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The classic view of dyslexia is of a specific learning disorder characterized by a selective impairment of phonological processing which compromises reading development.  Research evidence now challenges this view and highlights the impact of poor language on learning to reading.   With findings from a longitudinal study of children at high-risk of dyslexia as a backdrop, I will argue that oral language is the foundation for literacy and that there is more than one developmental pathway to poor reading.  Comparing the developmental trajectories of children who develop ‘pure dyslexia’ with those who have dyslexia in the context of co-occurring impairments of oral language (DLD) confirms the view that risk factors accumulate to determine the severity of reading impairment.  In closing I will draw out the implications of this multifactorial view of reading difficulties for intervention, educational policy and practice. 



Professor Maggie Snowling’s research focuses on children’s language and learning and she is specifically interested in the nature and causes of children’s reading difficulties and how best to ameliorate them.  In recent years, her work has focused on longitudinal studies of children at high-risk of reading problems, and she have been involved in the implementation of randomised controlled trials assessing the efficacy of reading and language interventions in projects led by Charles Hulme in the Department of Education. 



This is a hybrid event.  The seminar will be held at the Seminar Room, New Radcliffe House (2nd Floor) but can also be followed on Zoom.  The talk will be followed by a 'Tea and Cake' Reception at New Radcliffe House.

You can register for in-person attendance and find the livestream access details at OxTalks Anne Treisman Lecture: Dyslexia Reconsidered: Multiple Pathways from Language to Reading? - Oxford Talks or, email us at to request the link.