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  1. Editorial Comment
  2. Understanding developmental dyslexia in Chinese: linking research to practice.

Professor Kevin Kien Hoa Chung1

1 The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


Dyslexia is one of the most common learning difficulties affecting approximately 9.7% of the school population in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China. The education and support needs of primary and secondary students with dyslexia have therefore been of great concern to the community. In the present paper, research into the characteristics of the Chinese language with focus on the cognitive-linguistic characteristics, causes, and manifestations of dyslexia are briefly reviewed. Such work could provide the foundation to develop effective evidence-based identification, intervention, and support for students with dyslexia both inside and outside of school. Thus understanding the causes and mechanisms underlying dyslexia with reference to the special circumstances of the Chinese milieu allows better informed identification, remedial intervention, support service, and teacher education for further work on research and practice.

  3. The event-based prospective memory of adults with developmental dyslexia under naturalistic conditions

James H. Smith-Spark*1, Adam P. Zięcik1 and Christopher Sterling1

1 London South Bank University, United Kingdom


Prospective memory (PM) is memory for delayed intentions. Broadly speaking, PM tasks require responses either to events in the environment (event-based PM; EBPM) or at a specific point in time (time-based PM; TBPM). Dyslexia-related deficits in TBPM have been reported under laboratory conditions but group differences in EBPM have yet to be found. However, self-reports suggest that people with dyslexia do experience day-to-day EBPM difficulties. To determine whether EBPM was affected by dyslexia when task demands were more closely related to the demands of everyday life, a task was presented to groups of adults with and without dyslexia, matched for age and short-form IQ. The participants were required to make a response outside the laboratory setting one week after the task had been set. The group with dyslexia were worse at remembering to perform the EBPM task one week later, despite reporting equivalent levels of motivation to perform it successfully. Fewer adults with dyslexia reported remembering the PM instruction at the time it was required. However, they did not differ from adults without dyslexia in the self-reported frequency with which they thought of the PM task over the intervening period. The results suggest that EBPM deficits can be found in dyslexia over longer delay intervals. Dyslexia-related problems with EBPM may relate to the reliable access to verbal information at the point at which it is required. These results are considered in the light of the current understanding of PM impairments in dyslexia.

  4. The Experience of Being Married to an Adult with Dyslexia

Neil Alexander-Passe1

1 Head of Learning Support, Mill Hill School, London


INTRODUCTION: This study researches the experience of being married or in a long-term relationships with an adult with developmental dyslexia, investigating how dyslexic adults can camouflage their disability, why non-dyslexic partners choose dyslexic partners, and the effects of living with an adult with learning difficulties/differences.

METHOD: A semi-structured interview script was used with to N=4 long-term non-dyslexic partners of dyslexic (areas of investigation included: dating, marriage/long-term relationships, knowledge of dyslexia, parenthood/children, career success and emotional health). Qualitative data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis-IPA.

HYPOTHESIS: The study will find that dyslexics use many camouflaging or avoidance strategies to cope with life and many of these can be misunderstood and seen as odd by long-term partners. The study will find that many dyslexics misunderstand their own learning difficulties/differences or deny they exist, and this prevents them advocating for themselves to others.
RESULTS: The study found that many dyslexics may hide their difficulties, and will only disclose their problems/ difficulties when forced to – a choice between covering up their dyslexia and maybe losing a thriving relationship. Dyslexic partners may have specific problems with communication: from an inability/difficulty in reading social clues, difficulty pronouncing long multi-syllabic words, coming up with bizarre things in conversation, to panicking when routines are interrupted and doing things in the wrong order in shops. Society may judge dyslexic partners as abnormal and socially inapt/handicapped.

Non-dyslexic partners can be surprised by how much their dyslexic partner’s relied on daily routines for survival. They were also frustrated by their dyslexic partner’s inability to do simple tasks e.g. writing a shopping list, taking telephone messages, and paying bills on time; so most take over all such chores. ‘Social-exchange theory’ was introduced to understand this phenomenon, with evidence from other groups with learning difficulties.
Unrealistic career choices were found by dyslexics which could be argued to be denying their difficulties, and their parenting style suggesting a deep rooted dislike for matters relating to school, especially teacher interactions, linking to their own negative experiences at school.

CONCLUSION: The study indicates that dyslexia is more than just a disability that affects literacy, but one that in adulthood affects long-term relationships/marriage and communication in the community and the workplace.

  5.  Relationships between emotion and educational achievement in Arabic children

John Everatt1, Yousuf Almurtaji2, Abir Al-Sharhan3 and Gad Elbeheri4

1 University of Canterbury, New Zealand
2 Public Authority for Applied Education & Training, Kuwait
3 Center for Child Evaluation & Teaching, Kuwait
4 Australian College of Kuwait


This case study explores the perceptions of teachers who teach maths to students with dyslexia at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS). The authors examined the challenges participants faced when teaching students with dyslexia maths, the processes that were used to help their learners understand maths concepts, and supports that were provided to minimise student anxiety and boost self-esteem. Four distinct challenges emerged including inadequate training, content area language barriers, cognitive style implications and their impact on maths learning, and addressing and remediating students’ anxiety towards learning maths and the impact on their self-esteem. Results indicated that teachers enjoy teaching maths to students with dyslexia but find that adequate training, teaching experience, and exposure to multiple teaching strategies are required for success.

As DAS is a unique organisation that helps students with dyslexia improve their literacy and numeracy skills, teacher professional development and teacher training are important aspects that need to be in place so that teachers are well-supported and guided to coach these students. Suggestions to meet these challenges are provided.

  6. Perspectives of Adolescents with Dyslexia: An Insight through Images

Sharen Ong Shei Li1* and Amanda Kelland2

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore
2. University of South Wales, UK


The research reported here aimed to understand the perspectives of 15 adolescents with dyslexia receiving support in Singapore. It outlines how they perceive their personal learning differences and how they think others view their learning difficulties. The methods used in this study included photography and semi-structured individual interviews. Photography was chosen as it has been shown to be a viable visual method that elicits genuine responses from participants. This study aims to provide an insight not only to individuals with learning differences, but also to the significant others in their lives (e.g., educators, parents and siblings). Another important aspect of this study was the focus on self-awareness, self-disclosure and self-advocacy that after diagnosis. The findings indicated that the use of photography in interviews was well accepted and preferred. Moreover, individuals who demonstrated self-awareness seemed to be more successful in their studies. Future studies are encouraged to explore these areas further.

  7. Reading with pictures for inferential understanding: Strategies for adolescent learners with dyslexia
    Edmen Leong1* and Alexius Chia2

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore
2. National Institute of Education, Singapore


Learners with dyslexia primarily struggle with decoding, that would lead to difficulties in reading comprehension. Interventions that address the primary decoding difficulties are established, common and useful in addressing the decoding and word recognition difficulties of dyslexic learners. Reading comprehension struggles however, are difficult to address since it requires learners to be competent in decoding on top of several other complex skills. Progressing in reading comprehension skills of a learner with dyslexia is typically dependent on the learner’s ability to decode. Past researchers have looked into the possibility of teaching dyslexic learners reading comprehension strategies without being impeded by their decoding difficulties. These studies attempted to teach comprehension skills with the use of visualization or listening to compensate for a dyslexic learner’s decoding difficulty. However it was revealed that learners still struggle with reading comprehension because these alternative intervention strategies were too cognitively demanding. A proposed alternative intervention curriculum was designed for the purpose of this study. This curriculum attempts to teach learners with dyslexia inferential reading comprehension skills without being impeded by their decoding difficulties. Stories presented in the curriculum were presented in the form of pictures and comic strips to ensure learners were able to minimize the need for decoding, and at the same time make reference to the stories thus managing their cognitive load. Results from this study revealed possibilities of providing learners with dyslexia opportunities to learn higher order reading comprehension strategies they did not have access to in the past.

   8. Eye movement pattern in different orthographies: Evidence from English- Telugu/Hindi Multilingual Children with Dyslexia.

Suvarna Rekha Chinta1*, Harini Sampath1 and Bipin Indurkhya2

1. Cognitive Science Lab, International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, India
2. Cognitive Science Program, Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland


The present study sought to broaden the empirical basis of eye-movement characteristics of multilingual dyslexic children during reading different orthographies (English with Telugu/ Hindi), and contrast with their peer non-dyslexic children. Two-way ANOVA was used with a group (dyslexic and non-dyslexic) as the between-subject factor and orthographies (English, Hindi, Telugu) as a within-subject factor. The dyslexic group made longer saccades; had longer fixations, more regressions and longer reading times, with highly significant changes in fixation duration. Post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment found that the fixation duration was highly significant between English-Telugu and English-Hindi orthography, but not-significant between Telugu-Hindi. The qualitative analysis of a dyslexic's eye movement revealed no preprocessing of the next word as in the E-Z reader model. Based on the regression pattern and the saccade movement, we propose a model to explain how dyslexics preprocess English. We conclude that the orthographic properties of a language influence the strategies used by bi/ multilingual children when they read in other languages.