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Title: The underlying difficulties of developmental surface dyslexia
Author: Faure, Anna Law
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 2644
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Research has found converging evidence that phonological deficits underlie children's difficulties in learning to read. However, not all children who have difficulties learning to read are weak in phonological awareness and processing, such as the developmental surface dyslexics. This research used the Dual-route Model of Reading to identify the different cases of dyslexia. This study adopted the case study approach to present the different profiles of the strengths and weaknesses of seven dyslexic children. By focusing on the individual child, a diverse pattern of deficits was observed among the dyslexics. Two children presented characteristics of surface dyslexia, two others of phonological dyslexia and three of mixed-type. Not all the dyslexics studied were weak in phonological awareness and processing, and their abilities varied from one phonological task to another. On the whole, the phonological dyslexics were weak in phonological awareness, but the surface dyslexics were not. The surface dyslexics were also poor in rapid automatized naming, but the others were not. This suggests that rapid naming may have a part to play in the surface dyslexics' difficulties, in particular, in learning to associate specific letter patterns to sounds and learning word-specific spellings. Moreover, all but one of the dyslexics were weak in orthographic awareness, suggesting that it might involve a different kind of skill than the rapid integration of letter patterns and phonological codes. The dyslexics in this study were not 'delayed' in development, and certainly, not the surface dyslexics. They all had varying strengths and weaknesses which they brought to the reading and spelling tasks. The finding of surface dyslexics and their differential weaknesses from phonological dyslexics has pedagogical implications for remedial teaching: teaching phonics to dyslexics who are not weak in phonological processing will not help them. An appropriate method should be adopted for these children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available