This paper consists of three studies. The first study aimed to identify sub-types of students with learning disabilities in reading. Based on the dual-route model of reading, words may be read using either a lexical (words are recognized as wholes) or a sub-lexical (words are recognized through grapheme-phoneme correspondence) procedure. Castles and Coltheart (1993) provided evidence for the existence of these two mechanisms in English reading. They suggested that deficits in one and/or the other mechanism would lead to different patterns of reading disability. Surface dyslexia results from an impairment of the lexical procedure with an intact phonological route to reading. Phonological dyslexia results from a deficit in the grapheme-phoneme transformation mechanism. A higher percentage of surface dyslexia was identified in the present study. The aim of the second study was to analyze reading errors to support the existence of surface and phonological dyslexic patterns in Chinese reading. The results showed that students with surface dyslexic pattern made more phonological errors, whereas students with phonological dyslexic pattern made more semantic errors. These two studies indicate that students with learning disabilities could have different strengths and weaknesses and could have different preferences for recognizing Chinese characters and different responses to instructional methods. The third study was designed to test the effects of different teaching methods and different kinds of Chinese characters on students with learning disabilities. In general, the analytic method was found more effective for students with surface dyslexic pattern and the whole-word method for those with the phonological dyslexic pattern. The findings of this study showed the importance of identifying the strengths of the different sub-types of readers and the need to choose appropriate instructional methods accordingly.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 10, 2011
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