Research Topic

Developmental Dyslexia: From Cross-Linguistic and Bilingual Perspectives

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Developmental dyslexia might share a common neurological and genetic origin across different languages, despite the fact that behavioral manifestations differ depending on the writing systems.

When the writing system is transparent, developmental dyslexia shows as low reading fluency, while decoding ...

Developmental dyslexia might share a common neurological and genetic origin across different languages, despite the fact that behavioral manifestations differ depending on the writing systems.

When the writing system is transparent, developmental dyslexia shows as low reading fluency, while decoding ability remains intact.

When the writing system is opaque, developmental dyslexia is characterized by decoding difficulty as well as reading fluency problems. However, in non-alphabetic languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, there are more semantic errors during word reading than in alphabetic languages.

Cross-linguistic comparisons are essential in understanding the neurocognitive deficits associated with developmental dyslexia and how they are demonstrated in behavior across different languages.

A significant portion of the world population is bilingual: bilingual children affected by dyslexia face a special set of challenges, still, research in this area is still very sparse. Bilingualism does not increase the risk of developmental dyslexia, however, learning to read in two languages with a dyslexia condition does cause an extra burden.

Most researchers would agree on the fact that, if a child displays dyslexia in one language, he or she is very likely to show dyslexia in the other language too. For example, in English-French bilingual children with developmental dyslexia, more than 90% are affected in both English and French. However, some research suggests otherwise, which might be because the two languages are contrastively different.

Identification of dyslexia in bilingual children is also challenging, mainly because the reading norm for bilingual children is not available in most situations and because we do not know whether they have a common deficit underlying both languages.

Research is needed to address issues on identification, behavioral demonstration, neurocognitive deficits, and intervention of developmental dyslexia in bilingual children. Research performed on a bilingual population displaying developmental dyslexia is especially meaningful in understanding how dyslexia in an individual may be demonstrated depending on the different languages. This has significance both practically and theoretically.

With this Research Topic, we welcome studies that investigate on the identification/prediction, behavioral profiles, cognitive and perceptual deficits, neurological abnormality, and intervention effectiveness of developmental dyslexia in bilingual population or from a cross-linguistic perspective.


Keywords: developmental dyslexia, bilingual, cross-linguistic, neuroimaging, behavioral


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