Inclusion of learners with specific learning differences in teaching English as a foreign language: a teacher training project for Sri Lanka

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In my doctoral research I studied how different types of second language grammar input are processed by learners and how their working memory capacity influences input processing. There were four different input conditions: two explicit and two implicit and 100 second language learners of English in Sri Lanka participated in this study. The study used a pre/post test design, four working memory tests and eye-tracking to collect data on how learners pay attention to the target construction. The findings highlighted that explicit input techniques are more beneficial than the implicit input techniques when acquiring novel grammatical constructions. Moreover, the results indicated that working memory capacity was very strongly related to how language learners process second language input as learners with high working memory had clear advantages in any instructional condition. These findings are directly relevant in teaching a second language to learners with dyslexia, who tend to have shorter working memory capacity and process novel language input in different ways. In this talk, I will discuss these current research findings related to dyslexia and language learning and inclusive practices that different countries have implemented to facilitate such learners in the language classroom. Further to this, I will present a teacher training project that has been designed to train English language teacher trainers in Sri Lanka on identification and inclusive practices of dyslexic learners in English classroom. The project will fund to train ca. 100 English language teacher trainers all over the country. They will be exposed to free professional development programmes and free resources as well. The project will also attempt to raise awareness among policy planners and language testing body in Sri Lanka of the importance of incorporating inclusive practices in policy/curriculum design and high-stakes exams.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017
EventSLELTA Conference 2017 - Colombo, Sri Lanka
Duration: 17 Feb 201719 Feb 2017


ConferenceSLELTA Conference 2017
Country/TerritorySri Lanka

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