Language Teaching in Motion: Enhancing Practices for Dyslexic Learners through SWOT Analysis

تعليم اللغات في حركة مستمرة: تعزيز الممارسات للمتعلمين ذوي صعوبات التعلم باستخدام تحليلSWOT

L’enseignement des langues en évolution : Amélioration des pratiques pour les apprenants dyslexiques grâce à l’analyse SWOT

Amani Bakhtaoui, Achraf Marouf Faiza Hadam Bouabdallah

p. 59-83

Amani Bakhtaoui, Achraf Marouf Faiza Hadam Bouabdallah, « Language Teaching in Motion: Enhancing Practices for Dyslexic Learners through SWOT Analysis », Aleph, Vol 10 (4-1) | 2023, 59-83.

Amani Bakhtaoui, Achraf Marouf Faiza Hadam Bouabdallah, « Language Teaching in Motion: Enhancing Practices for Dyslexic Learners through SWOT Analysis », Aleph [], Vol 10 (4-1) | 2023, 25 March 2023, 18 May 2024. URL : https://aleph.edinum.org/9600

Language teaching is an ever-evolving field, characterized by a constant pursuit of improvement and quality enhancement among educators. When faced with challenges, teachers seek innovative methods and strategies to address specific educational needs, such as Dyslexia. This study explores the application of SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis) to enhance teaching practices for individuals with Dyslexia in ten private schools in Tlemcen-West Algeria.
To achieve the research objectives, an experimental case study was conducted in three phases, involving forty-eight teachers and eight Dyslexic individuals across ten private schools. Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses, the following findings emerged:
1. Phase One: Teachers exhibited a lack of knowledge regarding SWOT Analysis and limited awareness of Dyslexia.
2. Phase Two: Teachers demonstrated the ability to effectively utilize SWOT Analysis as a tool.
3. Phase Three: SWOT Analysis was shown to be instrumental in helping
teachers enhance their practices when working with individuals with Dyslexia.

In conclusion, this study contributes valuable insights to the existing literature on addressing specific educational needs-related challenges. It highlights the potential of SWOT Analysis as a means to improve teaching practices for Dyslexic learners, ultimately advancing the field of language education.

لم يكن تعليم اللغات ثابتًا أبدًا. البحث عن التحسين وزيادة الجودة كانا من أهم الأولويات لجميع المعلمين. عندما يجد المعلمون أنفسهم في مأزق، يحاولون معرفة الأساليب أو الاستراتيجيات المناسبة للتغلب على المشكلة؛ على سبيل المثال، صعوبات التعلم الخاصة مثل الدسلكسيا. يتعين على المعلمين أن يلبوا احتياجات المتعلمين الذين يعانون من الدسلكسيا من خلال البحث عن استراتيجيات فعالة. وهكذا، تهدف هذه الدراسة الحالية إلى التحقيق في تطبيق تحليل SWOT (تحليل القوى والضعف والفرص والتهديدات) لتعزيز ممارسات المعلمين مع الأشخاص الذين يعانون من الدسلكسيا في عشر مدارس خاصة في تلمسان - غرب الجزائر.
لتحقيق أهداف هذا البحث، تم إجراء دراسة حالة تجريبية على مراحل ثلاث، تشمل 48 معلمًا و8 أشخاص يعانون من الدسلكسيا في عشر مدارس خاصة. من خلال تحليل كمي ونوعي مشترك، توصل الباحثون إلى النتائج التالية:
1. المرحلة الأولى: أظهر المعلمون نقصًا في المعرفة بشأن تحليل SWOT ووعيًا محدودًا بالدسلكسيا.

2. المرحلة الثانية: أظهروا قدرة فعالة على استخدام تحليل SWOT كأداة.

3. المرحلة الثالثة: أثبت أن تحليل SWOT يمكن أن يساعد المعلمين في تحسين ممارساتهم عند العمل مع الأشخاص الذين يعانون من الدسلكسيا.

في الختام، تقدم هذه الدراسة رؤى قيمة للأدب الموجود بالفعل حول كيفية التعامل مع تحديات صعوبات التعلم الخاصة. إنها تسلط الضوء على إمكانية استخدام تحليل SWOT كوسيلة لتحسين ممارسات التدريس للمتعلمين الذين يعانون من صعوبات التعلم، مما يعزز في النهاية ميدان تعليم اللغات.

L’enseignement des langues n’a jamais été immobile. La recherche d’amélioration et d’enrichissement de la qualité ont toujours été les priorités principales de tous les enseignants. Chaque fois que les enseignants se trouvent confrontés à un dilemme, ils cherchent à trouver des méthodes ou des stratégies pour résoudre le problème; les besoins éducatifs particuliers, tels que la dyslexie, en sont un exemple. Les enseignants sont tenus de répondre aux besoins spécifiques des apprenants dyslexiques en recherchant des stratégies efficaces. Ainsi, la présente étude explore l’application de l’analyse SWOT (forces, faiblesses, opportunités et menaces) pour améliorer les pratiques des enseignants avec les personnes atteintes de dyslexie dans dix écoles privées de Tlemcen, dans l’ouest de l’Algérie.

Pour atteindre les objectifs de cette recherche, une étude de cas expérimentale a été menée en trois phases, impliquant quarante-huit enseignants et huit personnes atteintes de dyslexie réparties dans dix écoles privées. À travers une analyse quantitative et qualitative, les conclusions suivantes ont émergé :
1. Phase un : Les enseignants ont montré un manque de connaissance concernant l’analyse SWOT et une conscience limitée de la dyslexie.
2. Phase deux : Les enseignants ont démontré la capacité à utiliser efficacement l’analyse SWOT comme outil.
3. Phase trois : L’analyse SWOT s’est révélée être un instrument utile pour aider les enseignants à améliorer leurs pratiques lorsqu’ils travaillent avec des personnes atteintes de dyslexie.

En conclusion, cette étude apporte des informations précieuses à la littérature existante sur la résolution des défis liés aux besoins éducatifs spécifiques. Elle met en lumière le potentiel de l’analyse SWOT comme moyen d’améliorer les pratiques d’enseignement pour les apprenants dyslexiques, contribuant ainsi à faire progresser le domaine de l’éducation linguistique.

Introduction

The field of English Language Teaching (ELT) has continually evolved with educators and teachers striving to improve the quality of English language instruction. Research in ELT spans various subfields, including classroom management, teacher development, curriculum design, educational psychology, and addressing special educational needs. Among these, addressing the specific learning needs of dyslexic learners has emerged as a critical concern. Dyslexia presents unique challenges in language learning, and while teachers are not expected to be experts in psychology or neurology, they can greatly benefit from adopting effective strategies. One such strategy is the SWOT Analysis.

This study aims to propose a model that equips teachers, both in and out of classrooms, to support dyslexic learners effectively by introducing them to SWOT Analysis. Inadequate support for dyslexic learners can lead to social discrimination and hinder their educational progress. Therefore, providing teachers with the tools to identify, reflect on, and address issues related to special educational needs, including dyslexia, can enhance the quality of their teaching and create a more inclusive environment.

To guide this study, the following research questions are posed:

  1. Do teachers possess knowledge of SWOT Analysis?

  2. Are teachers familiar with dyslexia?

  3. Can teachers comprehend and apply SWOT Analysis effectively?

  4. Does the use of SWOT Analysis contribute to improved teaching for dyslexic learners?

These research questions are addressed through the following hypotheses:

  1. Teachers’ knowledge of SWOT Analysis can be enhanced.

  2. Teachers’ awareness of dyslexia is currently limited.

  3. Teachers can understand and implement SWOT Analysis to a reasonable extent.

  4. Teachers can benefit from using SWOT Analysis when working with individuals with dyslexia.

1. Methodology: the quest for perfection in teaching

To achieve the study’s objectives, an experimental case study was designed involving teachers from ten different private schools in Tlemcen. Data collection involved a structured questionnaire for teachers, non-participant observations, and semi-structured interviews with educators. The research employed a mixed-methods approach to triangulate and analyze the data, combining both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

The concept of the “perfect teacher” has long been a topic of debate among pedagogues, educators, and linguists. Some argue that perfection in teaching is unattainable, while others advocate for the pursuit of effectiveness. Nonetheless, the dynamic nature of teaching necessitates continuous improvement and adaptation to meet learners’ needs and deliver knowledge effectively.

Teachers often face diverse challenges that require analysis and resolution, especially in Special Needs Education, where the dynamics differ significantly from general education settings. Learners with specific learning difficulties (SLDs), such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Dysgraphia, and, notably, Dyslexia, encounter unique learning obstacles. This study primarily focuses on dyslexia and aims to equip teachers with strategies to address the specific needs of dyslexic learners.

Existing literature indicates that many teachers lack awareness of dyslexia as a learning disability and often do not make efforts to understand dyslexic learning mechanisms, particularly in the context of learning English. While studies on teachers’ awareness of dyslexia have been conducted elsewhere, there is a dearth of research in Tlemcen on strategies to support teachers in better teaching individuals with Dyslexia. This theoretical part of the research thus explores potential strategies, specifically SWOT Analysis, to fulfill this objective.

2. THEORETICAL PART

2.1 SWOT Analysis Defined

SWOT Analysis, an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis, is a strategic planning tool that provides a synthesized overview of an organization’s current situation. It serves as a foundational instrument for situational analysis, paving the way for improvement and quality enhancement by identifying areas requiring elaboration, attainable objectives, internal assets, and external threats. Sarsby (2012) encapsulates the essence of SWOT Analysis, highlighting its ubiquity across various sectors:

“SWOT is a popular 4-box strategy analysis and strategy development model. The acronym SWOT is derived from Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and threats. SWOT has been around for decades and could be the most widely used strategy tool in modern times. It is used by industry, commerce, charitable and voluntary organizations. SWOT is often a crucial part of business studies and MBAs in higher education. If you have ever applied for a business bank loan, the bank would want to see a SWOT analysis or something similar.” (Sarsby, 2012, p. 06)

According to Thompson (2007), SWOT Analysis is a straightforward yet influential method for evaluating an organization’s assets, skills, deficiencies, opportunities, and external market threats. Additionally, Riska (2020) characterizes SWOT Analysis as the systematic identification of various aspects essential for formulating a strategic plan.

SWOT Analysis is a versatile approach applicable to diverse planning scenarios, be it strategic, managerial, economic, educational, technical, or personal. Effective planning, regardless of its context, commences with a comprehensive assessment of the present situation, a role meticulously fulfilled by SWOT Analysis.

2.1.1. The Elements of Building a SWOT Analysis

As its name suggests, SWOT Analysis comprises four key dimensions: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analytical strategy, when employed by organizations, stakeholders, managers, or individuals in any domain, encompasses both internal and external factors. Internal analysis delves into strengths and weaknesses, while external analysis explores opportunities and threats. In essence, internal factors are those within the organization that can influence its productivity, while external factors are environmental elements that impact the organization from the outside.

Sammut and Galea (2015), from the University of Malta, elucidate the elements of SWOT Analysis, emphasizing its role in assessing internal and external aspects within a system, such as organizations or institutions. They differentiate between internal analysis, which involves assessing possessions, skills, and advantages in comparison to competitors, and external analysis, which assesses opportunities and threats by examining competitors’ attributes and the industrial environment. They assert that SWOT Analysis utilizes data from both within and outside the organization to formulate a well-matched strategy.

Figure 1: The Elements Building a SWOT Analysis

Figure 1: The Elements Building a SWOT Analysis

As elucidated by the framework articulated above, SWOT Analysis serves as a vital conduit that connects the internal dynamics of an organization, encompassing its strengths and weaknesses, with the external landscape inhabited by competitors and opponents. This symbiotic exploration yields a comprehensive panoramic perspective, guiding decisions on what should be pursued, enhanced, altered, or cautiously avoided. It is imperative to recognize that SWOT Analysis bestows upon its practitioners a dual lens through which to view organizational prospects: a positive vantage and a negative one. Strengths and opportunities conjoin to form the bedrock of factors contributing to an organization’s prosperity and advancement. Conversely, weaknesses and threats, in one form or another, pose potential harm to the organization’s well-being (TAT, 2017).

In the process of conducting a SWOT Analysis, it is imperative to orchestrate the interplay between external and internal factors. This synchronization is fundamental, as any misalignment may render the outcomes of the SWOT Analysis unreliable and invalid, thus impeding the formulation of strategic reforms. Realism, comprehensiveness, rigor, precision, and equilibrium aptly characterize the essence of the SWOT process.

Figure2: SWOT Analysis Diagram (Google Images/www.foresightguide.com)

Figure2: SWOT Analysis Diagram (Google Images/www.foresightguide.com)

The figure depicted above serves as an elucidative visualization of the foundational components that constitute SWOT Analysis. This graphical representation offers a fundamental portrayal of the four integral facets of SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It imparts a clear visualization of SWOT Analysis by delineating it along two distinct dimensions.

Firstly, it categorizes the four essential elements based on their origin and inherent nature, distinguishing between the internal factors originating within the organization and external factors arising from the broader business environment. This differentiation is crucial in recognizing the source and locus of these factors, which, in turn, informs strategic decision-making.

Secondly, the figure organizes these elements based on their impact on the organization, company, or business objectives. By assessing how each element influences these objectives, it facilitates a nuanced understanding of the interplay between internal and external dynamics in shaping organizational strategy.

This illustrative representation underscores the multidimensional nature of SWOT Analysis, offering a visual framework that aids in comprehending the intricate web of factors considered in this strategic planning tool.

2.1.2. The Utility of SWOT Analysis in the Educational Domain

SWOT Analysis, though traditionally associated with business organizations, has transcended its corporate origins and found extensive application in diverse domains, including education (Benzaghta, Elwalda, Mousa, Ekran, and Rahman, 2021). As its efficacy became evident, SWOT Analysis garnered increasing demand across various sectors, and experts in these fields have embraced it as a tool for effective planning, a catalyst for positive outcomes, and an instrument for addressing multifaceted challenges (Zivkovic, 2015).

The educational landscape has witnessed a profound transformation in recent years, marked by a surge of innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Educators, pedagogues, linguists, stakeholders, and teachers have critically examined strategies to elevate the quality of education, surmount obstacles, and align with contemporary modes of instruction. This progressive ethos has compelled experts to explore modern strategies and solutions, with SWOT Analysis emerging as a prominent choice (Zivkovic, 2015).

Education, with its intricate web of economic, financial, political, social, cultural, and religious dimensions, requires meticulous planning to ensure high-quality teaching. Given the far-reaching implications of education on a nation’s fabric, relying on assumptions and relative conclusions is a perilous path. Consequently, the pursuit of systematic methodologies to identify, analyze, and reflect on educational challenges becomes imperative.

In this context, SWOT Analysis has found a significant role, particularly in higher education, as a tool for pedagogical solutions. Nations such as the USA, Turkey, Libya, India, South Korea, and Romania have incorporated SWOT Analysis into their higher education contexts. Numerous examples exist of SWOT Analysis applications in education, spanning various levels and facets. Curriculum development within higher education is a common area of SWOT application. Jalarajan (2013) delved into the use of SWOT Analysis in peer reviews of teaching in higher education, advocating for interactive sessions to foster a culture of exchange and collaboration among educators.

Furthermore, the evolution of teaching materials in higher education has also been scrutinized. SWOT Analysis has played a pivotal role in assessing the impact and viability of online learning as a pedagogical tool. Algur (2014) proposed that the quality of online teaching and learning could be enhanced through the active involvement of administrative staff, soliciting feedback from learners to address deficiencies promptly.

An intriguing example of SWOT Analysis in education involves its application to English for Specific Purposes (ESP) textbooks. Wisniewska (2007) conducted a SWOT Analysis of various pedagogical materials, including ESP textbooks, revealing strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis paved the way for strategic planning to enhance ESP textbook curricula.

Another notable instance pertains to the field of Language Teaching Education (LTE). Ağçam (2020) identified several weaknesses in the LTE curriculum through SWOT Analysis, particularly the scarcity of specialized courses in the field. Subsequently, a strategic approach was devised to augment course offerings.

2.1.3. The Significance of Conducting a SWOT Analysis

The widespread adoption of SWOT Analysis across diverse fields, beyond its origins in business, underscores its invaluable role in facilitating strategic planning. SWOT Analysis has consistently demonstrated its efficacy in guiding decision-making and purposeful planning, earning favor with organizations, educational institutions, governments, and individuals alike.

The significance of conducting a SWOT Analysis is multi-faceted. Firstly, SWOT Analysis offers a broad and general perspective, providing a foundation for specific decision-making within the context under examination. It operates through an interactive methodology, fostering interplay between internal components (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats), thus facilitating a holistic understanding of these elements and their implications. This interplay can be further extended and enhanced through the integration of complementary models such as PESTEL Analysis or Porter’s Five Forces Model.

Furthermore, SWOT Analysis is distinguished by its future-oriented outlook, offering a visualization of the state of affairs beyond the present. It is accessible and straightforward, particularly when data is organized within the four-box matrix. Crucially, it finds applicability across diverse fields of research, providing a versatile tool for problem detection and strategic planning.

In conclusion, SWOT Analysis represents an indispensable instrument for strategic planning across a spectrum of domains. Its attributes, such as comprehensiveness, ease of use, analytical rigor, and adaptability, render it an invaluable asset in the arsenal of decision-makers and planners.

2.2 Dyslexia: A Historical and Neurobiological Perspective

Dyslexia, a condition affecting reading and language processing, made its debut in academic literature in 1896 when William Pringle Morgan published an article in ’the British Medical Journal.’ However, societal interest in dyslexia traces back to the work of German neurologist Kussmaul in 1878. Kussmaul primarily examined adults with reading difficulties and neurological deficits, noting that many of his patients mispronounced words or used them out of order, coining the term ’word blindness’ to describe this condition. A decade later, in 1887, German ophthalmologist Rudolf Berlin replaced ’word blindness’ with ’dyslexia,’ derived from Greek, signifying ’difficulty with words.’

Dyslexia, also known as reading disability, is regarded as a neurobiological learning disability, manifesting in specific brain areas responsible for language processing. It is characterized by difficulties in reading, primarily due to challenges in decoding. The phonological component of language processing plays a pivotal role in these difficulties, leading to a deficit in reading, writing, and spelling skills (Ott, 1997). Dyslexic individuals possess average to above-average intelligence and typically have normal vision. While there is no cure for dyslexia, early assessment and intervention can significantly mitigate its effects.

2.2.1 The Enigma of Dyslexia’s Origins

Understanding the precise causes of dyslexia has proven elusive, with several hypotheses proposed. Decoding issues arising from specific brain malfunctions have been posited as a potential cause. Dyslexia often co-occurs with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Contrary to popular belief, it is unrelated to intelligence levels or external factors during or after pregnancy.

Heredity emerges as a prominent factor in dyslexia’s etiology, with approximately fifty percent of dyslexic children having one or both parents affected. Genetic factors are considered the primary direct cause of dyslexia, underscoring the importance of informing educators if there is a family history of dyslexia to facilitate early detection and intervention.

Efforts have been made to identify specific genes responsible for reading difficulties, revealing a complex genetic basis. Multiple genes contribute to dyslexia, each playing a distinct role, such as impacting brain growth or communication. Brain imaging scans of dyslexic individuals illustrate aberrant activity in brain regions crucial for reading, particularly in the decoding and word recognition processes.

2.2.2 The Dyslexic Cognitive Challenge

The cognitive challenges posed by dyslexia extend beyond reading difficulties. Dyslexic individuals exhibit distinct cognitive processing patterns. In a typical reading process, the brain decodes letters into sounds, combines these sounds into words, and subsequently comprehends the meaning. For instance, ’D-O-G’ is decoded as ’DOG,’ representing a friendly barking animal.

However, individuals with dyslexia experience difficulties in connecting letters to form words, often mixing up sounds within words. For example, ’nap’ might be read as ’pan.’ These challenges can lead to accelerated reading rates for dyslexic individuals.

Dyslexia is a heterogeneous condition, with some individuals adapting more easily than others. While dyslexia cannot be fully overcome, individuals can lead successful lives and thrive in educational settings with appropriate support.

2.2.3 Dyslexia as a Unique Learning Ability

Contemporary scholarship portrays dyslexia as a distinctive learning ability rather than a disability. Dyslexic individuals exhibit a spectrum of strengths and gifts alongside their conventional challenges. Creativity, in particular, often flourishes among dyslexic learners. The degree of difficulty in dyslexia varies from person to person, with misunderstandings and a lack of adequate support contributing to self-underestimation and depression.

Dyslexia is fundamentally a processing issue, where the dyslexic brain handles information differently from a typical brain. This distinctive processing pattern has a profound impact on writing and reading skills. Additionally, it extends to various cognitive domains, leading to the identification of five primary categories of dyslexic issues according to the International Dyslexia Association (2002, p: 34):

  1. Confusing similar-looking items.

  2. Linear sequence challenges.

  3. Short-term memory issues.

  4. Coordination difficulties.

  5. Writing and reading challenges.

2.2.4. Dyslexia in the Context of Language Teaching

In educational settings, teachers not well-versed in dyslexia may perceive dyslexic learners as lazy or easily distracted, inadvertently fostering self-underestimation among these students. It is imperative that educators acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to create inclusive learning environments for dyslexic learners.

2.2.4.1. The Knowledge Gap among Teachers

The knowledge gap among teachers regarding dyslexia has been a recurring concern. Mati (2014) highlighted that many elementary school teachers possess limited knowledge about dyslexia, attributing this gap to the inclusion of dyslexic students in general education classrooms and the lack of pre-service training. Some teachers even lack a basic understanding of the term ’dyslexia.’

Research by Bos et al. (2001) involving 336 pre-service and in-service teachers revealed inadequate familiarity with phonology-related terminology, impeding their ability to address dyslexic learners effectively. Similarly, Wadlington and Wadlington (2005) conducted a notable study in the USA, focusing on teachers’ beliefs about dyslexia using the Dyslexic Belief Index (DBI) they developed. The study found that many teachers held misconceptions, perceiving dyslexia primarily as word reversal, highlighting the pervasive lack of comprehensive and accurate knowledge about dyslexia.

Hamli (2019), in a study on teachers’ awareness of dyslexia in middle school education in Tlemcen, found that teachers in this region lacked insights into dyslexic learners’ unique learning styles. This deficiency manifested in three main areas: knowledge, identification of dyslexia, and classroom management.

These findings collectively underscore the inadequate preparedness of teachers to effectively support dyslexic learners due to the absence of pre-service training and limited opportunities for professional development in this domain.

2.2.4.2. Strategies and Approaches for Dyslexia-Inclusive Education

Effective strategies and approaches are essential for facilitating the learning of dyslexic students. Dyslexic learners often benefit more from hands-on activities than traditional reading-based instruction. Incorporating workshops and interactive activities into the curriculum can enhance their learning experiences.

Patience is paramount when teaching dyslexic learners, as they may require additional time and effort to grasp concepts. Frustration can hinder their progress, emphasizing the need for a patient and empathetic teaching approach. Creativity can also be a valuable asset, with teachers adapting their methods to suit the individual strengths and interests of dyslexic students, such as using visual aids or drawings.

Knudsen (2012) categorizes dyslexia-inclusive teaching strategies into three main classifications: assessment, didactics, and tools. Assessment involves providing dyslexic learners with extra time, shorter activities, and transitioning from written to oral evaluations. Didactics emphasizes teachers’ flexibility in adopting alternative teaching methods suited to dyslexic students, while tools refer to the instructional materials employed.

However, the limited awareness and knowledge among teachers often result in a focus on assessment strategies, neglecting the broader spectrum of didactic and tool-based approaches that could significantly benefit dyslexic learners.

In conclusion, the deficiency of knowledge and awareness among teachers is a central obstacle to the effective education of dyslexic students. Teachers require comprehensive training to better understand dyslexia and its implications, fostering more inclusive and supportive classrooms for these learners. Without adequate preparation and ongoing professional development, teachers may inadvertently marginalize dyslexic students, impeding their educational progress and emotional well-being.

3. Practical Application and Research Design

In this section, we delve into the practical aspects of our study, shedding light on the implementation of SWOT Analysis by educators in various private schools and examining its impact on their pedagogical practices concerning dyslexic students, as well as their understanding of Dyslexia. This section aims to empirically investigate the capacity of teachers to utilize SWOT Analysis as a tool for enhancing their educational quality in the context of Dyslexia.

3.1 Research Design

Our research employs a comprehensive mixed-method research design that integrates both quantitative and qualitative approaches to ensure a multifaceted exploration of our research objectives. This methodological choice is crucial in gathering and analyzing data effectively to fulfill our research goals.

To assess the influence of SWOT Analysis on teachers’ performance concerning individuals with Dyslexia, we conducted an experimental case study encompassing three distinct phases: a pre-phase, an analysis phase, and a post-phase. Employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques enhances data reliability and validity, facilitating the potential for broader result generalization. The adoption of triangulation as a data collection method, encompassing surveys, interviews, and classroom observations, contributes to the comprehensiveness of our findings.

The study was executed across ten private schools located in Tlemcen, catering to various educational levels, including primary, middle, and secondary. These schools offer supplementary courses in line with the national curriculum to enhance students’ academic performance. Data collection took place both on-site, within physical classroom settings, and online through diverse platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Teams, reflecting adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.

A total of sixty (60) teachers, aged between 22 and 50 years, were initially identified and selected across the ten private schools. However, the final sample consisted of forty-eight (48) teachers who voluntarily participated in the research process. These educators held positions in private schools, allowing them to teach at both middle and secondary levels. However, our research primarily focused on the middle-level teaching context.

Prior to engaging in the study, these teachers participated in an online training session focused on SWOT Analysis, providing them with essential knowledge and skills. Throughout the research process, these teachers graciously permitted researchers to observe their classroom sessions, engage in interviews, and complete questionnaires. The rationale for selecting this particular cohort of teachers lies in their shared challenges regarding teaching students with Dyslexia, as well as their varying levels of awareness and competence in utilizing SWOT Analysis as an instructional tool.

3.1.1. Participants

3.1.1.1 Criteria for Selecting Teacher Participants

The selection criteria for teachers were meticulously predetermined based on the model proposed by Hamli (2019:50). This model categorizes teacher characteristics into three primary domains: knowledge about Dyslexia, the ability to identify Dyslexia, and the capacity to manage Dyslexia within the classroom setting. In the initial phase of our research, this model was instrumental in identifying educators with limited awareness of Dyslexia, aligning with our research objectives.

Subsequently, it was discerned that all teachers invited to participate exhibited a significant deficiency in their understanding of Dyslexia as a learning disability. This characteristic was deemed beneficial for our research. The presence or absence of each element within the model determined the teachers’ overall awareness and proficiency regarding Dyslexia. The selection criteria encompassed the following:

  1. Knowledge About Dyslexia: Participants demonstrated minimal knowledge about Dyslexia, including its definition, characteristics, and implications for education.

  2. Ability to Identify Dyslexia: Teachers exhibited a limited capacity to recognize Dyslexic students within their classrooms, often misattributing their difficulties to other factors.

  3. Ability to Manage Dyslexia: Teachers displayed inefficiencies in effectively addressing the needs of Dyslexic students, lacking appropriate strategies and interventions.

The selection of teachers based on these criteria was pivotal in enabling us to explore the potential impact of SWOT Analysis on enhancing their awareness and pedagogical practices related to Dyslexia.

Figure 3: Criteria to Select Participant Teachers (Hamli, 2019, p. 50)

Knowledge about dyslexia

Indulgence towards spelling, pronunciation, and writing mistakes

Aware enough about the difficulties dyslexics face when expressing themselves orally

Knows that dyslexics read backwards

Treating them as dumb

Ability to identify dyslexia

Pays attention to the repetitive mistakes in their copybooks

Insists on rereading then checks their comprehension

Aware that they get easily distracted

Pays attention to their reading speed

Checks if they have vision problems

Checks if they spell words as they sound

Aware that they mispronounced long words

Complains about illegible handwriting

Ability to manage dyslexia

Adding positive comments to assess work

Focusing on dyslexic ‘s individual progress without comparing them to the rest of the class

Using the homework diary as a tool for communicating with parents.

Calling them stupid

Checks that instructions ae clear and fully understood by asking pupils to repeat them

Allows extra time in tests

Ensures that homework is written down correctly

Insists that dyslexics read aloud in class

3.1.1.2. Criteria for Selecting Participants

Our research focuses on dyslexic learners, whose characteristics have already been discussed in the theoretical section. These characteristics serve as indicators for identifying dyslexic individuals. To reiterate, the relevant characteristics, according to the International Dyslexia Association (2002, p: 34), include:

    1. Confusing Similar Items: Dyslexic learners often confuse visually similar letters such as “b,” “d,” “p,” and “q,” leading to word mix-ups like “ten,” “net,” “pet,” and “bet.” Additionally, they may struggle with distinguishing directions, such as “east” and “west.”

    2. Linear Sequence Issues: Dyslexia affects the ability to understand and follow sequences, such as the alphabet and sentences.

    3. Short-term Memory Issues: Dyslexic individuals often have limited short-term memory capabilities, necessitating increased effort to retain information.

    4. Coordination Issues: Dyslexia can manifest as visible physical challenges, including pronunciation difficulties, stuttering, and clumsiness, a condition known as ’Dyspraxia.’

    5. Writing and Reading Issues: The hallmark of Dyslexia, characterized by difficulties in both reading and writing.

3.1.2. Data Collection Procedures

Our research aims to enhance teaching practices for individuals with Dyslexia through the application of SWOT Analysis. To achieve this objective, the study was divided into three distinct phases. The first phase focused on assessing the current state, as SWOT Analysis primarily addresses the present situation under examination. The second phase involved teacher training in SWOT Analysis and its application. As teachers lacked prior knowledge of SWOT, a specialist in SWOT Analysis conducted training sessions to provide insights into the methodology, followed by its application to first-year middle school textbooks. The final phase involved returning to observe teachers’ practices with Dyslexic individuals and conducting interviews to assess the impact of applying SWOT Analysis in this context.

3.2. Data Analysis

Our study employed a triangulated approach to data collection, incorporating a questionnaire, interviews, and classroom observations. These findings were subjected to both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

3.2.1 First Phase Results

3.2.1.1. Classroom Observation

The initial phase served as a reference for assessing teachers’ progress in teaching individuals with Dyslexia before and after applying SWOT Analysis. Classroom observations aimed to identify teachers with low or no awareness of Dyslexia. This awareness encompassed knowledge about Dyslexia, the ability to recognize Dyslexic individuals, and the capability to effectively manage the situation, collectively contributing to overall awareness.

During twelve classroom observation sessions across ten private schools in Tlemcen, it became evident that 90% of teachers were severely unaware of Dyslexia as a term. Furthermore, they exhibited high levels of unawareness concerning the presence of individuals with Dyslexia in their classrooms, rendering them incapable of identification or appropriate management. The remaining 10% of teachers displayed limited knowledge about Dyslexia and made some efforts to identify and manage individuals with Dyslexia; however, their attempts were largely unsuccessful.

In addition to observing teachers, researchers also observed dyslexic learners, noting that most of them were introverted, hesitant to participate in class discussions, and perpetually uncomfortable.

3.2.1.2. Teachers’ Questionnaire

Following the selection of teachers with low or no awareness of Dyslexia, a questionnaire was administered to gauge their awareness levels. The questionnaire also explored whether teachers possessed any prior knowledge of SWOT Analysis, which served a dual purpose: determining the extent of their initial awareness and assessing their subsequent understanding of SWOT Analysis and its application for improving their practices related to Dyslexia.

Analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed that 98% of teachers had no knowledge or understanding of SWOT Analysis and its application. Only 2% displayed limited familiarity with the concept. Additionally, the analysis indicated that a significant majority (85%) of teachers were unaware of Dyslexia’s existence, leading to an inability to identify its characteristics and manage it effectively. The remaining 15% displayed minimal awareness of Dyslexia; however, they lacked knowledge of how to handle it effectively.

Figure 4: Teachers’ awareness of Dyslexia

Figure 4: Teachers’ awareness of Dyslexia

3.2.2. The Second Phase Results

This phase was established due to teachers’ lack of familiarity with SWOT Analysis, and it was structured into two parts: training in SWOT Analysis, followed by its practical application in teaching practices related to Dyslexia.

3.2.2.1. The Training Analysis

Following the comprehensive explanation provided by researchers, teachers were tasked with applying SWOT Analysis to first-year middle school textbooks to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with these materials. This served as preparation for their subsequent application of SWOT Analysis in the context of the research.

The objective was to emphasize the four components of SWOT Analysis concerning various aspects of the textbook, including linguistic, pedagogical, cultural, and psychological dimensions. Teachers were divided into four groups, with each group assigned to analyze one aspect of the textbook:

  • Group (1): Focused on the linguistic aspect.

  • Group (2): Analyzed the pedagogical aspect.

  • Group (3): Examined the cultural aspect.

  • Group (4): Explored the psychological aspect.

As SWOT Analysis involves creating written matrices, teachers were provided with ample time to conduct their analyses and present their findings. Subsequently, researchers reviewed these matrices to assess whether the teachers had grasped the principles of SWOT Analysis and effectively applied the methodology.

Analysis of the four matrices revealed that all four groups demonstrated a high level of proficiency and competence in applying SWOT Analysis, adhering to the prescribed steps for extracting the four elements. Additionally, all teachers effectively defined the analysis’s context, while an impressive 98.71% of the total teachers successfully articulated the goals and objectives.

This phase indicated that teachers quickly adapted to SWOT Analysis, demonstrating their ability to comprehend and employ its principles effectively. Their successful application of SWOT Analysis to assess the textbook’s various dimensions underscored their aptitude for grasping and utilizing this analytical tool.

Image 10000201000003140000020F390707C7715C6A20.png

Figure 5: Teachers’ Ability to identify the objectives of the analysis.

In addition, all participants adeptly extracted strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and adeptly classified them into matrices, meticulously following a well-structured methodology. The subsequent analysis delving into the methodology aspect revealed that an impressive 97.75% of the teachers effectively translated the results (the four SWOT elements) into practical planning strategies. Moreover, they thought critically about potential implementations and decisions for enhancing the first-year textbook.

3.2.2.2. The Training Analysis

This stage represents the practical culmination of the second research phase. Teachers engaged in the application of SWOT Analysis to their teaching practices, specifically focusing on dyslexic learners. Initially, teachers responded to SWOT-related questions, utilizing the insights generated to formulate new strategies and methods aimed at facilitating improved outcomes for these learners. The subsequent analysis of teachers’ responses to the SWOT questionnaire yielded the following results:

  • A significant portion of teachers admitted to lacking unique skills when it came to addressing the needs of dyslexic learners. An overwhelming 90% of teachers conveyed their inability to grasp the concept of dyslexia, underscoring their severe lack of awareness. Only a mere 10% identified patience and repetition as their primary skills in managing dyslexic learners.

  • Teachers were also probed about their beliefs and values when instructing dyslexic individuals. Approximately 20% of teachers asserted that they upheld a non-discriminatory stance, treating dyslexic and non-dyslexic learners equally and recognizing the potential for dyslexic individuals to learn effectively. Conversely, the remaining 80% acknowledged the importance of boosting the self-esteem of dyslexic learners through praise and encouragement, as they had no alternative methods at their disposal.

  1. Rubric II: Weaknesses: In light of the teachers’ responses, a compilation of weaknesses was formulated. Approximately 60% of teachers identified their deficiency in psychological knowledge as a significant impediment to effectively teaching and managing dyslexic learners. On the contrary, 40% acknowledged the need to bolster their understanding of pedagogy, communication techniques, patience, and empathy. Moreover, 30% of teachers revealed their limitations in linguistic knowledge, while an alarming 70% indicated a severe deficit in neurolinguistic background. Additionally, 50% of teachers lacked psycho-pedagogical knowledge, further underscoring their limitations in dealing with dyslexic learners.

  2. Rubric III: Opportunities: To stimulate teachers’ reflection on external opportunities for enhancing their knowledge and practices concerning dyslexic learners, they were prompted to explore potential avenues. Approximately 40% of respondents candidly admitted to having yet to explore these opportunities and therefore remained oblivious to them. In contrast, 30% recognized that online training specifically tailored for teaching dyslexic individuals held potential. Interestingly, 30% of teachers proposed that specialists such as speech therapists, psychologists, pedagogues, and even neurologists could conduct conferences to augment teachers’ awareness and expertise in this domain.

  3. Rubric IV: Threats: Teachers were further prodded to anticipate potential threats they might face. Remarkably, their responses uniformly converged on one central concern: the apprehension of losing patience, even after acquiring more comprehensive knowledge about dyslexia.

3.2.3. The Third Phase

3.2.3.1. Teachers’ Interview Analysis

This phase encompassed structured interviews with teachers, conducted following the application of SWOT Analysis. Teachers were presented with a series of questions to elucidate their impressions and perceptions regarding SWOT Analysis and its utility in teaching. The ensuing results exhibited diverse responses:

  • A notable 30% of interviewees found SWOT Analysis particularly intriguing for its capacity to predict future external threats — a facet often overlooked in their teaching practices. Concurrently, 50% of respondents highlighted the unique versatility of SWOT Analysis, emphasizing its applicability at both the collaborative and personal levels. Furthermore, 10% of teachers expressed their motivation and excitement in transforming adverse factors into positive ones. The remaining 10% expressed enthusiasm for applying SWOT Analysis within a group of teachers, recognizing the benefits of idea sharing and improved comprehension of SWOT in a collaborative context.

A significant finding was that 89% of teachers acknowledged SWOT Analysis as a valuable tool for approaching and understanding the challenges faced by dyslexic learners. They further emphasized that SWOT Analysis had a positive impact on their teaching practices with dyslexic individuals, motivating them to engage in further research and deepen their knowledge of dyslexia. This analytical tool was deemed practical and constructive, enabling teachers to develop an ongoing improvement process.

3.2.3.2. Observation Analysis

Subsequently, researchers returned after one month, attending new sessions with teachers to assess the extent to which they had applied the findings of their SWOT analyses to devise new strategies. Researchers’ observations yielded the following insights:

  • With respect to teachers’ knowledge about dyslexia, 85% of teachers demonstrated improvement, displaying greater tolerance towards spelling, pronunciation, and writing errors among dyslexic learners. Conversely, only 15% of teachers still exhibited impatience in this regard. Additionally, 82% of teachers acquired strategies for addressing the oral communication challenges faced by dyslexic learners, resorting to non-verbal cues and gestures as substitutes for challenging words. Furthermore, all teachers experienced a transformation in their beliefs about teaching dyslexic learners, demonstrating increased adaptability and understanding.

The researchers discerned that, at this stage, dyslexic learners experienced reduced stress levels, displayed increased self-confidence, and demonstrated greater willingness to participate and interact with their teachers.

Conclusion

  1. The First Phase: The quantitative analysis of the teachers’ responses to the questionnaire in the initial research phase revealed a significant deficiency in their comprehension of SWOT Analysis. Their responses indicated a fundamental lack of knowledge regarding the methodology, definition, components, and interpretation of SWOT findings. These findings underscored the acute lack of awareness among teachers regarding SWOT Analysis.
    The qualitative analysis reinforced the notion that the selected teachers were profoundly unaware of dyslexia due to their limited knowledge about this condition.
    Consequently, they exhibited an inability to identify dyslexic individuals within their classrooms, resulting in a corresponding incapability to manage them effectively. Despite their extensive experience and years of teaching, they displayed limited knowledge concerning dyslexia.

  2. The Second Phase: Quantitative analysis of the training phase demonstrated significant benefits for teachers, enabling them to grasp the fundamentals of SWOT Analysis, its practical application, and the interpretation of its findings. They successfully applied SWOT Analysis to assess the linguistic, pedagogical, cultural, and psychological aspects of first-year textbooks, thereby identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Subsequently, they formulated new strategies and alternatives to enhance textbook quality.

  3. The Third Phase: Quantitative analysis of the third research phase revealed that teachers exhibited a high level of competence when applying SWOT Analysis to their teaching practices. They skillfully interpreted SWOT findings into effective strategies for improved instruction of dyslexic learners. Teachers presented innovative models and strategies for teaching dyslexic individuals, signifying their enhanced awareness of suitable teaching methodologies for this specific group.

Qualitative analysis unveiled that teachers had gained a comprehensive understanding of SWOT Analysis. Moreover, SWOT Analysis proved instrumental in enhancing teachers’ teaching practices with dyslexic learners. The observed development in teachers’ knowledge and performance compared to the first phase was particularly noteworthy. Teachers demonstrated a superior understanding of dyslexia and appropriate teaching methodologies for dyslexic individuals.

In conclusion, this study offers a model to support teachers both inside and outside the classroom when dealing with dyslexic learners. The analysis of results affirms the accuracy of all three hypotheses. Firstly, teachers exhibited a low level of knowledge concerning SWOT Analysis, as confirmed in the first research phase. Their understanding of SWOT Analysis, its components, and the steps for conducting such an analysis was limited. Thus, the first hypothesis regarding teachers’ limited knowledge of SWOT Analysis is valid. This underscores the imperative for teachers to explore new trends and methods to enhance their teaching practices.

The second hypothesis, asserting that teachers can understand and apply SWOT Analysis reasonably well, was confirmed through the analysis of results from the training phase. Teachers adeptly grasped the principles of SWOT Analysis and proficiently applied this analytical tool to evaluate first-year textbooks. They skillfully identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, subsequently proposing strategies to improve textbook quality. Thus, the second hypothesis regarding teachers’ capacity to comprehend and apply SWOT Analysis is substantiated.

The third hypothesis, positing that teachers can enhance their knowledge and teaching practices concerning dyslexic learners through SWOT Analysis, has been empirically verified. By granting teachers ample time to apply SWOT Analysis within the classroom setting, researchers were able to observe its positive impact. Teachers proposed innovative strategies for teaching dyslexic learners and demonstrated greater flexibility in accommodating their needs. Additionally, interview results indicated teachers’ satisfaction with the influence of SWOT Analysis, enabling them to define dyslexia and recognize its characteristics. Consequently, as teachers become more proficient in identifying and managing dyslexic learners, they will foster more effective instruction. In summary, all three hypotheses have been confirmed, affirming the validity of the researchers’ speculations.

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Figure 1: The Elements Building a SWOT Analysis

Figure 1: The Elements Building a SWOT Analysis

Figure2: SWOT Analysis Diagram (Google Images/www.foresightguide.com)

Figure2: SWOT Analysis Diagram (Google Images/www.foresightguide.com)

Figure 4: Teachers’ awareness of Dyslexia

Figure 4: Teachers’ awareness of Dyslexia

Amani Bakhtaoui

Abou Bekr Belkaid – Tlemcen University

Achraf Marouf

Abou Bekr Belkaid – Tlemcen University

Faiza Hadam Bouabdallah

Abou Bekr Belkaid – Tlemcen University

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