Reading is an essential skill for people in the contemporary world as it helps gain information. Many states are advocating for special needs pupils to join mainstream schools. The challenge is that the methods used for learners with no physical, intellectual or developmental challenge may not be appropriate for those with disabilities. This paper aims to summarize and reflect on two articles on the topic. Although teaching reading comprehension to differently abled students can be difficult, there are strategies that can aid in helping them gain the skill faster.
The first article is “Opinions of classroom teachers on reading comprehension difficulties, inclusion education, and co-teaching” by Akçamete and Gökbulut. The authors aimed to discover the challenges students with reading difficulties face while in mainstream classes. In addition, the article seeks to establish the frequency of special support that such learners need and the opinions on co-teaching with special needs educators. They employed a qualitative methodology using semi-structured interviews. Findings indicate that most learners with reading difficulties could not interpret text and they added or omitted letters. Furthermore, classroom teachers were unwilling to work with special education teachers in class.
The second article by Sarisahin (2020) is titled “Reading comprehension strategies for students with learning disabilities who are emergent bilingual.” The paper aimed to identify evidence-based reading comprehension strategies for students with learning disabilities. The focus interest population is the emerging special needs pupils who are bilingual. The researcher proposes the use of MAPPS (acronym for Making connection, Asking questions, Predicting, and Peer teaching) strategy to teach. Other teaching methods include sharing textbooks, reading aloud, and providing group instructions.
Opinion on Article Content
I think the articles provide insights on the necessity of reading comprehension and the challenges of teaching special needs students. My opinion on Akçamete & Gökbulut (2018) is that it offers timely knowledge on teaching mainstream inclusive classes where most students are at the same developmental age for the syllabus while some lag behind due to disability. Researching the appropriateness of including a special needs teacher is helpful because most educators still lack the required competencies to help such children. Children with special needs are likely to experience exclusion even in mainstream classes (Akçamete & Gökbulut, 2018). Co-teaching is a possible solution to improve the involvement of those with comprehension difficulties.
The other article provides information regarding emergent bilingual learners with reading difficulties which I think is essential in the contemporary world. The globe is becoming more interactive and multicultural, which implies that people may need to understand more than a single language. Notably, 14.7% of students with learning disabilities are emergent bilingual (Sarisahin, 2020). The article explains using MAPPS and other research-based teaching strategies to assist such students in learning languages. Educators’ main challenge in such a situation is covering the syllabus content while helping learners develop language.
Integrating Content in Classroom
I will utilize the knowledge from both articles when teaching mainstream classes with students experiencing learning difficulties. For example, I will use the knowledge of co-teaching with the special needs teachers to make the learners with disabilities share inclusivity (Akçamete & Gökbulut, 2018). Given that the findings show that such a strategy helps improve comprehension among special needs students, I will try to work prudently with other teachers. Moreover, I will integrate the MAPPS strategy as Sarisahin (2020) directed to help bilingual students with special needs learn how to read. Thus, the contents from the two sources are evidence-based and provide guidance on emerging issues I may face in the classroom.
The idea of mainstream learning and inclusion is not new to me. However, I was surprised to learn that it may present new challenges and ethical concerns since, according to Akçamete & Gökbulut (2018), classroom teachers are not willing to be in the same classroom as special needs teachers. In addition, I got the revelation that children with learning disabilities must face the new changes brought about by globalization (Sarisahin, 2020). I now understand that they, too, need to learn to read in more than one language.
Rational for Advantages and Disadvantages of the Articles
The advantage of Akçamete & Gökbulut’s (2018) article is that it is primary research. The implication is that the information it provides is from the actual population. However, its major drawback is that it uses a qualitative methodology which may be subjective, and the content is not generalizable due to the small sample. The advantage of Sarisahin’s (2020) article is that it provides several evidence-based strategies, such as MAPPS, that teachers can use in teaching reading to special needs students. However, the disadvantage of the paper is that it fails to address some challenges that teachers may face, such as finishing the syllabus on time when using some of the tools which take time to apply. I view the articles based on the content they provide and the research methodology they use.
Conclusively, special needs children may present new challenges to educators teaching reading because their comprehension is slower than other children. Co-teaching in mainstream classes can be a possible solution for the learners. Moreover, using tools such as MAPPS may help those with learning disabilities learn how to read multiple languages and fit in the contemporary world. The information from both articles provides significant insights on emerging issues in the education sector that teachers can integrate into their classrooms to realize a better outcome.
Akçamete, G., & Gökbulut, Ö. D. (2018). Opinions of classroom teachers on reading comprehension difficulties, inclusion education and co-teaching. Quality and Quantity, 52(1), 791-806.
Sarisahin, S. (2020). Reading comprehension strategies for students with learning disabilities who are emergent bilingual. Intervention in School and Clinic, 56(1), 3-12.