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Profiling dyslexia in bilingual adolescents
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Language Education.
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, ISSN 1754-9507, Vol. 14, no 6, 529-542 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses the issue of whether difficulties with reading and writing in a second language learner stem from developmental dyslexia or from issues associated with second language acquisition. In line with a phonological explanatory model of dyslexia, phonological processing and reading (decoding at both word and text levels) were tested, using data from 10 Spanish-Swedish speaking adolescents whose teachers had identified them as possibly having dyslectic difficulties, and a matched comparison group of 10 Spanish-Swedish speaking adolescents with no reading difficulties. Unlike previous studies, this analysis takes into account results from both languages and uses a matched bilingual comparison group as the norm. Based on these results, a bilingual dyslexia continuum is proposed as an analytical tool to be used for the assessment of developmental dyslexia from a bilingual perspective. The systematized continuum offers various degrees of difficulty-from high indications of dyslexia to no indications of dyslexia-and the positioning along this continuum by the target group participants of this study provides examples of both over-and under-identification of dyslexia. Overall, a greater number of participants in the target group were under-identified rather than over-identified by the schools. An important insight of this study is that the positioning of bilingual participants on the continuum would have been different if the analysis had taken only one of the two languages into account. Furthermore, possible effects from differences between Spanish and Swedish orthographies and syllable structure were observed, as, in general, the participants read more accurately in Spanish. The present data also suggest that decoding processing might vary more in second-language learners with dyslexia compared to monolingual individuals with dyslexia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 14, no 6, 529-542 p.
Keyword [en]
Dyslexia, bilingualism, reading
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Bilingualism Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79053DOI: 10.3109/17549507.2012.693201ISI: 000310985400005OAI: diva2:546767
Available from: 2012-08-24 Created: 2012-08-24 Last updated: 2012-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Hedman, Christina
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