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Title: Greek teachers' understandings of typical language development and of language difficulties
Author: Georgali, Konstantina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 169X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Language is a dynamic learning mechanism for children. Oral language skills are pivotal to all children and should be practiced in schools. However, not all children develop language typically and some may experience language difficulties at differing levels and degrees of severity. As the concept of inclusion has gained currency in many countries, it is expected that larger numbers of students whose difficulties are not severe enough to be admitted to a special school, will be educated in mainstream classrooms alongside children with typical language development. Thus, teachers are increasingly faced with the challenge of teaching students with differing profiles of needs. However, research has paid little attention so far to teachers’ views and to their preparedness to cope with such challenges. This study was based on a Sequential Exploratory Mixed Methods Design deployed in three consecutive and integrative phases. The first phase involved 18 exploratory interviews with teachers. Its findings informed the second phase involving a questionnaire survey with 119 respondents. Contradictory questionnaire results were further investigated in a third phase employing a formal testing procedure with 60 children attending Y1, Y2 and Y3 of primary school. Results showed both strengths and weaknesses in teachers’ awareness of language related issues and of language difficulties and gaps in their expertise to meet the needs of children with language difficulties. However, they also provided a different perspective of children’s language needs and of language teaching approaches. This perspective reflected current advances in language problems and synchronous conceptualizations of inclusion and opened a new window on how to optimize existing teaching approaches so as to promote language development for all students in class while at the same time supporting the specific needs of children with language difficulties in an inclusive ethos.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available