By introducing students to the Arabic language and improving their skills in different types of speech activity, one should take into account that active perception should be promoted. In the context of working with younger pupils, building an educational program based on emotional contact can help establish contact and identify the members of the study group who are most active and, therefore, can serve as an example for other students.
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This type of activity is essential because when differentiating the written system of the Arabic language, children have to learn many nuances and peculiar features. In case a child is not a native speaker, this brings to him or her additional difficulties. For the teaching staff, involving students in active work may also be difficult due to the lack of interest of the target audience and difficulties for pupils in learning the complex language structure of the language.
Today, the development of digital technology allows moving to more advanced and effective teaching methods. For elementary schools, there are special tools that simplify the work of teachers and, at the same time, serve as valuable resources with diverse programs for preparing students. As these instruments, various technological developments are used, for instance, mobile applications or websites with convenient learning modes. Children perceive visual information better, which allows teachers to benefit by offering colorful and interactive tutorials and supporting materials to classrooms.
As a result, the utilization of such digital platforms can simplify the educational regime significantly, and studying the differentiation of Arabic reading can also become a more interesting task, despite the complexity of the learning process. Thus, introducing technological developments can help attract the attention of the target audience consisting of primary school children, and in the case of using these resources’ capabilities competently, increasing the academic success of pupils may be possible.
This paper includes discussions on why differentiation in reading Arabic is a responsible and important task that should be implemented at an early age. Also, the existing developments in the field of digital technologies will be considered in relation to this topic, and some unique applications and websites will be evaluated comprehensively as targeted learning resources. As examples of the challenges with the implementation of this educational task, special justifications will be offered, including statistical results and feedbacks from real stakeholders. Several targeted websites will be examined in more detail, and their analysis will help identify how to choose the right tool for digital learning.
Despite the fact that some resources offer ineffective tasks, their design, in particular, colorfulness and interactivity, attract children’s interest, which serves as a valuable and motivating driver. The disclosure of differentiation levels in Arabic reading is an important teacher’s objective, and the use of appropriate online platforms as auxiliary elements may be a successful mechanism to realize teaching potential and help children achieve their intermediate academic outcomes successfully.
Background on the Value of Differentiation in Arabic Reading
The differentiation of education is one of the means of implementing an individual approach to children. This principle is achieved through such an educational process that is characterized by taking into account the personal differences of students in certain skills. Its implementation is possible provided that a teacher possesses the information about the potential cognitive abilities of each pupil in order to monitor the actual level of reading skills systematically.
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This is the first step in the introduction of differentiation in teaching reading, which results in the identification of students’ physiological and intellectual characteristics and monitoring the level of substantive achievements. In this regard, teachers involved in the differentiated practice program should follow an individual approach strategy that is realized through constant interaction with the target audience and allows not only identifying specific features of student learning but also maintaining productive communication during classes.
When teaching the Arabic language to primary school students, differentiation is an important aspect that allows introducing the necessary practical models of interaction with pupils and maintaining the interest of every child involved in the educational process, regardless of his or her individual abilities. According to Deunk, Smale-Jacobse, de Boer, Doolaard, and Bosker (2018), as one of the strategies used in this context, “within-class homogeneous ability grouping” may be a valuable and convenient technique for distributing the workload among primary school students (p. 36). This approach has several valuable advantages that are revealed during the educational process.
Firstly, students do not feel teacher bias if they receive separate tasks together and can show their strengths in unique types of work. Secondly, the convenience for teachers is manifested since pupils are involved in learning and do not lose time on meaningless and obscure activities that do not bear any practical significance for them because of their high complexity or, conversely, ease. Thirdly, grouping helps increase students’ personal responsibility for the tasks assigned and offers productive types of individual work. Thus, several significant objectives are achieved, and all educational stages are implemented.
Another value of differentiation in reading is that not only the final learning outcomes are taken into account but also the intermediate academic achievements of students, which is an important indicator of the educational process. As Jefferson, Grant, and Sander (2017) argue, in many primary school classes, the key focus of the workload is “on skills of reading fluency and word identification” (p. 98).
This means that a unified approach to interaction with the target audience is applied, which does not allow each pupil to realize one’s potential and, at the same time, can serve as a brake for some students who do not cope with the curriculum. In the context of teaching the Arabic language, such a unified methodology may be fraught with significant challenges for some children who are difficult to perceive the linguistic system and demonstrate their peers’ results. In order to prevent such a gap in knowledge, the entire mode of work should be built on an individual approach and the division of educational tasks in accordance with students’ performance. Differentiation, in this case, is a convenient and unbiased tool for creating the necessary learning conditions.
Based on this value of task separation, it is essential to consider what mechanisms exist for involving primary school students in a reading-based learning mode with the course on differentiation. Today, access to the digital base is free in most educational institutions, and the introduction of special technological innovations can serve as a useful practice that simplifies the structure of the curriculum and helps promote an individual approach.
In such conditions, students perceive the learning material better since any visualization integrated into the educational process makes teaching more productive and interesting, which is important for interacting with younger students. Therefore, the assessment of the existing developments and achievements made by the English department is a valuable task in the context of the proposed issue.
Current Success and Achievements
In order to implement a program of differentiated teaching in Arabic reading, one can pay attention to the experience of colleagues from the English department, who have managed to apply relevant and convenient resources. Since modern curricula allow and encourage the use of digital technologies in learning, specific online platforms are valuable tools to attract the attention of younger students and, at the same time, solve important teaching tasks.
As these supporting resources, some popular websites have been used that offer extensive exercises and training courses for students of different ages. Their convenience lies in the fact that the work process can be designed to correspond with certain skills and knowledge, and the multi-level range of tasks allows differentiating the learning mode of reading quickly and easily.
One of such resources is the Raz Kids platform that contains numerous educational sections and offers many opportunities for solving diverse teacher tasks, including the introduction of differentiated reading projects. In addition, it proposes links to additional sources, for instance, Kids A-Z, which is a convenient and comprehensive service for learning the basics of English reading (“Manage students,” 2020). According to the information provided on the official website, the resource contains more than 50,000 supporting materials that are in line with modern educational trends and provide an opportunity to develop the necessary reading skills (“Manage students,” 2020, para. 3).
As these materials, textbooks, tutorials, abstracts of digital lessons, quizzes, and other forms of schoolchildren training are offered (“Manage students,” 2020). For the English department, this resource is a convenient tool because it contains topics on each aspect of reading, alphabetical classification, and the training of more complex skills (“Manage students,” 2020). As a result, utilizing the capabilities of this platform allows students to become interested and, at the same time, helps teachers select individual training programs among a variety of supporting materials.
As an alternative resource that one can pass to from Raz Kids, Learning A-Z is the project that also includes a wide range of valuable training materials to create the conditions for introducing a differentiation program in reading. The website indicates that the operating algorithms are configured in such a way that there are 29 levels of difficulty in total, which allows working with students of different ages, including elementary schoolchildren (“Reading A-Z,” 2020, para. 2).
In addition, dual-language projects are presented on this platform, which is a valuable development for integrated classes (“Reading A-Z,” 2020). For the English department, this resource is a convenient tool that allows finding not only educational materials but also various teaching standards that, in addition, can be downloaded (“Reading A-Z,” 2020). Using the capabilities of this digital platform helps expand the range of interventions significantly, and it not only gives a chance to realize the current learning objectives but also contributes to the further development of students’ skills by presenting all materials in a convenient and accessible form.
Based on the experience of colleagues from the English department, one can argue that the use of the aforementioned resources is of high practical importance and allows solving a number of important teaching tasks. What is more important in the context of the proposed topic, these digital platforms provide access to training programs in accordance with the principles of differentiation in reading. While speaking about the merits of these websites, many experts note a wide variety of tasks and exercises divided by the levels of students’ knowledge. This option may be utilized with benefits since there is no need to analyze and organize all materials manually.
Ready-made assignments and tutorials are built in an interactive format, and due to an attractive design and ease of navigation, the website interface is understandable to all the parties involved. Thus, these resources are of high practical importance in the topic of differentiation in reading. Studying additional platforms can provide a comprehensive picture of the available formats and draw conclusions regarding the most convenient tools.
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Useful Digital Applications to Differentiate in Reading
Modern services that facilitate the task of teachers to implement differentiation programs in reading are numerous, and in the global network, many auxiliary resources may be found. For instance, such a digital application as Rainbow Sentences that is available on the App Store allows primary school students to train their knowledge interactively (“Rainbow Sentences,” 2019). This resource has more than once been awarded official prizes as a valuable and high-tech instrument providing highly specialized services to a specific target audience (“Rainbow Sentences,” 2019).
To work on the program of differentiation in reading, this application can be utilized as an auxiliary tool. Despite the fact that the functionality of the program is quite limited and does not have a wide range of options, in the context of the topic under discussion, the application may be used with benefits as a platform for training reading at different levels with advanced design solutions.
Another convenient service that gives primary school teachers an opportunity to implement a differentiation system in reading is designed specifically for grades 2 and 3. This application is called Reading Comprehension Grades 2-3, and its functionality allows children with different levels of skills to apply the necessary knowledge in a game form (“Reading comprehension grades 2-3,” 2019). Numerous quizzes are a valuable addition to the features of the application, and due to simple vocabulary and convenient transition to various options, the service may be applied both during lessons and at home (“Rainbow Sentences,” 2019).
In addition, according to the official information, this resource was developed by professional specialists in the field of primary education and can be used by parents as a convenient tool for testing children’s knowledge (“Rainbow Sentences,” 2019). Therefore, this application may be a valuable mechanism for implementing differentiation in reading due to different levels of the complexity of texts and quizzes.
Addressing the need to promote differentiation in reading is not the only prospect that may be achieved through the use of digital tools. The Reading Trainer application is a convenient resource not only to train visual perception skills at different levels but also develop cognitive abilities (“Reading trainer,” 2019). A system of quizzes and exercises designed with different categories of complexity allows children to participate in the educational process actively.
At the same time, as the developers of the application argue, their product provides an opportunity to increase memorization skills, form spatial thinking, and help increase attention (“Reading trainer,” 2019). In addition, the resource is available in different languages, which is also an advantage. Therefore, this digital application may become a convenient auxiliary tool in improving the reading skills of primary school students and act as an algorithm for selecting the optimal exercises in accordance with the differentiation system.
Issue of Differentiation in Arabic Reading in Grades 2 and Grade 3
In the context of studying the Arabic language and, in particular, promoting a differentiation program in grades 2 and 3, the experience of colleagues can be valuable. However, their specificity differs due to distinctive language groups and, consequently, areas of activity. For teachers in primary schools, it is essential to develop a unique strategy for interacting with students to offer them a productive and, at the same time, interesting curriculum. Therefore, the issue of differentiating reading in Arabic is an urgent task that needs to be addressed in the immediate learning environment.
Sound perception is one of the key problems that appear when teaching younger students to read in Arabic. According to Poyas and Bawardi (2018), children have difficulties in distinguishing between similar sounds, and identifying appropriate vowels is challenging for them. The authors also note that visual perception is not easy due to the peculiarities of the Arabic alphabet (Poyas & Bawardi, 2018). Some letters that have similar shapes are not easy to remember quickly and require constant repetition to avoid mistakes.
In this regard, preliminary, teachers need to carry out work on teaching primary school students the basics of the alphabetical composition of the language and elementary words in order to compare and distinguish corresponding units. Poyas and Bawardi (2018) argue that children cannot remember short and long vowels pronounced in Arabic quickly, and the task is to familiarize the target audience with numerous examples of how specific words sound with similar pronunciation. All these aspects create difficulties for younger students and are the rationale for developing the necessary training programs to help children adapt to the peculiarities of the language and reproduce speech orally.
Since in primary school, problems with language perception appear, it is important to create conditions in which every student could have an opportunity to train one’s skills individually. In their research, Poyas and Bawardi (2018) state that among the teachers surveyed, 70% report hearing problems that their pupils have, which may be the reason for insufficient attention to children’s health (p. 6). According to the authors, preliminarily, in kindergarten and at home, future students should learn the basics of reading to be ready for the school curriculum (Poyas & Bawardi, 2018). Otherwise, they may have difficulties in adapting to continuous work in group conditions.
Many children go to school with a different academic background, and this is an obstacle to offering common tasks for all students since some of them cannot absorb the proposed materials and demonstrate poor learning outcomes. Thus, the problem of perception is a direct prerequisite for reading difficulties in elementary school. To solve this issue, a differentiated technique may be applied as a convenient mechanism that allows finding an approach to each pupil and contributes to faster adaptation to the learning environment.
For students of grades 2 and 3, a unique system of interaction with teachers is required since children do not have knowledge of advanced learning methods and the importance of self-study. In this regard, the tools for interaction should be convenient and understandable. If a teacher uses complex and unified methods, this can complicate the task because the lack of basic knowledge in some pupils is fraught with the loss of their interest in reading.
This, in turn, may affect their further academic results adversely. Therefore, the game form of contact with children is the most acceptable and convenient strategy. In addition, this is a flexible algorithm that allows realizing the possibilities of differentiated learning. In case children from the same class have different reading skills in Arabic, a teacher can resort to digital content with interesting and categorized tasks. A focus on the weaknesses of individual students should be made in order to create a learning environment in which they can hone and improve their skills. Thus, differentiation in Arabic reading is an important aspect of teaching practice in the case of problems demonstrated by individual pupils.
Examples of the Issue in the Educational Environment
In the educational environment in which differentiation in reading is applied through the introduction of digital technologies and special online applications, there are unique approaches to the organization of the learning process. Teachers promoting this strategy of interaction with the target audience use modern developments not only as auxiliary tools but also as accompanying algorithms for solving other tasks, for instance, building social relationships among students. By utilizing individual case studies and findings as examples, one can see how digital programs and other online resources can help promote active teaching and achieve effective outcomes of interventions through convenient academic instruments.
The use of digital developments may be a convenient program to help primary school students with reading difficulties. Parenti and Chen (2015) give an example of a case study in which they describe an intervention based on the implementation of a virtual learning technique by using Internet resources. In accordance with the results of the review, the proposal of such a program of work has proved its effectiveness for children with poor academic results (Parenti & Chen, 2015).
In particular, in addition to improving reading skills, additional benefits have been identified. Parenti and Chen (2015) note that special Internet platforms were offered to students not only as an auxiliary tool for learning but also as a place for building social relations in their educational environment. As a result, children have managed to achieve the necessary results not only due to frequent training but also an opportunity to communicate with one another in writing, thereby improving personal reading skills and replenishing their vocabulary. These outcomes prove the convenience of utilizing digital developments as tools that can bring significant benefits in case of competent use and help teachers motivate their pupils.
The practice of working jointly, in particular, shared reading, may have positive consequences and can become a convenient methodology for implementing the differentiation program. Jones, Conradi, and Amendum (2016) consider this principle of the organization of the educational process and note that creating the conditions for the formation of reading skills in younger students can take place in teams. The authors note that the technique of imitation, which is achieved by repeating materials by pupils, has a positive effect, and children become more self-confident if supported by peers and a teacher (Jones et al., 2016).
Unlike traditional forms of choral reading, Jones et al. (2016) suggest paying attention to more modern mechanisms of training visual perception and recommend applying a group intervention strategy with separation by skill levels. In this case, digital auxiliary materials can also be useful since the game environment created by using virtual technologies during classes attracts children and helps them to realize their abilities to the maximum. Thus, shared reading in separate groups, which is supported by the introduction of digital tools, may be a convenient strategy for working with primary school students.
Teaching primary school students with various developmental disorders is a particular cause of introducing differentiation in reading. Elazab Elshazly (2016) provides reasoning on how the educational process should be structured if pupils with dyslexia are the target audience. This disorder involves problems with the visual perception of written information, and teachers need to follow special strategies to involve children in their work and help them to adapt. Elazab Elshazly (2016) suggests integrating modern technology into the learning process in order to simplify the studying of students with similar disorders and argues that “technology is facilitating and making it easy to differentiate instructions among diverse students” (p. 40).
The utilization of digital tools in education may be accompanied both by work on online platforms and operating with the help of modern gadgets with a touch screen function. According to the author, these devices help pupils complete assignments individually, which is one of the conditions for differentiation, and contribute to faster material learning due to the widespread use of digital technology (Elazab Elshazly, 2016). Therefore, such a mechanism of teaching may be useful in the context of the issue under consideration.
Interested Parties’ Experiences
The experience of teachers in working on differentiation programs in reading is a valuable background, and interested parties’ direct opinions regarding the features and difficulties of implementing this activity can help determine the best ways of interventions. Snijders (2017) describes the techniques developed for introducing reading enhancement projects among primary school students. In addition, the author cites interviews with teachers who answer questions related to the specifics of activities in this mode and possible recommendations concerning the optimization of all related procedures (Snijders, 2017). According to the findings, some teachers express uncertainty about the correctness of their approach to the differentiation program, and for some, preparing for this work is a difficult task (Snijders, 2017).
Moreover, the convenience of using appropriate tools that simplify the process of working in the differentiation mode depends on employees’ experience directly. Despite the success of individual teachers, many of them report problems caused by unusual conditions of interaction with students, and Snijders (2017) notes that these challenges may be caused by insufficient skills in utilizing digital technologies. Therefore, preliminary familiarization with relevant educational tools is an important working aspect that should be respected thoroughly.
The experience of literary critics can also be valuable in determining which challenges both teachers and students may encounter while working in the differentiation mode in reading. One of the sources that offer relevant information on this topic is an interview with Kevin McCloskey, which Salvadore (2019) conducts as an experienced expert in the early childhood education sphere. The author notes that unique approaches to creating fascinating children’s works may be helpful as strategies for creating convenient educational materials for pupils with different levels of reading skills (Salvadore, 2019).
As one example, Salvadore (2019) clarifies that her respondent, the author of many children’s works, uses an alphabetic technique to describe various representatives of the fauna, which, in turn, develops the horizons of younger students and, most importantly, helps them better understand spelling of specific names and how they look in texts. This mechanism of work stimulates pupils’ interest and helps teachers categorize the available literature used as textbooks and supporting materials for differentiated reading. Thus, the application of suitable preparatory print and digital textbooks is an important task in a dynamic and differentiated learning environment.
Finally, it is essential to raise the issue of the possibilities of introducing a differentiation strategy in the learning environment, taking into account training modes based on teachers’ experience. Stewart (2016) provides a detailed study of school employees’ skills concerning their perception of this working methodology. In particular, the author pays particular attention to the methods that teachers use as stages in establishing the necessary working environment and analyzes the answers to interview questions about the principles of differentiation in relation to improving reading skills of the target audience (Stewart, 2016).
In accordance with the results, the predominant number of teachers confirms that the implementation of relevant programs is possible only if they have enough time to develop and incorporate the necessary materials (Stewart, 2016). This means that in conditions of high workload, it is difficult to monitor available digital materials, prepare the necessary tools, and think out a strategy for delivering materials. Therefore, one of the prerequisites for competent work in relation to differentiation in reading is a sufficient amount of time that should be spent on preparing lessons with the integration of digital developments in the educational process.
Basic Conditions for Implementation
Introducing a differentiation strategy in reading in Arabic requires planning in order to avoid the aforementioned problems with the implementation of the provisions of the course. In addition to the practical nuances of work, for instance, finding the necessary academic background, budgetary issues should be taken into account. In particular, the use of any advanced digital equipment is costly because, in most cases, popular and efficient programs have a paid subscription.
As a rule, this money is not too big, and the school budget may provide for this expense item in advance. The entire implementation process will take place without any preparatory procedures since the vast majority of students of grades 2 and 3 are familiar with Internet technologies. On the basis of a regular school, lessons can be held several times a week, and at the end of the course, the corresponding results will be summed up and discussed. All this set of measures can improve the quality of children’s reading, and choosing an optimal application is a crucial task.
Existing Valuable Websites and Their Content
In order to evaluate potentially valuable digital platforms for promoting a differentiation strategy in reading in Arabic among students of grades 2 and 3, special websites will be reviewed with informational content intended for students of this age group. One of such resources is the Asafeer project with convenient supporting materials that may be utilized in the learning process (“Asafeer,” n.d.).
The peculiarity of this website is that in addition to individual sections dividing training materials by the categories of difficulty, teachers can use detailed reports that indicate key errors and potential areas for improvement, which might be taken. In addition, on this digital platform, a wide range of fascinating comics is presented, which will be of interest to younger students due to their vivid plots. Asafeer offers a free trial version, which is convenient if several resources are planned to be compared in order to choose the optimal working strategy (“Asafeer,” n.d.). This resource encourages pupils’ continued communication with teachers and helps establish a supportive learning environment.
Another digital resource that can help introduce an Arabic reading program among younger students is the Lamsa app designed specifically as a support platform for teachers and parents (“Lamsa,” 2019). This project offers various topics for study and sections in which educational materials are collected. In the context of implementing a differentiated approach to reading, the application offers children various stories and games. In addition, the website is updated with new tasks constantly, and the content is varied in order to consolidate the material covered and learn new techniques (“Lamsa,” 2019).
However, as a disadvantage of the website, one can remark that to implement the project of differentiation in Arabic reading, teachers need to choose the necessary tasks themselves because the content does not involve dividing by difficulty levels (“Lamsa,” 2019). The developers argue that Lamsa is suitable for children from two to eight (“Lamsa,” 2019). Nevertheless, there is no special classification, which complicates the search mode.
As a convenient and thematically rich digital resource, such a website like Ijana may be chosen as a platform to simplify reading tasks for primary school students (“Ijana,” n.d.). In addition to a simple interface and categorization in accordance with the types of tasks, this site is one of the recognized leaders, while taking into account the awards and prizes it has received during online activities (“Ijana,” n.d.). Children understand learning objectives better if they see simple and logical explanations, for instance, the interaction of words and images, pronunciation and letters, and other correlations that the resource offers to study (“Ijana,” n.d.).
The division of reading modes into separate categories based on difficulty levels makes the learning process as accessible as possible and does not require additional material searches. As a result, the service offers convenient and multitasking projects with carefully designed tasks and a wide range of options, including game, sound, visual, and other exercises (“Ijana,” n.d.). Therefore, the website is a potentially effective and convenient resource with a user-friendly interface.
Some digital platforms have a simple and intuitive interface, which, however, makes them convenient for use by primary school students. Alefbata is one of such resources, and the whole website design is in the form of children’s drawings and sketches (“Alefbata,” n.d.). It is totally in Arabic, and it can only be offered to children for whom this language is the first (“Alefbata,” n.d.). Alefbata contains 189 games that are ranked, ranging from the most primitive to more complex exercises (“Alefbata,” n.d.).
The process of work is presented in the form of short digital lessons, and the game mode of interaction simplifies the understanding of tasks. The main emphasis is on the study of Arabic letters and the alphabet, as well as reading simple sentences and speech structures, which makes Alefbata a convenient instrument for implementing the differentiation program (“Alefbata,” n.d.). The classification of exercises makes it possible to choose the best lessons and find materials for each individual letter, which is convenient at the initial stages of learning.
As a resource that is more complex in design and functionality, teachers can use a special Kutubee application, while planning to introduce a differentiation program in reading in Arabic for students of grades 2 and 3 (“Kutubee,” n.d.). This platform is a multifunctional site with numerous tasks and exercises focused on the children’s audience and including special features, for instance, interactive participation and voice control (“Kutubee,” n.d.).
In addition, the modern digital functions of displaying materials on smart whiteboards and presenting reports on the work done by students make using this application convenient from a teacher perspective (“Kutubee,” n.d.). Despite the fact that on the website, more than 1,200 unique stories for children are presented, access to them can be obtained offline, which is a convenient option if the Internet is temporarily unavailable (“Kutubee,” n.d.). Also, the website is designed with advanced search algorithms and numerous pages (“Kutubee,” n.d.). Therefore, this resource can only be used if the academic background of children allows them to build words and sentences from letters.
The Best Digital Solution to Differentiation in Arabic Reading
While choosing the best application from the presented range of digital tools for implementing the program of differentiation in reading in Arabic for grade 2 and 3 students, it is crucial to take into account the key features of all the resources without exception. In addition to the fullness of these platforms, the convenience of displaying materials, the quality of content, search algorithms, and other significant criteria should be regarded as important elements.
In order to avoid mistakes and poor academic results of pupils, teachers need to develop a strategy for working with the appropriate resource in order to have comprehensive information about its capabilities and potential shortcomings. Therefore, detailed analysis can allow determining the application of the five presented, which is most consistent with the stated goals of implementing a differentiated reading program.
Based on the functionality, usability, and assessment mechanism, the Asafeer website is the most acceptable variant among all the platforms considered (“Asafeer,” n.d.). One of the key features that allow stating the uniqueness of this resource is the possibility of reporting that may be obtained on the results of pupils’ educational activities. Depending on the academic outcomes that a student demonstrates in reading, a teacher can determine the level of knowledge and skills of the child and correlate his or her abilities with those in the curriculum. Since Asafeer is the platform with classification in accordance with various categories of complexity, this simplifies the assessment task and facilitates a more convenient analysis of the results of work with students (“Asafeer,” n.d.).
In addition, parents can also monitor their children’s preparation and control their performance through such reports. As a result, differentiation in reading may be achieved successfully because the accuracy of all the reports is confirmed by examples of mistakes made by students, and work in the right direction can be adjusted by focusing on correcting specific knowledge gaps.
The evaluation of this resource by teachers and students confirms that it is a convenient and affordable application that does not require extensive preparation to perform the necessary tasks. In addition, the reading exercises themselves are interesting due to their diverse subjects, and the stories are not repeated, which makes Asafeer the platform with unique content and a wide variety of educational materials offered (“Asafeer,” n.d.). Notes for teachers provide an opportunity to quickly determine which tasks correspond with children’s specific level of reading skills, and a detailed notation system helps navigate the topics and explanations offered by the application developers (“Asafeer,” n.d.).
Judging by the feedbacks from real schoolchildren, pupils like this digital platform, which is an additional advantage of Asafeer because involvement in a non-standard differentiation program requires close teacher-student contact due to an individual approach promoted (“Asafeer,” n.d.). Thus, this resource may be utilized as a convenient and multifunctional tool that facilitates teaching children in primary grades to read in Arabic and, in particular, introduces a program that divides the target audience in terms of academic outcomes.
The use of suitable digital applications for introducing the program of differentiated reading in Arabic for students of grades 2 and 3 is an important aspect of an individual approach and allows realizing pupils’ academic potential due to multitasking and functionality based on the categorization of content. Teaching in this direction is difficult, but to help children in the learning process, this practice is a convenient mechanism that eliminates bias and, at the same time, contributes to engaging the target audience. Based on the experience of colleagues from the English department, a wide range of available online platforms makes it possible to choose resources for classes and homework.
Teachers’ feedbacks on the specifics of such programs vary, and many employees note the long preparation as one of the shortcomings of this activity. Nevertheless, to avoid problems and prevent professional burnout, it is essential to choose an appropriate tool with the most convenient interface. In the context of teaching reading in Arabic, of the five tools reviewed, the Asafeer application is the most suitable platform due to its wide functionality and an opportunity to receive reports on students’ learning outcomes.
Alefbata. (n.d.). Web.
Asafeer. (n.d.). Web.
Deunk, M. I., Smale-Jacobse, A. E., de Boer, H., Doolaard, S., & Bosker, R. J. (2018). Effective differentiation practices: A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on the cognitive effects of differentiation practices in primary education. Educational Research Review, 24, 31-54.
Elazab Elshazly, E. M. (2016). A case study of an intervention program for students with dyslexia in a primary school in the UAE (Master Thesis, United Arab Emirates University, Dubai, UAE). Web.
Ijana. (n.d.). Web.
Jefferson, R. E., Grant, C. E., & Sander, J. B. (2017). Effects of tier I differentiation and reading intervention on reading fluency, comprehension, and high stakes measures. Reading Psychology, 38(1), 97-124.
Jones, J. S., Conradi, K., & Amendum, S. J. (2016). Matching interventions to reading needs: A case for differentiation. The Reading Teacher, 70(3), 307-316.
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Salvadore, M. (2019). Learning with laughter: An interview with Kevin McCloskey. Reading Rockets. Web.
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Stewart, O. S. (2016). Teachers’ perceptions of differentiated instruction in elementary reading (Doctoral Dissertation, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN). Web.