EFL teacher training needs and perceived preparedness to include dyslexic learners: The case of Greece, Cyprus and Poland

Country Studied: Greece, Poland and mainly Cyprus

Area of Focus: Foreign languages & Dyslexia

This study examines the effect of demographic variables on the beliefs of teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) about their preparedness to include dyslexic learners in mainstream classrooms in Cyprus (Greece and Poland) and identifies their professional development needs.

This good practice is a case study among 3 countries – Cyprus, Greece and Poland and it focuses on dyslexia in the context of L2 (foreign/additional language) instructed learning and teaching. Literacy acquisition in the L1 (native language) as well as L2 may pose considerable challenges for many students with dyslexia such as phonological processing, manifested by poor word-level decoding, spelling, processing speed, working memory and attention control. Through this article is seen that EFL teachers tend to lack necessary knowledge and skills to practice their teaching approach towards dyslexics and they usually find diversifying and adjusting teaching methods, tasks and modes of presentation or assessment troublesome.

In 2018 – It promotes EFL teachers’ professional training needs on dyslexia and inclusive instructional practices

The best practice focuses on dyslexic learners and English foreign language (EFL) teachers.

A Needs Analysis Questionnaire was developed to measure the pre- and in-service EFL teacher beliefs about their preparedness to include dyslexic EFL learners in mainstream classrooms (TEPID) and verifies EFL teacher professional training needs on dyslexia and inclusive instructional practices. The questionnaire was piloted with 100 experienced and pre-service EFL teachers who were not involved in the subsequent study (20% in Poland, 40% in Greece, and 40% in Cyprus).

Nijakowska, J., Tsagari, D., & Spanoudis, G. (2018). EFL teacher training needs and perceived preparedness to include dyslexic learners: The case of Greece, Cyprus and Poland [Ebook] (pp. 1-34). Wiley Online Library. Retrieved from https://oda.oslomet.no/bitstream/handle/10642/6998/untitled.pdf?sequence=1

The case study identifies and compares the influence of a number of demographic variables on the Cypriot, Polish and Greek EFL teachers’ perceived preparedness to include dyslexic learners in mainstream classrooms.

SPSS 22 was used for the statistical analysis of the research results and only completed questionnaires were used in the analysis. The final sample size consisted of at least 155 participants per ethnic group, with over 6 cases per variable.

The results of this study provide valuable insights into the pre-service and in-service EFL teachers’ perceived preparedness to include dyslexic learners are:

  1. Professional training and continuing development needs – including the training content and methods such as topics, tasks, activities and delivery modes
  2. The design of appropriate training options for EFL teachers with regards to dyslexia and inclusive instructional practices
  3. Teachers working individually with dyslexic EFL students, teaching special classes for them, they think are better prepared for inclusion than EFL

Unlike overall teaching experience and completed level of education, personal involvement in inclusion activities, direct contact and teaching experience with dyslexics, boost teaching acceptance, understanding and self-confidence when employing inclusive instructional practices.

EFL professional training needs to be improved in terms of the content, methods and delivery modes to better meet teachers’ needs. Enhancing EFL teachers’ preparedness to include dyslexic learners requires boosting their knowledge of dyslexia, SpLD, SEN and inclusion, as well as increasing their self-efficacy in implementing inclusive teaching practices.