue. Moreover, this student is Hispanic who is learning English as a second language, which makes the process of teaching and learning a little bit more challenging each day.
According to the International Dyslexia Association, dyslexia is a neurologically-based disorder which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. It is characterized, according to the National Institutes of Health, by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. In other words, dyslexia comes from a shortage in the phonological component of language. This means that a dyslexic student has poor reading comprehension, lack of growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Among their reading characteristics, a dyslexic student “does not make random reading errors”. They follow a pattern and are repetitive. Regarding writing, dyslexic students present an evident visual-motor integration problem, which lead them to illegible handwriting. They also have difficulties matching what they want to say with what they write down.
The first time that I met this student, who I am naming M for confidentiality purposes, I was impressed by her determination to learn to read. In January 2009, she was reading at a level 4 DRA. Her mother did not understand why her daughter was so behind “compared” to her cousins. She was trying to read faster, inventing words/stories from the pictures while reading. It was hard to see her suffering with every book in her hands. Working one-on-one, we reached level 16 by June 2009. In September 2009, M was in third grade and still at a level 16 DRA. In October she started to use Ipods Nanos, which allowed me to see if by listening to her voice after reading, it could help her to overcome the anxiety and improve her phonological connection and eye-printed word recognition.
My research about dyslexia has taught me that:
M matches all of these characteristics which leads me to think that she has a disability that has not been tested and this research may help me find a way to improve my teaching skills to support her learning process.
IV. Methods of Data Collection:
Since I see M everyday, I record her progress weekly on the Ipod. She is in my third grade NLD class from 10:35 to 12:05 for reading and writing in Spanish. Then I see her again from 2:40 to 3:00 for Reading Intervention and before that, she works with an instructional assistance under my supervision from 2:20 to 2:40 in another Intervention. This gives me the chance to teach her the phonemic awareness she needs to improve her reading skills. I will teach her how to listen to single words or syllable and break them up into individual phonemes. She should be able to take individual sounds and blend them into a word, change sounds, delete sounds, and compare sounds in her head, according to Susan Barton. In this way, she will be prepared to write them later. To teach these sounds, I have used:
I intend to gain information about her progress by going through her work, interviews, and questionnaires.
Surveys: I will use three kinds of questionnaires: Visual, Auditory, and Motor Processing questionnaires (See appendixes). They will be completed by her teachers (general, PE, Music, Art, and ELD).
Student work: I will look over her voice memos, around 20 so far, to see if there has been improvements since we started this research back in October 2009. Then, I’ll transcribe one minute of her readings (20 minutes in total) and I’ll record what the books says against what she reads. In this way, I’ll check accuracy and speed/words per minute.
Interview: To get more in-depth responses, I will conduct audio interviews of her mother, student, and teachers. These interviews will provide emotional, social, and other views toward this student.
V. Tentative Timeline
January 05, 2010: talk to the principal and present the research.
January 11, 2010: start to teach reading according to Susan Barton
January 14, 2010: start interviews
January 29, 2010: start to analyze data from interviews
January 18, 2010: start to handout questionnaires to teachers
February 12, 2010: gather answered questionnaires to start to analyze them
February 26, 2010: last voice memo recorded by the student work
VI. Reflections Before Beginning
I think I will document enough information to present to any specialist in diagnosis of dyslexia. I am not labeling M under any category and I just want to learn how to help her better during this year.
Barton, Susan. 1998. Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, Inc.
The Inernational Dyslexia Association. http://www.interdys.org/ [November 12, 2002]
National Institutes of Health. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dyslexia/dyslexia.htm [Last updated March 12, 2009]
Mater, Nancy and sam Goldstein. 2001. Learning disabilities and challenging behaviors: a guide to intervention and classroom management. Baltimore, ML: Paul H Brookers Publishing.