DEVELOPING EFL READING COMPREHENSION COMPETENCE TO STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DIFFERENCES: EVIDENCE FROM A TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Over the past few decades, the necessity of making the educational process manageable and successful for every student, regardless of his/her her individual learning abilities and styles, has gained an increasing focus of attention by many modern psychologists and educators who have explored different Learning Differences. However, comparatively little research has been carried out as regards the most efficient EFL teaching methodology and material for students with such learning difficulties. This paper reports on a one-year study that aimed at investigating the development of young learners’ reading competence within a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment. A total of 40 EFL students aged 13 to 15 years old took part in the study, all of which had been officially diagnosed with learning difficulties. The paper includes a detailed description of a range of computer-based reading comprehension activities and their impact on enhancing reading comprehension competence to young learners who experience difficulties in learning English as a Foreign Language due to their attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder problems. The study concludes by presenting explicit implications for primary, secondary and tertiary education. As such, the findings of the study could provide practical guidance to EFL instructors, material developers and test designers with regard to the type of reading comprehension computer-based activities that seem to be of great benefit to learners with learning difficulties while learning English as a Foreign Language.