Literature Review: An international perspective on dyslexia

Front Cover
Ministry of Education, 2007 - 89 pages
Literacy is one of the competencies necessary for effective participation in modern life and is a prerequisite for the achievement of many other essential competencies, both generic and specific. New Zealand has a good reputation for the literacy achievement of its students, but it also has a system where a number of learners are not achieving well by international standards. There is a group of students who experience persistent and on-going difficulties in literacy, and recently there have been particular questions as to whether the current education system is meeting the needs of a group of students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), in particular those commonly referred to as dyslexia. Dyslexia is an often misunderstood, confusing term for reading difficulties, but despite the many confusions and misunderstandings the term dyslexia is commonly used by a number of medical personnel, researchers and the general public. Identifying an individual as 'dyslexic' can help them to understand their experiences but this label does not give any information or direction on how to support and teach this individual to read and write. For this reason the term dyslexia is often avoided in educational contexts with preference given to the terms 'learning disability', 'specific learning disability' or 'specific learning difficulty'. However, the continued use of the term dyslexia in research and by many members of the general public means that these phrases are often used interchangeably, as will be the case in this review. The purpose of this literature review is to examine available international research and information over the last decade on dyslexia, with particular attention to the students that have been identified as "dyslexic", the tools commonly used to identify these students, the support services that are available to these students and who provides these services. The overarching goal is to gather evidence on the effectiveness of interventions used to improve literacy levels of dyslexic students or students at risk of dyslexia in order to inform evidence based policy development within the New Zealand Ministry of Education Table of contents: * Executive summary * Introduction * International definitions * Causes and characteristics of dyslexia * Identification of dyslexia (Dyslexia Early Screening Test - DEST, Cognitive Profiling System - COPS, Wechsler Intelligence Test For Children - WITFC, Response To Intervention - RTI) * Intervention and support * Long-term prospects of dyslexics * Language and dyslexia (the impact of orthographic consistency on dyslexia, the impact of alphabetic and logographic language systems on dyslexia) * Conclusions * References * Appendix 1 - Other tests available to identify dyslexic individuals * Appendix 2 - Other commercial intervention programmes * Appendix 3 - Summary of issues raised during peer review process.

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