Interaction Pattern in a Language Classroom Amongst Special Needs Children: Imaginative Learning Approach

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This research investigates the interaction pattern amongst special needs children while learning the second language. These children have asperger syndrome or asperger's disorder which is a neurobiological disorder that described a pattern of behaviors in young boys or girls who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills (Kirby, 2005). Children with asperger syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Children with asperger syndrome show marked deficiencies in social skills have difficulties with transitions or changes and prefer sameness. Therefore, this paper focuses on the nature, number and balance of interactions of ten subjects with asperger syndrome and further investigates the interaction pattern and reactions which occurred while using the Imaginative Learning Approach (IMA) (Normaliza Abd Rahim, 2006) in learning the second language. IMA is an activity where the subjects were given a scenario, for e.g. a hospital. A corner will be set up like a hospital and the subjects were given three times a week to play with their peers at the corner. The nature, number and balance of interactions were video-taped to find out the interaction pattern. The subjects consist of five males and five females (7 to 15 years old) with asperger syndrome from schools in Selangor, Malaysia. The introduction of IMA to the subjects managed to enhance the learning of the second language. It is found that asperger learners, able to concentrate and interact with their peers in IMA.

Keywords: Imaginative Learning Approach, Special Needs Children
Stream: Language, Linguistics , Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Interaction Pattern in a Language Classroom amongst Special Needs Children

Prof Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. Normaliza Abd Rahim is currently the coordinator for the Translation and Intepretation and Language Technology Lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Due to her keen interest in language technology in teaching and learning, and her wide experience in teaching the English language courses, she was appointed as the consultant for curriculum development for private universities and colleges in one of the states in Malaysia. As such, she provides assistance in developing activities to enhance the usage of English language by using the computer amongst the students in the university. She is also interested on special educational needs children where at present she is the consultant for one of the states in Malaysia. She involves voluntarily in giving advice to parents and teachers of the special needs.

Dr. Zaitul Azma Zainon Hamzah

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Holds a Doctoral Degree in Semantic and Pragmatic. Areas of interest are Pragmatics in Children, Semantic and Translation. Currently supervsing Ph.D students mastering the Teaching and Learning of Malay Language.

Norizan Che Su

Lecturer, Department of Foreign Language
Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Hold a degree in the Teaching of Thai from University of Ramkhamheang, Thailand. Has recently obtained MA degree in Sociolinguistic. Has produced several texts on Mastering of Thai language. Has presented several papers on issues related to Teaching Thai as a Foreign Language; and translation of Thai classical texts.

Assoc. Prof. Siti Zobidah Omar

Head of Department, Lecturer, Communication Department
Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Siti Zobidah Omar is a lecturer in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. She is also the head of Department of Communication. She earned her first degree in Mass Communication (Journalism) from the University Teknologi Mara (UiTM), her Master of Arts Degree in Communication Technology and Policy from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and her Ph.D in Communication Technology and Culture from The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Her research interest is on communication technology, culture and gender particularly the use of the telephone and culture. Currently she is involved in a research on the use of ICT and family communication.

Dr. Arbaie Sujud

Lecturer, Department of Malay Language,Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr Arbaie Sujud is a senior lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Currently he is the head of Malay Language Department. He teaches literature and multimedia and interested in research and development.

Ref: H08P0060