n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - The use of imaging to develop reading comprehension amongst learners with a learning disability

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



When recognition of even a small number of words in written communication is delayed, jumbled or blocked - which frequently happens when individuals are learning disabled - the text becomes fragmented and the message soon disintegrates. Further barriers to comprehending written text arise when the learner with a learning disability comes from a disadvantaged environment. Educators in mainstream schools feel severely challenged when they need to address the difficulties of all such learners in an inclusive educational setting which grants limited opportunity for individual attention.<br> Understanding a passage in print rests on far more than the sum of the meanings of the words constituting the text. It is argued that asset-based learning support for reading comprehension in a constructivist vein, i.e. making meaning by means of holistic, interactive processing which utilises each learner's unique base of knowledge, skills and abilities in idiosyncratic ways, renders positive results, even with learners with specific learning disabilities. Imaging is one constructive method of supporting the development of reading comprehension - but its techniques should be adapted to meet the needs of particular learners. The article reports on the development of imaging as a technique of learning support for reading comprehension with learners with a learning disability. A small-group case study was conducted with five learners from a disadvantaged environment, in Grades 4 - 6, in a special school for learners with learning disabilities.

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