An unexpected and remarkable preference for second language reading among some dyslexics has been noted, presenting a challenge to accepted theory on dyslexia and the capacity for second language learning. The current study was designed to examine this phenomenon by systematically looking at the differential reading scores in the first and second languages of reading-disabled young Swedish adults who claimed to prefer reading in their second language (English). Three groups were selected for study: a group of 10 reading-disabled young adults who prefer to read English; a second group of 10 reading-disabled with no special preference for second language reading, matched on word recognition efficiency, age group, gender and educational level and a group of 10 normal readers matched on age group and educational level. The test battery was designed to compare overall reading efficiency in English and Swedish and therefore encompassed both speed and accuracy measures. The battery covered seven phonological measures, four orthographic measures,three isolated word reading measures, two continuous text reading measures, a comprehension task and an author recognition task. All tasks were carried out in both English and Swedish. The results showed that two dyslexic groups differed significantly in the degree to which task performance, including reading efficiency, was impeded by the English format. A tentative hypothesis was forwarded as to how the exceptional and unexpected facility with English might be explained.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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