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Dyslexia in the UAE: Developing a framework for Screening and Support

Almaazmi, Amna (2013) Dyslexia in the UAE: Developing a framework for Screening and Support. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This doctoral research has two primary objectives: to develop culturally-appropriate assessment methods for diagnosing Emirati students with dyslexia; and to examine a possible framework for intervention and support techniques that addresses the needs of Emirati students with dyslexia. Three major studies were carried out: Study 1: Translation and adaptation of the Dyslexia Adult Screening Test for the Arabic language (A-DAST). This involved translation of all eleven DAST tests from English to Arabic, adapting them where appropriate to the different cultural and linguistic environment. The A-DAST was then normed for Arabic Higher Education students through administration to a set of 280 students in the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), and appropriate norms derived and compared with DAST norms for UK populations. Results of the study revealed two factors through factor analysis: i) the literacy-related cognitive deficit and ii) non-linguistic mental speed. Comparison between the two cohorts on measures of literacy attainment revealed similar performance in both cohorts of these subtests. However, Emirati students showed poor performance in nonsense passage reading which is attributed to the irregular nature of Arabic orthography. Study 2: Assessment of counselling and support needs of Emirati dyslexics. A 75-item questionnaire was administered to the 280 HCT students. The questionnaire was divided into five sections which focused on counselling services in general, counselling staff, students’ academic problems, and students’ psychological, emotional, and social problems. Results showed that the students considered the counselling and support services in HCT were inadequate and lacked specialised programmes to address the academic, social and emotional needs of Emirati dyslexics. Study 3: Intervention and support programme for Emirati dyslexic students. Those students identified as dyslexic were invited to participate in a specially-developed intervention and support programme during which their academic progress was assessed prior to and after the intervention. The intervention and support programme focused on three elements: 1) Literacy training, 2) Enhancing learning strategies and building self-awareness, and 3) improving memory. Analysis of repeated measures of students’ self-assessment and teachers’ assessments yielded highly significant results. A substantial effect over time was observed from students’ and teachers’ responses. In addition, significant improvement was observed in students’ grades in Maths and English, and in their performance on dyslexia indicator sub-tests. Overall results demonstrate that the assessment method and the intervention and support programme helped Emirati dyslexic students to improve their academic performance in addition to their performance on dyslexia measures. Directions for further research are discussed.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605290
Depositing User: Mrs Amna Almaazmi
Date Deposited: 21 May 2014 12:34
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5865

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