UNITE SpLD Conference 2020 is a unique conference that showcases research covering aspects of behaviour, identification, early intervention, technology, multilingualism, assessment and much more for children and adults with special learning needs.
UNITE SpLD Conference 2020
Every child learns differently and for children with Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) and special educational needs, their learning challenges are often multi-faceted. This makes working with these children a complex task for teachers, parents or field practitioners.
Expert help is at hand, at the Uniting Ideas in Teaching Excellence: Specific Learning Differences (UNITE SpLD) conference organised by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS).
Back for the sixth year and delivered online for the first time, UNITE SPLD 2020 will allow participants from all over the world to participate from the comfort of their homes. The online format also means participants can interact directly with researchers who are making key differences with their work internationally.
This year’s conference features a strong line-up of internationally-renowned experts as keynote speakers:
- Fintan O’Regan: The Curious Case of ADHD
- Dr Malatesha Joshi: Componential Model of Reading: Implications for the Assessment of Instruction of Dyslexia and Related Reading Problems
- Dr Julie Washington: Addressing the Literacy Needs of Children who Speak Non-mainstream Dialects
- Carol Allen: Finding the Positives! How a pandemic has offered technology positives and reduced anxiety for many Dyslexic Learners
- Edmen Leong: A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Reading Motivation and Struggling Readers
- Deborah Hewes: Dyslexic Entrepreneurs in Singapore: The Incidence, Their Educational and Experiences and Their Attributes
In all, the online conference will feature more than 30 experts from 7 countries, and showcase 31 presentations covering these six themes: advocacy, assessment for learning, differentiation and adaptation, educational technology, school leadership and policies, and teacher support.
UNITE SpLD Conference 2020
What can you expect to learn from the keynote speakers at UNITE SpLD?
Here’s a sneak preview based on abstracts of their presentations:
1. How can we support children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Some may feel that children with ADHD seem inattentive and easily bored. However, they are actually individuals who are highly creative; and when they are stimulated and interested in what they are doing; they can be extremely productive and innovative, both in the classroom and in the workplace. Find out at UNITE SpLD possible ways to review our systems and strategies to better support these children in fulfilling their potential.
2. Why do children pick up reading at different rates?
Many factors come into play when it comes to the literacy development of children. Based on a model called the Componential Model of Reading, these three components can provide greater clarity on the reading abilities of children:
- Cognition – word recognition, language comprehension
- Psychology – child’s motivations and interests
- Ecology – home environment, dialect, teacher knowledge, orthography
3. Does speaking more dialects impact the learning abilities of children to read and write?
There is research that shows that the more dialect children use, the more difficult their reading and writing development will be. This might be due to the mismatch between what children are speaking versus what they are reading in books. Find out at the talk how this could impact the way classes are taught and how children learn.
4. What impact does remote learning/home-based learning have on our children’s mental well-being?
Remote learning has supported many children with dyslexia with technological tools on their learning journey. This has translated to reduced anxiety and boosting of curiosity and confidence in learning. The pandemic has revealed new ways of learning, with perhaps some methods that could remain even as we return to the new normal.
5. How to help struggling young readers grow into learners who love to read?
Research suggests that many struggling readers have low self-esteem and value. By understanding the relationship between reading motivation and reading achievement, we can provide guidance to readers through strategies including extensive reading, positive reading experiences or social interactions that can impact reading motivation.
6. Is a significant proportion of entrepreneurs in Singapore dyslexic?
In a study conducted with Singapore entrepreneurs, about 26% have dyslexia. The study showed that the educational experiences of dyslexic entrepreneurs were significantly negative for primary and secondary school education, and positive in tertiary education. It explored traits of dyslexic entrepreneurs and found that they scored notably lower in empathy, interpersonal skills, public speaking and memory ability; and notably higher in visual thinking and visual-spatial ability compared to their non-dyslexic peers.