International Focus / Diverse Languages

3.1 March 2011

Editorial

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Thank you to Professor Ian Smythe for developing this special edition of The Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. The theme was chosen because increasingly NADP is developing an international profile and looking beyond issues of narrow and immediate relevance to a UK audience. Professor Smythe has an international reputation as both an academic and a practitioner focussing on the requirements of neurodiverse students, specifically concentrating on dyslexia, second languages and technology. His expertise is of immense value to the organisation and Ian has been a friend of NADP for many years.

Concerns of the small but growing number of NADP international members reflect considerations which span beyond for example immediate deliberations about the practicalities of the administration of UK Disabled Student Allowance. In parts of the majority world disability equality in post school education is far removed from the realities of the everyday lives of disabled people. NADP aims to promote the development of mutually beneficial international networks of disability practitioners and disabled students. A special interest group within the membership is working on promoting equality for international disabled students studying within UK institutions. The collaborative ethos of the organisation has no boarders and international collaboration is emerging in a small way. Thank you to Ian, and all the contributors who have brought together a collection of articles and highlighted resources which will raise awareness and stimulate debate about some broader international concerns.

Guest Editorial

When Nicki Martin, Chair of NADP, invited me to be guest editor on this journal, I accepted with my usual enthusiasm, but without a clear focus on the contents. We discussed alternative cohesive themes, noting in particular my rather narrow focus of dyslexia even though it was rooted in an international rather than parochial context. However, we realised that provided it was not exclusively about dyslexia, and remembering that often what is good for the dyslexic individual is good for all, we would have a cohesive Journal, with plenty for everybody.

I am delighted therefore to have contributions to this journal from some of the best and most informed international researchers and practitioners in the business, starting with Prof John Everatt, reviewing research in “Dyslexia in adult students with English as an additional language.” Support, as well as standards of support, in post-16 education are not uniform across the world of the dyslexic individual. This is discussed by Dr Nicki Martin in ‘Progressing disability equality in further and higher education in the majority world. Could NADP help?’

The subject of “Text to speech software for the multilingual users” was the inspiration of my co-author, Dr Miglena Molhova, and international expert on software productivity as well as a lecturer in intellectual property rights in Bulgaria. It attempts to put the ad hoc decisions made in software selection into a (sadly lacking) more informed framework.

There are three article that look at support in different language (and cultural) context, each offering insight through their own specific systems. Margaret Meehan review the special UK situation in Wales in “Welsh, Bilingualism and Dyslexia”, while Gad Elbeheri and John Everatt provide a background to “Supporting students in Arabic”. Following on from a highly successful EU funded project, Dr Mirela Duranoviæ and colleagues discuss “Identification and support for dyslexic students in Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. And finally, just to round off this Special Edition, I have included a list of quality resources that are useful for dyslexic adults at university for whom English is not the first language.

However, I have made two special requests. Firstly, that an electronic copy is made available, for people to use with their text-to-speech software. Secondly, I have asked for free copies to be sent to colleagues around the world. I am glad to say both were agreed to. Thanks Nicki!

I hope you enjoy the contributions.

Professor Ian Smythe, School of Education, University of Wales, Newport.

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Articles

Everatt, J. (2011) Dyslexia in adult students with English as an additional language. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 3.1. pp. 5-35. Word download.

Smythe, I. & Molhova, M. (2011) Text to speech software and productivity for the multilingual dyslexic user. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 3.1. pp. 36-50. Word download.

Meehan, M. (2011) Welsh, bilingualism and dyslexia. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 3.1. pp. 51-62. Word download.

Elbeheri, G & Everatt, J. (2011) Dyslexia support in Higher Education in the Arab world. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 3.1. pp. 63-73. Word download.

Duranovic, M., Smythe, I. & Salihovic, N. (2011) Identification and support for dyslexic students in Higher Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 3.1. pp. 74-81. Word download.

Smythe, I. (2011) Dyslexia-related resources in different languages. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 3.1. pp. 82-85. Word download.

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