This study synthesizes 79 standardized mean-change differences between control and treatment groups from 17 independent studies, investigating the effect of morphological interventions on literacy outcomes for students with literacy difficulties. Average total sample size ranged from 15 to 261 from a wide range of grade levels. Overall, morphological instruction showed a significant improvement on literacy achievement (d̄=0.33). Specifically, its effect was significant on several literacy outcomes such as phonological awareness (d̄=0.49), morphological awareness (d̄=0.40), vocabulary (d̄=0.40), reading comprehension (d̄=0.24), and spelling (d̄=0.20). Morphological instruction was particularly effective for children with reading, learning, or speech and language disabilities, English language learners, and struggling readers, suggesting the possibility that morphological instruction can remediate phonological processing challenges. Other moderators were also explored to explain differences in morphological intervention effects. These findings suggest students with literacy difficulties would benefit from morphological instruction.
This paper elaborates on the components of a working definition of developmental dyslexia. It follows the general format of a paper by Lyon published in Annals of Dyslexia in 1995, which elaborated on a working definition proposed in 1994 (Lyon, 1995). The current definition agreed on by the work group updates and expands on the working definition from 1994.
A phonological deficit constitutes a primary cause of developmental dyslexia, which persists into adulthood and can explain some aspects of their reading impairment. Nevertheless, some dyslexic adults successfully manage to study at university level, although very little is currently known about how they achieve this. The present study investigated at both the individual and group levels, whether the development of another oral language skill, namely, morphological knowledge, can be preserved and dissociated from the development of phonological knowledge. Reading, phonological, and morphological abilities were measured in 20 dyslexic and 20 non-dyslexic university students. The results confirmed the persistence of deficits in phonological but not morphological abilities, thereby revealing a dissociation in the development of these two skills. Moreover, the magnitude of the dissociation correlated with reading level. The outcome supports the claim that university students with dyslexia may compensate for phonological weaknesses by drawing on morphological knowledge in reading.
Calls for empirical investigations of the Common Core standards (CCSSs) for English Language Arts have been widespread, particularly in the area of text complexity in the primary grades (e.g., Hiebert & Mesmer Educational Research, 42(1), 44-51, 2013). The CCSSs mention that qualitative methods (such as Fountas and Pinnell) and quantitative methods (such as Lexiles) can be used to gauge text complexity (CCSS Initiative, 2010). However, researchers have questioned the validity of these tools for several decades (e.g., Hiebert & Pearson, 2010). In an effort to establish criterion validity of these tools, individual studies have compared how well they correlate with actual student reading performance measures, most commonly reading comprehension and/or oral-reading fluency (ORF). ORF is a key aspect of reading success and as such is often used for progress monitoring purposes. However, to date, studies have not been able to evaluate different text complexity tools and relation to reading outcomes across studies. This is challenging because the pair-wise meta-analytic model is not able to synthesize several independent variables that differ both within and across studies. Therefore, it is unable to answer pressing research questions in education, such as, which text complexity tool is most correlated with student ORF (and, thus, a good measure of text difficulty)? This question is timely given that the Common Core State Standards explicitly mention various text complexity tools; yet, the validity of such tools has been repeatedly questioned by researchers. This article provides preliminary evidence to answer that question using an approach borrowed from the field of medicine-Network Meta-Analysis (NMA; Lumley Statistics in Medicine, 21, 2313-2324, 2002). A systematic search yielded 5 studies using 19 different text complexity tools with ORF as the reading outcome measured. Both a frequentist and Bayesian NMA were conducted to pool the correlations of a given text complexity tool with students' ORF. While the results differed slightly across the two approaches, there is preliminary evidence in support of the hypothesis that text complexity tools which incorporate more fine-grained sub-lexical variables were more strongly correlated with student outcomes. While the results of this example cannot be generalized due to the low sample size, this article shows how NMA is a promising new analytic tool for synthesizing educational research.
In transparent orthographic systems, the main characteristic of developmental dyslexia is poor reading fluency. Several studies have reported that children with dyslexia have difficulties forming orthographic representations of words, which hampers good reading fluency. This study aimed at evaluating whether the semantic–phonological training prior to word reading could facilitate the formation of orthographic representations and leading an improvement in reading fluency. Twenty-four native Spanish-speaking children with developmental dyslexia carried out two different reading tasks. In one of them, participants previously received semantic and phonological information about stimuli whereas in the other task no previous information was provided. Eight different unfamiliar words (four short and four long) were used in each reading task and the reduction of the length effect across reading blocks was taken as a formation index of new orthographic representations. Results showed low accuracy, slow speed reading, and difficulties in developing orthographic representations despite of repeated reading, probably due to the instability in decoding processes. However, the previous phonological and semantic training had a facilitator effect in the formation of orthographic representations, as indicated by the decrease in the length effect.
The aim of our study was to examine the relationship between NL (Native Language: Polish) phonological processing skills (verbal and phonological short-term memory, phoneme segmentation and blending, rapid automatised naming (RAN)) and the accuracy and fluency of NL and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) word and nonword decoding and word recognition skills of Polish students with and without dyslexia. Sixty-three (45%) high school and junior high school students with and 78 (55%) without dyslexia participated. We found that dyslexia, years of studying EFL at school and privately, NL phoneme blending and RAN predicted word reading accuracy in EFL, and dyslexia, years of studying EFL privately, and NL RAN predicted EFL word reading fluency. Dyslexia and NL phoneme blending predicted the accuracy, and NL RAN—the fluency of EFL nonword decoding. These findings confirm that difficulties in FL acquisition result from NL phonological processing deficits, characteristic of dyslexia. Our results also showed relationships between NL phonological processing and EFL reading that were analogical to the ones observed for NL. The pattern of relations between NL phonological processing, NL reading, and EFL reading was similar for reading fluency, but not for reading accuracy in the compared groups. Both NL phonological processing and NL reading facilitated EFL reading, though it was more conspicuous in the control group, which suggests that readers with dyslexia benefit less from their NL reading skills when learning to read in FL.
This study aimed to examine the effects of temporal processing training on the reading abilities of Chinese children with dyslexia. In total, 69 Chinese children with dyslexia in grades three through six were recruited in Taiwan. The children were divided into the following three equal groups: (1) auditory temporal processing training group, (2) visual temporal processing training group, and (3) control group with no specific training. The participants in both training groups received instruction with identical durations (30–40 min), intensities (12 times in total), and frequencies (three to four times per week). The participants in the control group were asked to independently surf some specified websites using devices similar to those used by the two experimental groups for an identical duration, intensity, and frequency. Our results indicated that the two groups who received temporal processing training exhibited significant correlations among Chinese character reading, rapid naming, and corresponding reading-related abilities, while visual temporal processing served as a significant predictor of Chinese character reading ability even if all background data, reading-related abilities, and auditory temporal processing were introduced first. Additionally, significant interactions were found between the Groups and Tested sessions in all the measures, except for phonological awareness, confirming the distinct effects of different temporal processing on most measures involved in this study. Further simple main effects revealed that only those who received the visual temporal processing training gained benefits in the corresponding reading-related ability (i.e., orthographic knowledge) and far-transfer to Chinese character reading.
Hitherto the majority of research on anxiety and coping was undertaken on individuals with specific profiles (i.e., individuals with specific difficulties or in cross-cultural settings). However, to our knowledge, no studies have combined cross-cultural and specific difficulty settings to grant a complex analysis of this paradigm nor conducted an investigation of children to reveal the developmental trend in this phenomenon. This study investigates the anxiety profile and coping strategies of children with and without dyslexia from different cultures. A total of 124 children ranging from the age of eight to eleven from Indonesia (n = 64) and Germany (n = 60) were administered a coping and an anxiety scale. Around 50% of the sample were diagnosed with dyslexia and therefore were specifically asked what strategies they implemented in dealing with their difficulties in reading. Findings indicate that dyslexia and cultural factors have distinct contributions in explaining the variance of anxiety and coping strategies. Specifically, dyslexia has a significant effect on separation and generalized anxiety, while an incredible cultural effect is valid for the support-seeking coping strategy. Recommendations for future studies are also discussed.
Developmental dyslexia is a long-lasting reading deficit that persists into adulthood. In spite of many difficulties, some adults with dyslexia reach levels of reading comprehension similar to those of unimpaired readers and successfully study at university. While digital technologies offer many potential tools to facilitate reading, there are differences between printed books and e-books, particularly regarding the interaction between the reader and the text (paratextual cues). This study used long-text reading to investigate (1) different aspects of reading comprehension skills (literal and inferential processes, location of events within a story, and reconstruction of the plot) among university students with dyslexia and (2) the impact of e-book reading on reading comprehension in this population. Thirty adults with dyslexia and 30 matched skilled readers read the same text presented from a printed book and an e-book (Amazon Kindle). Questions were open-ended and both questions and answers used oral format. Results showed that with the printed book, dyslexic adults performed similarly to skilled readers in both literal and inferential reading comprehension tasks. Moreover, they performed at the same level or higher than skilled readers in tasks assessing spatiotemporal aspects of reading (localization of events and plot reconstruction). Conversely, with the e-book reader, the dyslexic adults were outperformed by skilled readers both in literal and spatiotemporal comprehension tasks. These results suggest that reading from an e-book hinders some aspects of reading comprehension for adults with dyslexia. However, when reading a printed book without time pressure, university students with dyslexia performed as well as, or better than, non-impaired readers on some measures of reading comprehension. Therefore, digital reading devices might not always be advantageous to them.
Children with isolated cleft of the lip and/or palate (iCL/P) are at increased risk for reading impairment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of early risk factors (hearing, speech, and early literacy) on reading performance compared to unaffected participants with average (uAR) and impaired (uIR) reading. Reading achievement and early literacy skills were evaluated across three groups (27 iCL/P, 32 uAR, and 33 uIR). All participants were males, ages 8–11 years old. Those with history of head trauma/injury or major medical/mental health conditions were excluded. Group differences in achievement and early literacy skills were evaluated with ANCOVAs. Participants with impaired reading achievement (at or below 25th Percentile) were identified. Medical record reviews for participates with iCL/P were conducted and audiology and speech ratings recorded. Correlations were calculated between achievement, early literacy, hearing, and speech. Participants with iCL/P had significantly elevated risk for reading impairment (37%); this risk differed by cleft type (0% iCL, 55% iCLP, and 60% iCP). Achievement for participants with iCP was similar to the uIR group. Early literacy risk resulted in lower achievement scores for both iCL/P and unaffected participants. History of inadequate hearing and speech did not significantly impact early literacy or achievement measures. There is a high risk of reading impairment for children with iCL/P—highest for those with iCLP and iCP. Early literacy predictors of reading outcome are similar for iCL/P and idiopathic dyslexia. Current screening and intervention methods are supported.
Developmental dyslexia is a language-based learning disability characterized by persistent difficulty in learning to read. While an understanding of genetic contributions is emerging, the ways the environment affects brain functioning in children with developmental dyslexia are poorly understood. A relationship between the home literacy environment (HLE) and neural correlates of reading has been identified in typically developing children, yet it remains unclear whether similar effects are observable in children with a genetic predisposition for dyslexia. Understanding environmental contributions is important given that we do not understand why some genetically at-risk children do not develop dyslexia. Here, we investigate for the first time the relationship between HLE and the neural correlates of phonological processing in beginning readers with (FHD+, n = 29) and without (FHD−, n = 21) a family history of developmental dyslexia. We further controlled for socioeconomic status to isolate the neurobiological mechanism by which HLE affects reading development. Group differences revealed stronger correlation of HLE with brain activation in the left inferior/middle frontal and right fusiform gyri in FHD− compared to FHD+ children, suggesting greater impact of HLE on manipulation of phonological codes and recruitment of orthographic representations in typically developing children. In contrast, activation in the right precentral gyrus showed a significantly stronger correlation with HLE in FHD+ compared to FHD− children, suggesting emerging compensatory networks in genetically at-risk children. Overall, our results suggest that genetic predisposition for dyslexia alters contributions of HLE to early reading skills before formal reading instruction, which has important implications for educational practice and intervention models.
Reading disability (RD) typically consists of deficits in word reading accuracy and/or reading comprehension. While it is well known that word reading accuracy deficits lead to comprehension deficits (general reading disability, GRD), less is understood about neuropsychological profiles of children who exhibit adequate word reading accuracy but nevertheless develop specific reading comprehension deficits (S-RCD). Establishing the underlying neuropsychological processes associated with different RD types is essential for ultimately understanding core neurobiological bases of reading comprehension. To this end, the present study investigated isolated and contextual word fluency, oral language, and executive function on reading comprehension performance in 56 9- to 14-year-old children [21 typically developing (TD), 18 GRD, and 17 S-RCD]. Results indicated that TD and S-RCD participants read isolated words at a faster rate than participants with GRD; however, both RD groups had contextual word fluency and oral language weaknesses. Additionally, S-RCD participants showed prominent weaknesses in executive function. Implications for understanding the neuropsychological bases for reading comprehension are discussed.
The purpose of the present study is to explore cross-cultural differences among teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) on the basic language constructs and the impacts on their perceived teaching ability in English-reading instruction. Chinese EFL (n = 73) and Korean EFL (n = 39) teachers were administered the Reading Teacher Knowledge Survey for testing their implicit and explicit knowledge on phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, phonics, and morphological awareness; and their self-perceived teaching ability on teaching typical readers, struggling readers, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Results showed that both Chinese EFL and Korean EFL teachers’ knowledge on the phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics was implicit rather than explicit. However, the teachers’ knowledge on morphological awareness showed cross-cultural difference: Chinese EFL teachers had greater explicit knowledge on morphological awareness than implicit knowledge, while their Korean EFL counterparts showed opposite pattern. Self-perceived teaching ability was also distinct cross-culturally, in that Chinese EFL teachers were only confident in teaching English vocabulary, whereas Korean EFL teachers had generally positive self-perception on teaching typical readers, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Importantly, both groups of EFL teachers’ explicit knowledge on the basic language constructs explained additional variance for predicting their self-perception on teaching English reading, controlling for the effects of their years of teaching and implicit knowledge. Educational implications and future research ideas are discussed in relation to the cross-cultural differences of teacher knowledge and their perceived teaching ability.
In the USA, many states have adopted response to intervention or multi-tiered systems of supports to provide early intervention. However, there is considerable variability in how states and schools implement RTI. Teachers are responsible for using student data from RTI to inform instructional decisions for students with or at risk for dyslexia, so it is necessary to understand the knowledge they have about the structure of RTI in their individual schools. This study reviews the results of an exploratory factor analysis of a survey aimed at measuring teachers’ knowledge about RTI implementation and their understanding of RTI implementation within their school. The 52-item survey was administered online to 139 general and special education teachers. The three final factors from this factor analytic work were (1) Teacher Knowledge about Tier 1 Implementation, (2) Teacher Knowledge about Leadership and School Systems, and (3) Teacher Knowledge about Data-Based Decision Making. Factor determinacy scores demonstrated that the survey had high internal consistency. On average, teachers’ survey scores were higher on the first two factors and slightly lower on the third factor. Implications of the findings for teachers of students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, and directions for future research were discussed.
While qualitative research has shown great benefits for teachers who receive coaching, there is a paucity of experimental research examining students’ academic outcomes after their teachers received ongoing support from a knowledgeable and experienced coach. Thus, a quasi-experimental design investigated the literacy outcomes of 452 students experiencing reading learning disabilities in grades K–8th whose special education and/or resource room teachers (n = 44) received student data-focused coaching support through on-site coaching, on-demand coaching (teachers could request support if needed), or through technology-based coaching. Specifically, researchers wanted to investigate if technology-based coaching was as effective as in-classroom support for increasing teachers’ knowledge and implementation of research-based reading instructional routines and ultimately, improving the reading, writing, and spelling outcomes of students with reading learning disabilities. Results yielded positive student academic growth for all three methods of coaching; however, coaching via technology, a more efficient, less time-consuming method of giving teachers ongoing professional development, produced larger statistically significant Cohen’s d effect sizes than the other two forms of coaching ranging from 0.22 to 1.01 in areas of phonemic awareness, decoding, comprehension, fluency, writing, and spelling. Other findings as well as the educational implications of implementing coaching via technology are also included.
Acquiring literacy in English as a foreign language (EFL) is important for language development. However, many students enter middle school without adequate EFL literacy skills. This may indicate a gap between EFL literacy instruction theory and the classroom practice that is occurring in elementary school classrooms. The aim of this study was to explore the components of EFL literacy instruction as perceived by teachers. The study investigated whether perceptions of classroom practices are theoretically based, thus shedding light on the gap between EFL literacy theory and practice. The participants were 167 EFL elementary school teachers, who submitted anonymous online questionnaires regarding their reported EFL teaching in year one, two, three, four, and five of elementary school. The research was based on the five pillars of literacy instruction for English as a first language (National Reading Panel, 2000) and additional EFL components (August & Shanahan, 2006). Results of this study showed that EFL teachers expressed views that may indicate a gap between teachers’ practices and most cutting-edge research. The study concluded that providing EFL elementary school teachers with theoretical knowledge may lead to more productive literacy programs and may improve classroom practices.
Addressing the needs of students with dyslexia requires an in-depth knowledge of various components of a multi-dimensional approach to reading intervention, which is supported by an understanding of the structure of the language being taught. The current study explored the association between teacher knowledge of the English language and different stages of training provided through 2-year courses that meet the objectives of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) standards of teacher knowledge and practice. It included 347 K-12 licensed teachers who were at various stages of training when they completed a test of knowledge in the areas of Phonological Sensitivity, Phonemic Awareness, Decoding, Spelling, and Morphology. The level of terminal degree (i.e., BA or MA) held by participating teachers and their amount of teaching experience did not predict performance on the test. In contrast, participating teachers differed in their level of knowledge as a function of how much training they had received as part of a 2-year course. Increased training was associated with elevated levels of knowledge. Moreover, teachers who completed the 2-year training program and went on to obtain certification through a national certifying organization had reliably greater knowledge than those who had not. Additionally, the weakest domains of knowledge across all teachers were in spelling and morphology, suggesting a need for improved training in these domains, given that they are identified deficiencies for persistently poor responders to reading intervention and in children presenting with late emerging forms of reading disability.
The purpose of this research was to study the etiology of teacher knowledge about and factors that influence implementation of evidence-based reading and writing interventions at the upper elementary grade levels. Five data sources are used in this study: first, we used teacher surveys about their pre-service preparation on reading comprehension and literacy practices gathered during a recent cluster randomized control trial on a reading comprehension intervention conducted with 280 fourth and fifth-grade teachers and their classroom students. We also conducted focus group interviews with 43% of the teachers and observed 90% of the teachers once during the implementation years. For writing, we used data collected from 32 teachers during a 3-year design project for a teacher-led computer-supported writing intervention. We also collected data from groups of school administrators using structured interviews during both studies. Finally, we conducted an artifact review of school curricula and posted professional development (PD) plans. Our results show that in both reading comprehension and writing, all teachers reported not receiving sound evidence-based pre-service preparation and they were not currently employing any evidence-based approaches. Most teachers reported using the basal reading series with very little variation from the lesson scope and sequence. Teachers and administrators frequently reported that skills were being taught in isolation (e.g., skill of the week is summarizing) and that writing was neglected. The interviews showed very interesting patterns of curricula decision-making by school administrators and these findings were further confirmed through the artifact reviews. Based on these results, we recommend that any review of teacher practices focus also on administrator decision-making and school level factors that are driving what happens in the classrooms. The review showed that the teachers themselves do not feel empowered to learn and deliver evidence-based literacy practices and feel constrained by the system.
Teacher self-efficacy is critical because it predicts teachers’ future behavior and impacts teacher turnover. Most teachers begin their career with moderate to high self-efficacy for teaching, but often experience a sharp decline during the first year of teaching. After the first year, their self-efficacy begins to increase but rarely rises to the level it was prior to beginning teaching. Therefore, examining first-year teachers’ self-efficacy is extremely important. Previous research generally depicts teachers as a homogeneous group, relying on variable-centered approaches and including self-efficacy as a scaling score, which may not be applicable at the individual level. Simply extending findings from the variable-centered analyses is insufficient. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to examine the heterogeneous profiles of first-year teachers’ self-efficacy from the 2011–2012 Schools and Staffing Survey and to investigate how self-efficacy profiles are related to teacher training at the individual level. Using latent class analyses, we found three statistically distinctive classes within self-efficacy: high, moderate, and low. Regardless of teaching assignments, teachers who completed reading content courses during preparation programs and received discipline-specific mentoring during their first year dominated a higher level of self-efficacy. We conclude that these two factors are essential to preparing and retaining high-quality teachers.