Introduction Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 15: 433–437, 2002. © 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. 1 2 MARGARET J. SNOWLING & JEAN-EMILE GOMBERT 1 2 University of York, UK; University of Rennes 2, France In recent years, a vast amount of evidence has accumulated on children’s reading development. Indeed, it is fair to say that the process of learning to read is sufficiently understood to inform educational practice. However, there is still a paucity of research on the reading skills of children of low cognitive ability who arguably are most in need of skilled teaching. These children are described in the USA as having mental retardation (DSM-IV) and in UK/Europe as having Special Educational Needs because of their Learning Difficulties (ICD-10). Ironically, although there is only a weak correlation between reading skills and IQ (Siegel 1993), the problems that children with learning difficulties have with the acquisition of literacy are commonly attrib- uted to their low intelligence. The striking case of ‘hyperlexia’, children who decode well in advance of expectation based on mental age (Nation 1999), underlines the fact that low IQ is not an explanation for reading failure. It is therefore important for researchers to Reading and Writing Springer Journals

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
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