About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2880-2887
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0765

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: BRIDGING THE COMMUNICATION GAP BETWEEN A SPECIAL NEEDS TEACHER AND PARENTS WHO SPEAK AFRICAN LANGUAGES

J. Fourie, V. Le Roux

University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
This study investigated the communication between a special needs teacher and parents of children with intellectual disabilities who speak African languages. Parenting a child with an intellectual disability is often stressful and teachers may be confronted with parent frustrations and concerns regarding their child’s developmental delays and appropriate education. Responding to parents’ concerns is particularly challenging where teachers and parents speak different languages. In this study, the teacher spoke English and the parents spoke English, Afrikaans, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Xitsonga, Setswana and Sesotho. In the first phase of the study, qualitative data were collected from an open ended questionnaire and two in-depth focus groups with 18 parents from the special needs class in a South African primary school. Data gathering focused on establishing the needs of the parents. Where parents responded to the questions in their home language, the content was translated into English. Thematic content analysis revealed that parents were unsure about the functioning of the special needs class within the school. Parents needed advice regarding everyday challenges of parenting and expert information regarding the extent of their child’s intellectual disability; the prognosis and child’s future educational prospects. Parents required ongoing supportive communication from the teacher and other parents in the class. In the second phase of the study, the teacher actively facilitated open and clearer channels of communication with the parents by using a social media platform linking the parents in a group for ease of communal communication. The teacher arranged a few inexpensive, informal outings for the children and their parents in order to promote friendships among the parents. Based on the needs voiced by the parents in the questionnaire and focus groups, the teacher designed a multi-lingual information brochure which addressed the parents’ concerns in user-friendly language. Teacher-parent partnerships framed by taking the everyday concerns of parents into consideration promoted the overall well-being of the children in the class. This study highlighted the importance of establishing multi-lingual teacher-parent communication links for improving the education of children with intellectual disabilities.
@InProceedings{FOURIE2018CHI,
author = {Fourie, J. and Le Roux, V.},
title = {CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: BRIDGING THE COMMUNICATION GAP BETWEEN A SPECIAL NEEDS TEACHER AND PARENTS WHO SPEAK AFRICAN LANGUAGES},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0765},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0765},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {2880-2887}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Fourie AU - V. Le Roux
TI - CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: BRIDGING THE COMMUNICATION GAP BETWEEN A SPECIAL NEEDS TEACHER AND PARENTS WHO SPEAK AFRICAN LANGUAGES
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0765
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 2880
EP - 2887
ER -
J. Fourie, V. Le Roux (2018) CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES: BRIDGING THE COMMUNICATION GAP BETWEEN A SPECIAL NEEDS TEACHER AND PARENTS WHO SPEAK AFRICAN LANGUAGES, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 2880-2887.
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