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Education and Employment

Researchers to develop writing intervention to improve learning for students with learning disabilities

cheerful kids playing together in daycare center for kids with disabilities

Institute of Education Sciences, Georgia State University professor Cynthia Puranik, and colleagues at Seton Hall University are developing a writing-focused intervention program for students with language-based learning disabilities, received $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. 

Students with learning disabilities have a disability-related to spoken or written language, which “negatively impacts their ability to read, spell or write and also negatively impacts academic performance,” she explained.

Puranik and Anthony Koutsoftas, associate professor in Seton Hall’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology, will create writing intervention materials special educators and speech-language pathologists can use for small group instruction to meet educational goals for students with learning disabilities.

This collaboration, called Writing in Students with learning disabilities, will test and refine the new writing intervention with 16 educators and 50 fourth- and fifth-grade students with learning disabilities.

“There is a great need for educators to gain knowledge on the structure of spoken and written language to improve literacy outcomes for students with learning disabilities,” said Puranik, a professor in the university’s College of Education & Human Development. “The ability to write is necessary for academic success. Additionally, writing is a requisite skill for obtaining gainful employment, whether an individual completes higher education or moves directly into the workforce.”

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