Using Audio-Visual Aids and Computer-Assisted Language Instruction (CALI) to Overcome Learning Difficulties of Reading in Students of Special Needs

Sadeq Ali Saad Al- Yaari


Background & aims: Reading is a receptive skill whose importance could involve abilities' variance from linguistic standard. Several evidences support the hypothesis stating that the more you read the better you write, with a different impact for speech language therapists (SLTs) who use audio-visual aids and computer-assisted language instruction (CALI) and those who do not.

Methods: Here we made use of audio-visual aids and CALI for teaching reading skill to a group of 40 students of special needs of both sexes (range between 8 and 18 years old) at al-Malādh school for teaching students of special needs in Dhamar (Yemen) while another group of the same number is taught using ordinary teaching methods. Pre-and-posttests have been administered at the beginning and the end of the semester (Before and after teaching the reading course). The purpose was to understand the differences between the levels of the students of special needs to see to what extent audio-visual aids and CALI are useful for them. The two groups were taught by the same instructor under the same circumstances in the same school. Both quantitative and qualitative procedures were used to analyze the data.

Results: The overall findings revealed that audio-visual aids and CALI are very useful for teaching reading to students of special needs and this can be seen in the scores of the treatment group’s subjects (25.77%, in post-test vs.70.92% in pre-test). In comparison to the scores of the second group’s subjects (where audio-visual aids and CALI were not used) (22% in both pre-and-posttests), the first group subjects have fully understood the material of reading and this can be observed in their performance in the posttest. In addition, compared with males, females’ performance was better (1371 scores vs. 1466 scores). Qualitative and statistical analyses showed that such comprehension is absolutely due to the use of audio-visual aids and CALI and nothing else. These outcomes confirm the evidence of the significance of using audio-visual aids and CALI as effective means for teaching receptive skills in general and reading skill in particular.

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