- Using Art Activities to Support the Development of Self-Expression for Students with Speech Disorders
- Tutor: Helin Puksand, PhD
- Master Thesis
The growing number of students with speech disorders in Estonian general education schools and the positive effect of art activities on the development of elementary school students have altogether outlined an issue: there should be additional practical teaching methods available for teachers to support the verbal self-expression of students. The aim of this master’s thesis was to identify and describe such art activities, which support the development of verbal self-expression for students with speech and language impediments. As such the main questions posed in this research were as follows:
• Which art activities support the development of verbal self-expression for students with speech disorders?
• How do these art activities support the development of verbal self-expression for students with speech disorders?
Deriving from the results of my activity-based research and following the theories of different specialists I managed to answer these two questions. For this I planned 21 units of study for the 2nd grade students who took part in this research project, in which I integrated various lessons and conducted 30 distinct art activities. Stemming from this research I proposed art activities, which did in fact support the verbal self-expression of students.
For the students that took part in this research, verbal self-expression was advanced by such art activities where they could reconstruct their earlier experiences, and connect these with new knowledge, expressing this process with abstract means and symbols; where they could visualise and discuss based on their imagination; and where they could observe and describe artworks, and justify their personal viewpoints. The students’ verbal self-expression was indirectly also influenced by art activities that followed the recital of texts. In addition to that, verbal self-expression was also promoted by activities that included elements of play. Art activities helped students to talk, describe, discuss, and answer questions better, in whole sentences, expressing ideas in their fullness. This supplemented the vocabulary of the students as well as their storytelling skills.
In this master’s thesis, many different combined verbal and art activities are put forth, which can help to support the development of elementary school students with speech and language impediments, and can be used as examples for teachers working in general education schools.