The Impact of ExamReaders in Exams for Students with EAL, SEN or Low Reading Ages
The aim of this project was to identify to what extent ExamReader Pens are able to support EAL, SEND and students with low reading ages in their GCSE exams. EAL students with identified SEND are at the greatest risk in regards to low attainment; when compared to EAL student with no recorded SEND, those with School Action, School Action Plus and statements are 16, 24 and 40 NC months behind their counterparts (Strand, et al. 2015). Students with both EAL and SEND are denied access arrangements (for example readers and extra time) during public exams due to their EAL status. However, they are able to make use of ExamReader Pens (for example ExamReader) which have been approved by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) for use in exams without any special access arrangements.
ExamReader - A Qualitative & Quantitative Study
For many years‟ educationists have questioned the emotional impact, alongside the comparative low grades of the dyslexic students when undertaking the GCSE English reading paper. A human reader is not allowed for this section of the paper. The lack of a supportive reader in this particular paper has an impact on the student‟s overall grade. Questions have been asked as to the emotional experiences this particular band of students must face when knowing they are entering an exam with reading The ExamReader - A Quantitative and Qualitative Study - March 30, 2016 4 difficulties, therefore the overwhelming feeling will be that of failure before pen has even touched paper. If given the opportunity to have the English reading paper read to them would the student achieve a greater examination result? A reader is deployed in other examinations to support the achievement of a grade depicting the cognitive abilities of the dyslexic student. The dyslexic students may not lack understanding of their chosen subject; their problem is created by their inability to read the jumping, moving, incomprehensible formation of shapes that are commonly known as words.
This is the crux of the problem.
This is the first research study undertaken to look at the impact of a supportive tool, namely the C Pen Exam Reader when utilised by dyslexic students during the GCSE English reading paper (mock). Supportive measures may be in use for other examinations, such as a human reader. However due to the nature of the English Reading Paper examination, a human reader is not allowed. Therefore, the dyslexic student has no supportive element in this paper. Due to no previous research, this initial study will concentrate on suggestions for future studies alongside the quantitative and qualitative aspects of this study.
Hypothesis: Use of the Exam Reader Pen by dyslexic students in the GCSE English Reading Paper will support students in achieving an improved grade and impact on their emotional well-being, namely confidence and attitude to learning.
A SENDCO's Perspective
We commenced this study wishing to gain greater understanding of the role of the SENDCo and how they identify and understand the needs of the disabled student, particularly students with reading difficulties such as dyslexia. We understand dyslexia is a disability which impacts on 750,000 children in the UK (Dyslexia Research Trust, 2018), and we are also aware of the difficulty’s teachers have reported when teaching children with reading difficulties (Driver Youth Trust, 2016) and how this may impact on the student’s achievements and outcomes at primary level.
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