About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 415 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

CONTRIBUTIONS OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN THE ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASS

I. Fernández Portero

University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
This study shares its interest in creating accessible educational materials as well as its perspective and methodology with CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) and the National Center on Universal Design for Learning, whose projects are based on UDL (Universal Design for Learning). In particular, it aims to trace the use of UDL since its origins in 1984 to the present, exploring the ways these centres have utilized new technologies to enhance educational experiences for students with disabilities. UDL has been proven to be effective among under-served students providing flexible choices through flexible digital tools and content. This framework aids educators make customizable curriculum design feasible and, therefore, their own flexible curriculum materials to achieve UDL´s two main priorities: to develop a universal curriculum and to make successful learners.

In the words of David H. Rose (cofounder of CAST), in many classrooms the focus is on an illusory average student for whom the curriculum is usually designed. This is understandable to a certain extent. However, it must be taken into account that students with disabilities sometimes face problems following the pace at which the average student works. Cognitive neuroscience has shown that, in reality, such a student does not exist, since each individual develops different abilities through unique learning styles and strategies. This accounts for the term “illusory average student”. UDL focuses on assisting teachers to help those students who have been marginalized by an illusory average curriculum, guaranteeing that what has been designed for an average student can easily be adapted to their skills so that they can finally be fairly assessed.

UDL is a framework based on three major principles mainly focused on locating and organizing the resources teachers may need to work with students with learning disabilities, namely: Multiple Means of Representation, Multiple Means of Action and Expression, and Multiple Means of Engagement. This set of principles that are involved in any learning situation answers the what, how and why of learning, respectively. They have been abstracted out from the results of thorough analysis that researchers in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology have carried out concerning what learning processes consist of, how they actually work and their main differences among learners –i.e., it provides students with the chance to develop their recognition networks (presenting information and content in different ways, working in how learners process information), their strategic networks (giving them the opportunity to express what they know) and their affective networks (helping them to engage in class by stimulating their interest and motivation for learning).

This proposal aims to analyze UDL contributions in inclusive education and will be mainly focused on students with learning disabilities for whom English is not their mother tongue. It will focus on developing innovative solutions to make education more inclusive and effective in the EFL (English as Foreign Language) class. In short, this paper will attempt to show how UDL has contributed to improve the defects in the curriculum itself to help under-served students succeed and enjoy their learning opportunities without barriers.
@InProceedings{FERNANDEZPORTERO2015CON,
author = {Fern{\'{a}}ndez Portero, I.},
title = {CONTRIBUTIONS OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN THE ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASS},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {415}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Fernández Portero
TI - CONTRIBUTIONS OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN THE ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASS
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 415
EP - 415
ER -
I. Fernández Portero (2015) CONTRIBUTIONS OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION IN THE ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASS, ICERI2015 Proceedings, p. 415.
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