Effects of Dyslexia and Dysgraphia on the reading and writing abilities of upper-primary pupils from select schools in Sabatia sub-county in Kenya
This study sought to investigate the nature and extent of reading impairment (dyslexia) and writing impairment (dysgraphia) in the English of a group of twenty-five upper-primary pupils of the Sabatia Sub-county of Vihiga County who experienced serious reading and writing difficulties. Specifically, it addressed the following questions: one, whether there was correlation between the reading and writing difficulties among the subjects; two, whether the subjects would read and write words better when they were presented in a linguistic context; three, whether functional words would pose a greater challenge than content words in both reading and writing; and, four, whether the subjects would read and write monosyllabic words better than polysyllabic ones. Seven hypotheses related to these questions were tested. To collect data for dyslexia analysis, the subjects were asked to read aloud selected words and sentences in a list, as they were recorded using a voice recorder. For data related to dysgraphia, words and sentences were dictated to the subjects. To test whether there was correlation between the subjects’ reading and writing, Pearson's product-moment coefficient of correlation(r) was calculated, while the chi-square(X2) test was used to test the remaining six hypotheses. The results show that, as the study had hypothesized, there was a high positive correlation between the subjects’ reading and writing (r = 0.79 at p<0.01, with df =23). But the only other hypothesis that was confirmed was that which said that monosyllabic words would be written better than polysyllabic ones (X2 =45.24 at p<0.05, with df =1). Results for two other hypotheses (namely the second, which said that words presented in context would be read better than words presented in isolation, and the sixth, which said that monosyllabic words would be read more easily than polysyllabic ones) pointed in the direction hypothesized by this study, but they were not confirmed because the relevant calculated statistics were not statistically significant. However, contrary to what had been hypothesized, the study found the subjects’ performance on both reading and writing functional words was much better than that on reading and writing content words, and also found that words presented in isolation were written better than those presented in context. These results call for further research on the same topic to explore the possibility of there being other explanatory factors at play.
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