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Models of writing and its development highlight the foundational importance of spelling and handwriting as the bedrock for ‘higher level’ writing skills (van Galen, 1991; Berninger & Winn, 2006). Despite their importance, relatively little is known about the nature of the possible inter-relationship between spelling and handwriting skills in children who are typically developing and those who have disorders which affect the development of these skills (i.e., dyslexia and/or developmental coordination disorder; DCD).

In this talk, I will present a programmatic set of studies which develop our understanding of the inter-relationship between spelling and handwriting in children with and without writing difficulties. I will argue that one of the barriers to examining this inter-relationship is the way that handwriting skills are measured. However, when the handwriting subskills of legibility (the accuracy or readability of the script) and fluency (the production of script at speed without hesitation) are measured robustly, different patterns of relationships between spelling and handwriting sub-skills emerge. Furthermore, I will also present data from children with dyslexia (who have a language deficit) or DCD (who have a motor deficit) which suggest a dissociation in spelling and handwriting impairments. Together, these findings tentatively suggest that spelling ability is likely to exert some influence over handwriting during development. These findings will be considered in a broader theoretical framework.

 

Find out more about the speaker: https://research.leedstrinity.ac.uk/en/persons/cameron-downing

 

How to attend

This talk will take place in person in New Radcliffe House 20.05 Seminar Room 2, with an online option available. A remote access link will be circulated via the departmental epseminars mailing list during the week before the talk for those unable to attend in person. External guests are welcome, and can email emma.james@psy.ox.ac.uk for the link.