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Global Scholar Journal : Style Guide Manuscript Example

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This short article serves as a style guide to illustrate the style guide used by the editorial team at Global Scholar.

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Global Scholar Journal : Style Guide Manuscript Example

  1. 1. GLOB​A​L SCHOL​A​R Peer reviewed scholarly article manuscript - style guide illustration Giving a voice to dyslexic adult students who speak English as a second language Jay Jericho​ ​D.Soc.Sc ​Syd The Free School jay@thefreeschool.education Abstract This paper discusses best practices for tutoring post-secondary adult students with visual perception dyslexia who speak English as a Second Language (ESL). There is a virtual absence of scholarly research literature that examines the intersection of these two learning challenges with reference to the peculiar dynamics that occur in the one tutor, one pupil learning environment at post-secondary level. This study aims to fill this void in the literature by examining the story of ‘Hiro’, aged 18. This student speaks Japanese as a first language. Hiro presently studies social sciences and humanities undergraduate coursework subjects at a leading research intensive Australian university. This paper examines aspects peculiar to Japanese culture, such as Japanese masculinities. 1
  2. 2. Context This research paper aims to give post-secondary students with dyslexia a “voice” (Fuller ​et al., 2004, p. 459) in the academic domain. I offer a self-reflexive account of what I am discovering about a learning disability termed “dyslexia” from teaching ‘Hiro’ as a private subject tutor since March 2015. Hiro is 18, was born in Japan and emigrated to Australia with his family at age nine. A neurologist diagnosed Hiro with a condition termed “visual perception developmental dyslexia” at age seven (Eisenberg, 2007, p. 595). This form of surface Dyslexia is identifiable by the way in which dyslexics read at a slow pace. Moreover, they distinguish text characters a rate that is significantly slower than readers without a visual cognitive processing disability (Robertson & Bakker, 2002, p. 100). Hiro is a semi-fluent speaker of English. He speaks Japanese as a first language at home and in most social situations and so he is classifiable as an English as a Second Language (ESL) speaker (Lundberg, 2002). Hiro informs me that he struggles to study using the English language partially because of the complex inconsistencies that exist in the orthography of his non-native language (​e.g. Dombey, 2009). Furthermore, being dyslexic exacerbates his difficulty to master the English language. For example, Hiro (2015, NP) explains to me that one reason which explains why he finds English a “daunting” language to learn is because 2
  3. 3. simple words such as “boy”, “box”, “toe” and “too” are “irregular” as they assign a different grapheme to the letter “o”. Hiro’s disability impedes his ability to read, prepare academic assessments and complete written examinations under normal time constraints. Medical tests and anecdotal evidence confirms that Hiro has an above average intelligence quotient (IQ) which is not uncommon among students with dyslexia (​e.g. Skues & Cunningham, 2011). Hiro studies a double-degree Arts course that requires a minimum University Admission Index score of 96%. This fact is consistent with research that shows that dyslexics with a higher IQ are more likely to succeed in the academic domain (Snowling, 2012, p. 7). Hiro’s medical assessment states that his visual perception dyslexia is classifiable as “mild dyslexia” (​e.g. Lindgrèn & Laine, 2010, p. 184). His visual processing difficulties mostly occur when he reads prose text such as words that appear in consecutive sequences such as sentences and paragraphs (Warrington ​et al., 1993, p. 871). This impairment affects his ability to read in Japanese and English, consistent with the language performances of most bilingual dyslexics (​e.g. Woolley, 2010, p. 84). The nature of Hiro’s dyslexia is consistent with what Warrington ​et al. (1993, p. 871) terms “attentional dyslexia”. Hiro normally requires approximately 60% more time to read and comprehend a scholarly piece of work compared to students in the same cohort who do not have dyslexia. 3
  4. 4. Hiro’s visual cognitive dysfunction is not strongly linked to his auditory capacities. His auditory processing skills are only slightly impaired and he is able to distinguish/process spoken words without delay or difficulty in more around 95% of cases. This observation is supported by a body of research that shows that written and spoken words are processed by different sensory systems (Coltheart ​et al., 2001, p. 210). The bio-organic origin of Hiro’s dyslexia is among the least common types of dyslexia. Research consistently shows that most dyslexics suffer from a material deficit in phonological processing and this in turn undermines their ability to map sounds to words. This sensory dysfunction also reduces dyslexics’ capacity to distinguish words and assign the literal meaning to them in their isolated form (Snowling, 2013, p. 7). Once Hiro learns/memorises a new word, he rarely struggles to apply this to use his skills that are “structural components” (Brandone ​et al., 2006, p. 499) of the language system, ​i.e., syntax, semantics, pragmatics and morphemes. Hiro’s multilingual background is a factor that impedes his ability to study and learn and this disadvantage affects other bilingual dyslexics in a similar manner (Woolley, 2010). For example, Hiro (2015, NP) informs me that he “thinks and dreams” in Japanese. Hiro (2015, NP) believes that being a pupil who studies using ESL “complicates” the effects of his visual disability as he is able to read and comprehend Japanese prose “approximately 20% faster” than English prose. Woolley (2010, p. 88) defines the reading difficulties faced by ESL speakers with a learning disability as a “complicated and multifaceted process”. It is difficult for the learner and educators to distinguish whether a bilingual student is struggling to perform a language task because of their “mild dyslexia” or because they are translating text between their native and non-native language (Archibald ​et al., 2008, p. 53). 4
  5. 5. Learning needs I concur with Hiro (2015, NP) that his university administers a ‘one-size-fits-all’ disability policy that cannot accommodate all dyslexic students. His university allows mild dyslexics 17% additional time to write exams (University of Queensland, 2015, NP). From Hiro’s perspective, this policy does not create what MacCullagh (2014, p. 93) terms “equitable participation and experiences in higher education by students with dyslexia”. Hiro requires around 60% more time to process strings of text. Hiro’s average exam scores are ​circa 40% (​c.f. the cohort average score of 60%). His mean mark is 82% for other assessments that he prepares at home over a period of one to two weeks, such as essays and PowerPoint presentations. This pattern is consistent with research that shows that many dyslexic students find exams the most difficult form of assessment as they struggle to cope when they must conform to tight time constraints imposed on them. This pressure in turn increases their anxiety levels and further lowers their productivity during exams (​e.g. Meehan, 2004). The disability services unit argues that the 17% additional time Hiro that receives to write his exams offers ample extra time to comprehend the written instructions and questions. Hiro (2015, NP) concludes that this unit’s staff must not realise that there are other obstacles dyslexic students encounter. For example, many units of study offer open-book exams. There is a perception among some scholars that examiners expect well developed answers from 5
  6. 6. examinees under these conditions because students can refer to coursework materials (​e.g. Gupta, 2007, p. 49; India, 2005, p. 459). Language development When I first met with Hiro, I asked him to practice reading coursework materials aloud so that I could monitor which types of prose are more difficult for him to digest. The sub-lexical reading approach draws on “rule-based grapheme-to-phoneme” (Brundson ​et al., 2002, p. 386). A study by Lindgrèn & Laine (2010, p. 187) which examines the performances of dyslexic ESL university students term this technique “reading aloud of running text”. Evidenced based practice research shows that reading text aloud may enhance the visual and cognitive processing skills of some persons with any form of dyslexia. Therefore, trialling this technique with dyslexics who struggle to process textual material is best experimental practice (​e.g. Baddeley, 1982, p. 193) as it may benefit those who are positively responsive to the “dual route” mode of digesting written text (Castles & Coltheart, 1993, pp. 150–151). This intervention may be counterproductive for some dyslexics. For example, those with deep dyslexia are more likely to make orthographic and semantic errors if they read aloud, particularly when there is an absence of context to support written educational materials (Richardson, 1975; Coltheart, 2000). At the conclusion of our fourth meeting, Hiro (2015, 6
  7. 7. NP) advised me that he is “confident” that his ability to read and comprehend prose “feels little easier and slightly faster” when he reads aloud. Using the ‘reading aloud’ approach allows me to analyse the way that Hiro decodes written text, so that I may draw on theoretical literature that discusses the “dual route model of reading” (Dombey, 2009, p. 3). Using this information, I am able to adapt my work practices to map the orthographic path of the English language with Hiro’s visual processing disability. For example, when I teach Hiro new words, I use the “automatic orthographic route” (Ehri, 2005, p. 167) also known as the ‘site word reading’ approach. I encourage Hiro to learn to memorise pronunciation of the word, rather than using the “synthetic phonetic approach” whereby educators encourage students to spell out words using single letters or commonly identifiable pairs of letters to ascertain pronunciation (Dombey, 2009, p. 3). Education needs Hiro’s desire to achieve high grades is a factor that causes him to be co-morbid for ‘anxiety’. This observation is consistent with research conducted by dyslexia experts such as Richard Sparks, who examine anxiety levels of college pupils with dyslexia who study using ESL (​e.g. Sparks ​et al., 1994, p. 42). Hiro believes that his visual processing disability undermines his chances of achieving above average grades regardless of how hard he works. This mindset in turn increases his risk of failing a unit of study. 7
  8. 8. Most dyslexic pupils experience higher anxiety levels when they study using a foreign language when compared to students without a disability who engage using their native language (Piechurska-Kuciel, 2010, p. 382). In many instances, a student’s anxiety levels correlates negatively with their proficiency at using English for academic purposes. Studying at post-secondary level using ESL is a disadvantage that high anxiety levels might exacerbate. Students may lose focus on their studies and centre on negative outcomes and this may create a “language anxiety” (Sparks ​et al., 1994, p. 42). I constantly aim to divert Hiro’s attention towards his strengths. For example, I remind him that he is being proactive by appointing a subject tutor who teaches Arts subjects at post-secondary level. I also remind him that he is a diligent student as he has created a timetable during the first week of term that plots realistic milestones that he aims to achieve on a calendar. Root (1994, NP) argues that this positive-thinking approach is best practice for mentoring an ESL student with a disability. Teachers who focus on an ESL student’s weaknesses may silently communicate a message that imagines their disability as a “limiting” factor that undermines their chances of succeeding (Root, 1994, NP). 8
  9. 9. Gender The social construction of masculinity may impose another challenge for educators who work with dyslexics. Male dyslexics outnumber female dyslexics by a ratio of at least 2:1, although the exact figure could be higher as no reliable global data exists (​e.g. Hawke ​et al., 2009). Hiro (2015, NP) states that his maleness and Japanese ethnicity are socio-cultural factors that have previously prevented him from seeking additional assistance from a tutor. Japan has a very macho culture (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005, p. 835). Men who admit to having a medical problem or seek to succeed in the academic domain are regarded as feminine in many Western societies (Connell, 1989, p. 295; 1996, pp. 216–217). Hiro (2015, NP) advises me that he never wears his “rose tinted glasses” in public or around other people, “especially other men”, unless he trusts that others will not reject him or question his masculinity. I advised Hiro that I have previously read scholarly works that discuss the positive reasons why “many” dyslexic students wear tinted glasses (​e.g. Wilkins, 2003, p. 83). Hiro informed me that this perception is a common myth. The orthodox consensus among biomedical scientists is that there is no evidence that tinted glasses improve dyslexics’ ability to read and comprehend text/images (​e.g. Harries ​et al., 2015). 9
  10. 10. Hiro’s neurologist suspects that he is afflicted by Meares-Irlen Syndrome. Neurological testing shows that Hiro’s visual perception distortions improve by around 10% when he wears tinted glasses (​e.g. Rello, 2015). Meares-Irlen Syndrome is not recognised by the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2015). However, this syndrome is recognised in authoritative biomedical scholarly publications. These publications argue that this syndrome has a higher co-morbid occurrence among dyslexics that is statistically significant (​e.g. Evans, ​et al. 1996; Loew ​et al., 2014, p. 88). My discovery that I harbour beliefs that are a false stereotype caused me to engage in private research to distinguish between terminologies such as “visual perception dyslexia” and “surface dyslexia” (Marinac, 2009, p. 85).This literature review has aided me to customise my teaching plan to suit Hiro’s cognitive abilities and his educational needs. Multidisciplinary approach Hiro’s neurologist recommends what Hudson (2014, p. 88) terms “multi-discipline input” to minimise the negative impacts of “sensory-motor dysfunction” (p. 89) and other mental health conditions that pose “specific cognitive difficulties” such as “anxiety” (p. 86). Before agreeing to work with Hiro, I advised him that I do not hold qualifications in medicine or allied health. It is evident that there are healthcare workers and researchers with specialist 10
  11. 11. knowledge about how they may use a holistic bio-psychosocial approach to work with teenage male adult students with learning disabilities such as visual dyslexia (​e.g. Tanner, 2010, p. 43) Hiro agrees that consulting a medical specialist may improve the quality of his studies and wellbeing if he is able to access these resources. Hiro (2015, NP) informs me that he visited a “male educational psychologist recommended by his psychiatrist” on “ten occasions” via the “Medicare Better Access” (The Department of Health, 2015) scheme. Hiro (2015, NP) advises me that he feels that he obtained minimal benefit from these sessions, as this “healthcare worker had no training in preparing extended essays using a discursive writing style”. He also felt that there was “constant disconnection between the general study tips the psychologist was offering me, and the specific needs I have as a double-degree Arts student.” (Hiro, 2015, NP) Hiro (2015, NP) further informs me that this psychologist’s assessment reports use many quantitative statistics and “jargon” that are difficult for the layperson to comprehend (​e.g. Skues & Cunningham, 2011, p. 170). Furthermore, he states that he is no longer eligible for Medicare funded psychology services, and that educational consultants charge around “$200 per hour” and he cannot afford any sessions as he comes from a “low-income family” (Hiro, 2015, NP). This account is consistent with the ​corpus of contemporary case study literature that documents how Australian students with dyslexia who belong to lowest ranked 11
  12. 12. socioeconomic categories cannot afford the services they require to realise equitable outcomes in the education sector (​e.g. Chanock ​et al., 2010; Skues & Cunningham, 2011). Conclusion Exploring Hiro’s story helps me to learn about dyslexia from a layperson perspective. There are multiple types of dyslexia and varying degrees of impairment. Furthermore, some frontline healthcare workers recognise and treat medical disabilities such as Meares-Irlen Syndrome, even though the WHO does not recognise this disorder. I surmise that biomedical science is yet to fully understand the complex causes of dyslexia and its subtypes. 12
  13. 13. References Archibald, J. ​et al. (2008), ​A review of the literature on English as second language issues, Calgary, Canada: The Language Research Centre, University of Calgary. Baddeley, A. (1982), Developmental and acquired dyslexia: A comparison, ​Cognition, 11, 185–199. Brandone, A. ​et al. (2006), Language development, in George, G. and Minke, K. (Eds), Children’s needs III: Development, prevention, and intervention (pp. 499–514). Washington, DC, USA: National Association of School Psychologists. Brundson, R. ​et al. (2002), Treatment of lexical processing in mixed dyslexia: A case study, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 12(5), 385–418. Castles, A. and Coltheart, M. (1993), Varieties of developmental dyslexia, ​Cognition, 47, 149–180. Chanock, K. et al. (2010), In search of a simple assessment instrument for identifying dyslexia in university students, ​Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 15(1), 35–49. Coltheart, M. (2000), Deep dyslexia is right hemisphere reading, ​Brain and Language, 71, 299–309. Coltheart, M. ​et al. (2001), DRC: A dual route cascaded model of visual word recognition and reading aloud, ​Psychological Review, 108(1), 204–256. Connell, R. (1989), Cool guys, swots and wimps: The interplay of masculinity and education, Oxford Review of Education, 15(3), 291–303. ––––––– (1996), “Teaching the boys: New strategies on masculinity, and gender teaching for schools”, ​Teachers College Record, 98(2), 206–235 13
  14. 14. Connell, R. and Messerschmidt, J. (2005), “Hegemonic masculinity: rethinking the concept”, Gender & Society, 19(6), 829–859. Dombey, H. (2009), ​The simple view of reading, ITE English reading for discussion, <http://www.ite.org.uk/ite_readings/simple_view_reading.pdf>. Accessed 7 October 2015. Ehri, L. (2005), Learning to read words: Theory, findings and issues, ​Scientific Studies of Reading, 9(2), 167–188. Eisenberg, D. (2007), Help-seeking and access to mental health care in a university student population, ​Medical Care, 45(7), 594–601. Evans, B.​et al. (1996), A preliminary investigation into the aetiology of Meares-Irlen syndrome, ​Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 16(4), 286–296. Fuller, M. ​et al., (2004), Incorporating disabled students within an inclusive higher education environment, ​Disability and Society, 19(5), 455–468. Gupta, M. (2007), Open-book examinations for assessing higher cognitive abilities, ​IEEE Microwave Magazine, November 2007, 46–50. Harries, P. ​et al.(2015), Using coloured filters to reduce the symptoms of visual stress in children with reading delay, ​Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 22(3), 153–160. Hawke, J. ​et al., (2009), Gender ratios for reading difficulties, ​Dyslexia, 15(3), 239–242. Hiro, (2015), Tuition meetings – Jyonah Jericho and ‘Hiro [alias]’, University of Sydney Nursing Library, Camperdown, Sydney, May to August 2015. Hudson, J. (2014), ​A practical guide to congenital development disorders and learning difficulties, London, England: Routledge. Human Services, (2015a), ​Payments rates for Austudy, 14
  15. 15. <​http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/austudy​>. Accessed 24 July 2015. –––––– (2015b), ​Payment rates for disability support pension, <​http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/disability-support-pe nsion​>. Accessed 24 July 2015. India, B. (2005), Open book tests: assessment of academic learning in clerkships, ​Medical Teacher, 27(5), 2005, pp. 456–462 Lindgrèn, S. and Laine, M. (2010), Cognitive linguistic performance of multilingual university students suspected of dyslexia, ​Dyslexia, 17, 184–200. Loew, S. ​et al. (2014), Symptoms of Meares-Irlen/visual stress syndrome in subjects diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ​International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 14, 87−92. Lundberg, (2002), Second language learning and reading with the additional load of dyslexia, Annals of Dyslexia, 52(1), 165–187. MacCullagh, L. (2014), Participation and experiences of students with dyslexia in higher education: A literature review with an Australian focus, ​Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 19(2), 93–111. Marinac, J. (2009), Dyslexia in high school students: Evidence from the literature, ​Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 11(2), 85–88. Meehan, M. (2010), Dyslexia-friendly higher education, In Pavey, B. ​et al. (Eds) Dyslexia-friendly further & higher education (Chapter 3: NP), London, England: Sage. <http://www.sage-ereference.com/view/dyslexia-friendly-further-and-higher-educatio n/n4.xml>. Accessed 23 July 2015. Piechurska-Kuciel, E. (2010), ​Reading anxiety and writing anxiety in dyslexia: Symptomatic and asymptomatic adolescence, Advances in Research on Language Acquisition and Teaching: Selected Papers, 15
  16. 16. <http://www.enl.auth.gr/gala/14th/Papers/English%20papers/Piechurska.pdf>. Accessed 23 July 2015. Rello, L. (2015), Dyslexia and web accessibility: Synergies and challenges, Refereed conference proceedings from the Proceedings of the 12th Web for All Conference, <http://www.w4a.info/2015/programme/accepted-papers/>. Accessed 23 July 2015. Richardson, J. (1975), The effect of word imageability in acquired dyslexia, Neuropsyochologia, 13, 281–288. Robertson, J. and Bakker, D. (2002), The balance model of reading and dyslexia, in Reid, D. and Wearmouth, J. (Eds), ​Dyslexia and literacy: Theory and Practice (pp. 99–114), New Jersey, USA: Wiley. Root, C. (1994), A guide to learning difficulties for the ESL classroom practitioner, 1994 1(1), ​The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, <​http://tesl-ej.org/ej01/a.4.html​>. Accessed 23 July 2015. Skues, J. and Cunningham, E. (2011), A contemporary review of the definition, prevalence, identification and support of learning disabilities in Australian schools, ​Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 16(2), 159–180. Snowling, M. (2013), Early identification and interventions for dyslexia: a contemporary view, ​Journal of Research in Special Education Needs, 13(1), 7–14. Sparks, R. ​et al. (1994), Differences in language performance among high-, average-, and low-anxious college foreign language learners, ​The Modern Language Journal, 78(1), 41–55. Tanner, K. (2010), ​The lived experiences of adults with dyslexia: An exploration of their perceptions of their educational experiences (Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy Thesis), Perth, Western Australia: Murdoch University. The Department of Health, (2015),​ Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiative, <​http://www.health.gov.au/mentalhealth-betteraccess​>. Accessed 23 July 2015. 16
  17. 17. University of Queensland, (2015), ​3.50.09 Arrangements for reasonable adjustments in examinations for students with a disability, <​http://ppl.app.uq.edu.au/content/3.50.09-arrangements-reasonable-adjustments-exam inations-students-disability​>. Accessed 24 July 2015. Warrington, E. ​et al. (1993), Attentional dyslexia: A single case study, ​Neuropsychologia, 31(9), 871–885. Wilkins, A. (2003), ​Reading through colour: How coloured filters can reduce reading difficulty, eye-strain and headaches, Essex, England: University of Essex. Woolley, G. (2010), Issues in the identification and ongoing assessment of ESL students with reading difficulties for reading intervention, ​Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 15(1), 81–98. World Health Organization, (2015), International Classification of Diseases (ICD) (10​th Revision) (ICD-10 Version:2015),<http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2015/en>. Accessed 23 July 2015. * Hiro is a pseudonym that protects the identity of the subject. Questions and manuscripts Please email: globalscholar@thefreeschool.education http://www.thefreeschool.education/news.html 17

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