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Cross-Language Behavioral Assessment: Spelling Skills of Children With Dyslexia in the United Kingdom and Greece

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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In this case study, I am discussing my recent PhD research project aiming to examine the development of spelling skills from different angles: the universality of dyslexia and the role of language in the developmental trajectories of spelling skills. To date, the number of studies comparing different types of spelling errors of children with and without dyslexia is limited and mainly conducted in English. The goal of my research was to contribute to the movement toward a more inclusive literacy theory by examining the spelling errors of English and Greek native speaking children of primary school age in quest of information related to the universal and unique characteristics of typical and atypical spelling development. Comparing spelling in three writing conditions in English and in Greek can be very insightful of the role of language in the development of different spelling skills as well as the role of written context in manifestation of dyslexia in two languages with different levels of consistency. In this case, I am discussing some methodological challenges stemming from my aim to conduct my research in two different countries and two different orthographic systems. In particular, this case is concerned with issues relevant to recruiting participants with special characteristics, designing experimental tests measuring spelling ability in two different languages, group matching, data scoring, and drawing cross-language comparisons. I will discuss ways to address these challenges in order to promote detailed, more inclusive, and universal studying of literacy acquisition.

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