written language: developmental disorders. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. At the moment, the relationship between RAN and LK and. their possible. It can be understood best in Relations to the companion Practice Portal on written language disorders. A spoken language disorder (SLD), also known as an. Difficulties in the development of the various aspects of spoken language can explain a written language learning disability. However, spoken.
By contrast, connectionist theories of word reading are explicitly developmental and see word reading as being dependent upon the integrity of phonological and semantic representations that exist in the language processing system before reading develops. According to the triangle model, learning to read essentially consists of creating mappings or associations between visual representations of the letter strings that constitute words orthographic representations and the phonological and semantic representations of spoken language that correspond to those words.The Relationship Between Oral Language and Reading/Writing
The use of the semantic pathway may be particularly important for the reading of exception words that the phonological pathway does not handle efficiently.
As noted earlier, it is important to distinguish between the ability to read words accurately and fluently and the ability to comprehend text. Accurate and fluent word reading are essential for good reading comprehension. It follows from this model that problems with reading comprehension can arise from two different sources problems with decoding or problems with oral language comprehension.
Children with decoding problems are usually referred to as having developmental dyslexia. The existence of both of these groups of children, who will be discussed below, is exactly what we would expect from the simple view of reading. This will be the main focus of this review. Developing and testing causal theories of developmental disorders The issue that lies at the heart of developmental psychology is an attempt to establish the causes of development.
The interface between spoken and written language: developmental disorders
The idea that learning to read is parasitic on earlier developing oral language skills is a broad and non-specific causal theory. In the sections that follow, this general theory will be fleshed out. Before doing so, it is useful to reflect on the sorts of evidence we can use to test causal theories in this area.
Ultimately, all developmental disorders can be conceptualized as the product of interactions between genetic and environmental risk factors [ 5 ]. For present purposes however, we will focus on a cognitive level of explanation that links brain mechanisms to behaviour. In relation to reading disorders, this approach essentially focuses on trying to establish causal links between deficits in specific aspects of oral language skills and aspects of reading development.
- The interface between spoken and written language: developmental disorders
The approaches that have been developed to evaluate putative causal relationships involve a number of steps. Establishing that variations in a given oral language skill e. In some cases where training studies are not practicable or ethical our only way of testing causal theories may be to conduct longitudinal studies and evaluate alternative interpretations for putative causal links.
The approach, essentially, is to show that the relationship between a potential cause e. Ultimately, however, to provide convincing evidence for causal hypotheses, we need to conduct training studies. If we can show in an experiment that training a particular oral language skill e.
Finally, if we can measure the functioning of a hypothetical mechanism levels of phonemic awareness that is believed to be responsible for producing improvements in reading outcomes, then we can assess the extent to which changes in an outcome reading are directly proportional to changes in the intervening mechanism PA in a mediation analyses see [ 11 ].
Put simply, if an intervention produces effects via an intermediate mechanism, then variations in the effectiveness of the intervention across individuals should be proportional to variations in the changes brought about in the hypothetical mechanism if reading improves because PA has improved, then improvements in reading should vary across individuals in line with improvements in PA.
Possible causal relationships between impairments of spoken and written language a Disorders of reading accuracy and fluency A necessary step towards becoming a skilled reader is the acquisition of efficient decoding skills: If we accept that dyslexia represents the lower end of a continuous distribution of decoding skills in the population, then to explain dyslexia, we need to understand the cognitive mechanisms that are causally linked to variations in decoding skills.
There is now good evidence that there are three main predictors of individual differences in the early stages of learning to decode in alphabetic languages: Arguably, most research has sought to understand the role of PA and whether it is a cause or a consequence of learning to read [ 1617 ]. Current evidence is consistent with the notion that variations in PA, and letter—sound knowledge, are two factors that have a causal influence on the development of decoding.
RAN appears likely to be another causal influence on decoding skill although here the evidence for causation is more equivocal.
Evidence from studies of children at familial risk of dyslexia indicates that early in development children who go on to develop dyslexia have relatively broad oral language weaknesses that affect vocabulary knowledge and naming skills as well as phonological oral language skills [ 18 ]. Many concurrent and longitudinal studies have assessed the relationship between PA and children's reading ability. Analyses of studies of unselected samples showed that phonemic awareness was a strong correlate of individual differences in word reading ability, and that this effect remained reliable after controlling for variations in both verbal short-term memory and awareness of the onset-rime components of words.
Finally, given the risk of adverse outcomes such as incarceration or victimization, there is a need to continue to identify experiences and skills that contribute to resilience in children with early language difficulties.
Language development and literacy
The basis of the relationship between early spoken language and later reading development is thought to be causal in nature, such that spoken language skills, especially phonological awareness and listening comprehension, are fundamental precursors to later successful reading.
Children with limitations in phonological processing are at risk for early decoding problems, which can then lead to problems of reading comprehension.
Children with problems of listening comprehension are at risk for reading comprehension problems even if they can decode words. These skills can also dynamically interact over development. The basis of the relationship between spoken language and later behaviour problems is less clear, although it seems possible that there are multiple mechanisms that could explain the relationship.
In particular, academic difficulties that result from LI may contribute to the increased risk of behavioural disorders. Implications The evidence is compelling that a foundation in spoken language competence is important for the successful achievement of academic and social competence. Children with poor language skills are therefore at risk for reading and psychosocial problems. Language difficulties could be identified efficiently at school entry.
This identification process should be an especially high priority for children who already show signs of behavioural difficulties, given the high incidence and low identification of language difficulties in this group. Interventions are available for promoting language growth, and in particular, numerous programs exist to promote phonological awareness.
Additionally, intervention efforts need to focus on approaches that provide supportive educational environments, to reduce the stressors that may result in maladaptive behaviours. Finally, early intervention efforts are warranted, to support the development of language skills prior to school entry.
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