Uploaded by Syed Saqeeb ul Hassan

Role of Technology in Learning the Language of Children with Psycho-motor difficulties

Role of Technology in Learning the Language of Children with Psycho-motor
Syed Saqeeb-ul-Hassan, Hussain Asghar and Muhammad Nauman Tariq
Department of Computer Engineering, NUST CEME
HU-212, Technical Business Writing
Prof. Rukaiza Khan
April 21, 2020
This study aims to analyze the role of technology in secondary language learning for children
with psychomotor difficulties. Psychomotor difficulties arise from problem in connection
between muscular and mental functions. These difficulties stand as a barrier for children to learn
secondary language. Our research emphasizes use of modern technology in overcoming this
psychomotor barrier. Precedent studies have given hints on improving the psychomotor skills.
We linked those ways to latest technology and discussed new methods which could be
implemented to help such children. These technologies include Mobile Phones, Games, Virtual
Reality, Augmented Reality, Gadgets and Robots which are already trending in our modern era.
We have discussed their usage in reference to this problem along with opinions of public and in
light of previous findings. We concluded that modern ways can enhance the learning pace of
such children in a fun way. Modern gadgets also seem attractive to children and they adapt to
these things very easily. These gadgets are also very readily available at cheap prices so they can
be made accessible to children easily. Therefore, Society should resort to production and
implementation of modern ways in solving this problem rather than using conventional ways.
Keywords: Psychomotor, Language Learning, Technology, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality,
Secondary Language acquisition holds significant importance in everyday life. As of now, many
countries have more than one official languages e.g. Pakistan and India in South Asia. English or
any other language as Secondary Language is primarily being taught as a part of course
curriculum in schools in many countries. Moreover, it’s been proven that knowing more than one
language has a lots of benefits. It has been observed that people who are multi lingual have
improved memory problem solving and critical thinking skills. Studies have shown that learning
second language also has an effect on decision making and decision made in second language are
more reason driven and thoughtful. But as we know children are essential part of the society and
those with special needs need special care as well. We have children in our society who suffer
from psycho-motor difficulties or retardations, which stands in their way of learning secondary
language. A Nation’s health is primarily determined by the health of its children, which is indeed
the most significant resource of any society Currently, there are ongoing debates on how
technology can prove beneficial in helping children with disabilities all over the world. We can
come up with easy and interesting solutions which can speed up the earning process of the
children with special needs. The technology can play a major role in this regard. There are
several new techniques and software tools which can be and should be implemented in order to
enhance the learning process of children with such difficulties. We will discuss how modern
technologies like Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, Machine learning and Virtual reality
play a vital role to develop interest to learn second language. Children with psychomotor
difficulties need to be facilitated so they can catch up with other children and learn new things
efficiently in time. New state-of-the-art technology can be utilized to mitigate the barrier
between children and learning. Our aim is to examine the possibilities and ways to implement
such technologies and software tools in preschools and colleges, and elaborate how these tools
are productive in so many ways.
Literature Review
The purpose of the following literature review is to examine the roll of technology in
learning/acquiring the language of children with psychomotor difficulties. We couldn’t find
literature reviews perfectly similar to our idea, but we found the papers that connect the dots and
lead us to final output which we need right now to solve our case. We will discuss here few
previous researches and their limitations.
Previous Literature Reviews
This literature review can be extremely important as there are no or very few literature reviews
written on this topic. Several literature reviews have been conducted focusing on the impact of
technology on early childhood’s education and children with disabilities.
The very first review [1] focused primarily on the development of motor skills on children.
Stating the effect of various activities on motor skills. It was a systematic review including
several surveys and huge amount of data was collected from different schools for study to find
linkage between physical movements and psychomotor skills. They found that greater psychical
movements positively improve psychomotor skills.
The second review [2] discussed relationship between motor development and language
development. It also focuses on behavioral studies that concern to the relationship between motor
and language development. It showed that emergence of psychomotor skill result in improved
language learning during first 2 years of childhood.
The third review [3] was about children having ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
– a psychomotor problem. It focuses on how ADHD affects children at a preschool age, its
negative impact on academic performance and no availability of standardized instruments to
detect ADHD. Their research showed that 34% of child in pre school time showed difficulty in
learning things and this psychomotor disorder hindered development and learning of child so it
should be identified as early as possible to help children.
The fourth literature review [4] throws light on the relationship of technology use and
achievements in physiology course. He also did an online research on what type of technology is
being used and checked results by implementing Pearson correlation coefficient and descriptive
statistics to study the relationship between technologies and achievements in physiology course.
It concluded that technology usage results in better academic performance.
The fifth review [5] portrayed effect of use of technology on children between three to six year
old in terms of their abilities and health. They used software, robotics, and other technology
devices to see the results. Results showed positive impact on social interactions of children in
communication, cooperation and collaboration.
Many papers we studied discussed the influence of psychomotor skills on language learning and
ways to improve psychomotor skills. Results showed positive improvement in learning.
Limitations of Previous literature reviews
The research papers described above however had few limitations which indicate there is a need
for an updated review. The second review examined research conducted more than 10 years ago,
while all four others investigated studies conducted Three years ago.
In the field of technology. The landscape changes rapidly and several new and exciting software
tools have been developed so far.
First, second, and fourth reviews completely ignored the fact how technology will help children
with disabilities. The first review (Effects of Physical Activity on Motor Skills and Cognitive
Development in Early Childhood. Dec 2017) examined the cognitive development in early
childhood. There are different stages of cognitive development, children from 0-2 years are at the
sensorimotor stage, children aged 2-7 years are in the preoperational stage and children aged 711 years are concrete operational.
There is a complete research that children think and behave differently at each of these stages.
They also feel difficulty to look at different perspectives. Whereas children from 7-11 years are
able to think logically, and they can have different perspectives of a view.
Third and fifth review (Psycho motor Therapy for Patients with Severe Mental Health Disorders.
March 2017) has discussed how psycho motor patients can be treated. But they also didn’t throw
light on the treatment of children with psycho motor difficulties. What is the treatment of
children with difficulties such as visual, hearing, etc. and need of technology in understanding
the language of children with such difficulties?
Third review discussed the disorder ADHD and its negative effects on academic performance of
children. This review didn’t discuss the roll of technology in helping those children with such
difficulties. ADHD is a brain disorder and it slows down the subsequent academic performance
of the children. That is where technology plays its part.
There are several ways in which we will discuss how technology can be very helpful in
understanding the language of those children with such difficulties and how can they can play an
important role in nation’s development.
Analysis and Solution
Previous works have been conducted to find relations between language learning and
psychomotor development, how to improve psychomotor skills, effects of use of technology on
children. We are discussing the use of latest technology specially for children’s second language
acquisition with psycho-motor difficulties. Gadgets actually are easy way to perform already
proven effective exercises to help children in learning and growing in easy manner. It includes
use of Mobiles, Games, Movies, Animations, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Personal
Mobile Assistants who are Artificially Intelligent and Processing Data and use of latest robotic
gadgets to facilitate the language learning process of such children.
Psycho-motor retardations could be overcome by effective and adaptive use of modern
technology. Psycho-motor skills influence language learning. It’s been proven that poor psychomotor skills act as impediment to language learning. According to “Psychomotor Skills and
Language Learning in Dyslexics” [6], a survey was performed on sample of 50 children with
psychomotor problems and it came out that language learning is significantly influenced by
psychomotor skills. Author also suggested that memory exercises, fine-motor exercises and
patterns-exercises can significantly help overcome psychomotor barrier. We think that, with help
of latest technology and gadgets we can cross the psychomotor barrier by providing visuals,
reminders and rehearsals.
Methodology and Participants
We performed public survey among people to ask how far they recognize the problem as
important and then we surveyed whether our ideas to overcome the challenge were vigilant
enough. Survey was distributed among engineering students of undergraduate level and few
Psychomotor Difficulties
Health line [7] says that psychomotor problems occur when there is a problem with connection
between mental and muscular functions. Consequences are reduction of psychical movements
and thoughts.
Are Psychomotor Difficulties Connected to Language Learning?
A respectable number of researchers have linked the language learning to psychomotor skills.
One study at kindergarten school [8] found that students with weak psychomotor abilities
showed poor performance in linguistics writing, reading. It’s already obvious that if one does not
have good coordination among brain and muscles he might face problem in understand things.
Language learning is also a skill that requires the coordination among mind and body. One must
remember and get expressions of language, observe them, practice them to master them. All
these things require psychomotor skills whose lack may cause problem. We conducted our
survey to get point of view of public. Majority of the people corroborated this opinion. Below are
the findings of the survey:
Do Psychomotor problems affect language
learning? - Survey
Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree
Almost 75% of people agreed, among rest some stayed neutral and a fraction disagreed.
Overcoming the psychomotor barrier in general
According to a Professor Lalitha Raja [6], psychomotor skills can be remedied by cross-patterns,
hearing exercises, memory exercises, time-orientation, visuals and rhythm exercises. Besides
Molly Minchew [9] – a health and psychology specialist, says that games with visuals can bolster
psychomotor abilities of a child. These findings can be utilized to solve our problem.
Role of Technology
Technology is progressing leaps and bounds and majority of children get access to technology to
some extent in their childhood. A survey conducted by common sense research shows some
interesting statistics. The statistics below show the percentage of children who have used
following forms of technology by age 8.
Percentage of children using technology by
Watch TV
Use Computer
Play Console Games
Use Mobile Apps and
It came as no surprise that children of age eight spend average 25 min on playing games per day.
Above analysis ratifies that children are familiar with latest digital gadgets during their
childhood and are adaptive to learning through these tools. This provision to latest tools could be
utilized in a positive sense if we make the best out of it to help children learn. In light of
aforementioned findings, we can implement solutions with the help of technology. New
technologies can help us elude the psychomotor difficulties. Since the start of 21st century, not
only the technology gadgets are spreading like a wildfire but are also progressing in performance,
effectiveness, features a mile a minute. Tedious tasks are getting done in the twinkling of an eye.
New technologies have emerged in this century i.e. Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Data
Science, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality etc.
These technologies are helping mankind in areas ranging from communication to automation and
many other departments. Such unprecedented technologies can come in handy in accomplishing
our task of language learning as well.
Learning a language requires immersing oneself in it or in simple words one has to surround
oneself with environment where that language is practiced. We learn our mother tongue because
we are fenced in such conducive environment all the time. However for learning a second
language same environment might not be conducive to learning. But thanks to technology, such
environments can be created virtually now. New technologies have carried us too far and now we
are one step ahead of conventional technologies. Machines are doing more than humans at this
point in time. Sophisticated gadgets and machines are in progress that are helpful in various
departments. We conducted a survey among pubic to check their opinion on if technology can
help in overcoming the psychomotor difficulties.
Can technology play it's part to overcome
psychomotor barrier?
Strongly Disagree
Strongly Agree
We prepared a list of ideas to cater to psychomotor difficulties of children.
Visuals, Games and Animations
Visuals such as movies, games and animations can play an effective role to overcome
psychomotor barriers. They give a visual presentation which improves learning, below are the
findings of most effective source of language learning among public.
Table 1
Sources of Secondary Language Learning for Commoners in childhood
Percentage of people
that found it effective
Animated Movies
TV Shows
Games and Phones
Findings Survey conducted among people to find most effective sources of language learning
childhood. It came as no surprise that top two contenders came out to be Movies and TV Shows
which have visuals. This implies that visuals are a better way of understanding than other tools.
We can extend this application to help children with psychomotor difficulties.
Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) superimposes a new environment in user environment respectively. AR
is helping them create virtual objects and scenes in real world which is also an interesting
technique. Such environments could be the most effective thing in our research. AR is also one
of the cheapest technologies nowadays. AR is helping them us create virtual objects and scenes
in real world which is also an interesting technique.
Psychomotor impairment could be
overcome a great deal with the help of AR based gadgets that provide a perfect natural
environment for learning and acquisition of a secondary language. Children could be provided
with AR technology in which a person would be there to communicate with them all the time
they want, that would be a kind of memory exercise as well. We asked public about effectiveness
of this idea and following are results:
AR Tech. for language learning
Poorly Effective
Not Effective
Moderately Effect
Very Effective
Virtual Assistants and Robots
Virtual Assistants or IPAs (Intelligent Personal Assistants) like Google Assistant, Cortana can be
useful along with Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Let’s take examples of few which
could be relevant to our problem. Intelligent personal assistant (IPA) performs tasks on users
commands e.g. Cortana, Siri, Google. Not to mention, AI is being utilized to train individuals
voice and could be extended to train any pattern be it voice, be it graphics. Common IPAs are
widely used nowadays by commoners that help them in doing chores. These virtual assistants’
help you light up your mood, give you desired info at your single voice command. Their
interactive nature can be used in language acquiring and recommendations as well as per our
requirements. IPAs can talk to individual in their multiple language. Children can communicate
one-one with IPA which could improve their language. AI working in collaboration with data
science is able to predict future events, improve its performance on basis of datasets. IPAs can
make use of AI and misc. fields to have better communication with children in helping him
understanding of language. Podcasts, visuals are a way to improve your language. These IPAs
can recommend individuals such things leading to their improved language skills. Despite
psychomotor problems, such visual and audio tools can do wonders in doing away the problem.
IPAs can help children in rehearsal, practice, and recommending them desirable things in real
time. Humanoid Robots are also trending nowadays. Sophia is a famous humanlike social robot
which can communicate with people, follow their faces. Such kind of robots could also help in
instructing the language to children in different ways. Other than that communication gadgets
over the internet could be helpful for keeping children in touch with instructors remotely.
Besides, videos games in that language can children help learn language to some extent as well
for they are giving a taste of environment where that language is being practiced. So a children
experiences and improves language skills including verbal and nonverbal. Humanoid Robots and
such gadgets can also turn out to be helpful because they allow practicing in-person conversation.
We drew following results from survey among people on effectiveness of our idea.
IPAs and Robots Tech. for language
Poorly Effective
Not Effective
Moderately Effect
Very Effective
Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) creates a 3D virtual interactive environment. Experts believe natural
environment has an upper hand than instructed environment in learning of language. Two main
reasons behind failure in learning are lack of immersion and lack of exposure. VR can
completely immerse child in context by giving them sense of real environment any time. They
can play games, movies using VR that will maximize their learning by overcoming the
psychomotor barrier. Because it gives eye-pattern exercises and improves cognition addition to
being very interesting. These kind of things are being used at large scale nowadays for
simulations in different fields. People enjoy natural environment of things through these
technologies. People are watching movies, playing games and get a real-time experience of
natural environments. Such environments could be the most effective thing in our research.
Aforementioned environments conducive to learning of language could be created to expose
children to suitable environment. Experts believe natural environment has an upper hand than
instructed environment in learning of language. Two of the main reasons why people fail in
learning language are lack of immersion and lack of exposure. VR provides full immersion in
environment. Psychomotor impairment could be overcome a great deal with the help of VR
based gadgets that provide a perfect natural environment for learning and acquisition of a
secondary language. Results of public survey assenting to our idea are following:
VR Tech. for language learning
Poorly Effective
Not Effective
Moderately Effect
Very Effective
Conclusion and Discussion
All of the above ideas are in aid of rhythmic, visual, melodic exercises which are already proven
effective in facilitation of children with psychomotor problems. According to an Eric paper by
Salminen and Jaakko [6] some exercises relevant to rhythmic, visual and optics showed a rise in
achievement level of students with poor psychomotor skills. The study showed that the use of
artificial intelligence (AI) is an efficient instrument of error remediation, and it reduces the error
rate by an average of 83% [10]. Numerous researches and online surveys showed the
effectiveness of the use of technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality and
Machine Learning in acquisition of second language. Modern-day technology and how it is
drastically shifting the social norms to incorporate the use of technology into children daily lives
and more importantly into lives of the children with disabilities. As indicated, studies have
shown that language acquisition can be made much faster with the help of such technologies and
there is a dire need to shift focus on it as soon as possible.
Following results need more attention:
Children who have access to technology based software/hardware applications become
more rapidly engrossed in studies and absorb information quickly.
AI based applications can be more stimulating and interactive for children and help them
in understanding the language much at much faster rate.
There is dire need of selective research in this field where primary focus should be how
children with psychomotor difficulties can excel in their respective areas,
Technology and environment enriched with VR, AR, and AI based applications is
incredibly motivational and provide ease to students with such difficulties.
There is need of inclusive class rooms with Assistive Technology to compensate for a
The children with special needs show relatively greater interests when they use such
technologies. Therefore, aforementioned ideas are an extension of doing these exercises in a fun
way which can be performed to help overcome the psychomotor barrier. Future Work might be
done to design, manufacture and improve these devices and test them on children in schools and
at homes. Besides, studies could be done to quantify the efficiency of each gadget for such
[1] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/2760716/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2833284/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27091681
[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658361216300683
[10] Artificial Intelligence and Second Language Learning: An Efficient Approach to Error,
Remediation Marina Dodigovic.
[11] Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods
approaches (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Appendix A(Questionnaire)
 You many select many
Select one of them
1-5: 1 means “Poorly Effective” and 5 stands for “Very Effective”
In your opinion , What were the main factors
 Writing essays/stories as a coursework
that improved your ENGLISH SKILLS in your
 Computer/Mobile Games
childhood(till ~12 age). Tick the revelvant.
 Writing on your own(as a hobby)
 Diary Writing
 Internet Usage
 Reading Newspaper
 Book Reading(Other than coursebooks)
 TV Shows
 Home Environment
 School/Tutors/Coursework
 Movies/Animated Movies
 Mobile Phone Usage
 Chatting(online)
 In-person Friends
 Other:______________
"Psychomotor difficulties - lack of
Strongly disagree
coordination between brain and muscles - are a
barrier between children with such problems
and second language acquisition" How
strongly do you agree to this statement *
Strongly Agree
"Technology(Movies, Internet, Chatting,
Strongly disagree
Mobile Phones) is a better way to acquire a
secondary language for a child than formal
Reading, Writing exercises" How strongly do
you agree to this statement *
Strongly Agree
On a scale of 1-5, How do you rate the
effectiveness of English Movies/Animated
Cartoons for such children *
On a scale of 1-5, How do you rate the
effectiveness of Internet/Mobiles/Games for
such children *
"As in image below, A Personal Smart
Assistant like Google Assistant, Cortana or Siri
designed specially for helping children in
learning language through data collection and
AI as they will help them learn vocabulary and
"As in below image, Augmented Reality(like
pokemon go, snapchat filters) based Apps
having a virtual robot for conversing and
language learning because they give an
experience of face to face conversation." On a
"Watching Movies, Games in Virtual Reality
as it completely immerses you in that
environment and improves learning." On a
scale of 1-5, How do you rate the effectiveness
of this idea in overcoming psychomotor
Humanoid Robots or Robots can also talk face
to face and more exposure to lanuage will help
them understand language." On a scale of 1-5,
correct mistakes in real time over and over."
On a scale of 1-5, How do you rate the
effectiveness of this idea in overcoming
psychomotor difficulties *
scale of 1-5, How do you rate the effectiveness
of this idea in overcoming psychomotor
difficulties *
difficulties *"
How do you rate the effectiveness of this idea
in overcoming psychomotor difficulties *