Browsing by Subject "linguistic competency"

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  • Joensuu, Milka (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    Goals. Immigrant pupils are over-represented in special education. Linguistic difficulties are the most pivotal reasons for social exclusion of immigrant pupils during their school career. Addedly reading, writing, and language development disorders are the most common reasons for both part-time and extensive special education. I studied class teachers' perceptions of the typical linguistic difficulties of pupils who speak Finnish as their second language and of those who have dyslexia, because I suspect that telling the difference between linguistic competency in progress and the symptoms of dyslexia isn't easy. I look for overlappings in the perceptions of linguistic difficulties, their causes and their support measures, which would reveal the challenges in recognizing linguistic difficulties, which in turn might partly explain why immigrant pupils are over-represented in special education. Methods. This study was carried out as structured individual interviews with nine class teachers from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. To increase reliability, complementary information was gathered about the same phenomenon with a questionnaire that each interviewee filled out at the end of the interview. It was required that the interviewees have experience of teaching both dyslexic pupils and pupils who speak Finnish as a second language. The material analysis was mainly deductive, but the material that wasn't in line with the theoretical frame of reference was analyzed inductively. Results and conclusions. There were overlappings in the class teachers' perceptions of the linguistic difficulties, support measures fitting them and, based on the questionnaire results, also of the causes of these difficulties. Additionally all the interviewees said it to be difficult to recognize dyslexia in a pupil who speaks Finnish as a second language. I came to the conclusion that distinguishing different linguistic difficulties from one another is a challenge to which class teachers don't always feel competent to rise, which is why they consider the assistance of special teachers and other professionals beneficial.