Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A list of the publications resulting from the Wellcome Language and Reading Project

Reviews

The Nature and Classification of Reading Disorders: A Commentary on Proposals for DSM-5, Snowling and Hulme (2012)

This article reviews our understanding of reading disorders in children and relates it to proposals for their classification in DSM-5.

Evidence-based Interventions for Reading and Language Difficulties: Creating a Virtuous Circle, Snowling and Hulme (2011)

Children may experience two very different forms of reading problem: decoding difficulties (dyslexia) and reading comprehension difficulties. We review evidence concerning the nature, causes of, and treatments for children's reading difficulties. This article argues that any well-founded educational intervention must be based on a sound theory of the causes of a particular form of learning difficulty, which in turn must be based on an understanding of how a given skill is learned by typically developing children.

Interventions for Children’s Language and Literacy Difficulties, Snowling and Hulme (2011)

Against a backdrop of research on individual differences in reading disorders, this review considers a range of effective interventions to promote reading and language skills evaluated by our group. The review begins by contrasting the reading profiles seen in dyslexia and reading comprehension impairment and then argues that different interventions will be required.

Early identification and interventions for dyslexia – a contemporary view, Snowling (2012)

This article reviews proposals concerning the definition of dyslexia and contrasts it with reading comprehension impairment. The article then discusses methods for early identification and review evidence that teacher assessments and ratings may be valid screening tools.

Children’s reading comprehension difficulties: nature, causes and treatment, Hulme and Snowling (2011)

The goal of reading is to extract meaning from text, and this depends upon both decoding and language-comprehension skills. Recently there has been growing interest in children who can read accurately but have poor comprehension. Reading-comprehension impairment is relatively common, although it often goes unrecognised in the classroom.

Learning to read: What we know and what we need to understand better, Hulme and Snowling (2012)

This article reviews current knowledge about the cognitive processes underlying the early stages of word reading development. Recent findings in a variety of alphabetic languages converge on the conclusion that there are three ‘cognitive foundations’ for learning to read: letter–sound knowledge, phonemic awareness, and rapid automatized naming skills. Deficits in each of these skills appear causally related to problems in learning to read, and deficits in letter–sound knowledge and phonemic awareness appear to be remediable by suitable teaching. The authors argue that this evidence has important practical implications for early education and for the diagnosis and treatment of children with reading difficulties.

The interface between spoken and written language: developmental disorders, Hulme and Snowling (2014)

This article reviews current knowledge about reading development and the origins of difficulties in learning to read. The authors distinguish between the processes involved in learning to decode print, and the processes involved in reading for meaning (reading comprehension). Reading comprehension difficulties in contrast appear to be critically dependent on a range of oral language comprehension skills (including vocabulary knowledge and grammatical, morphological and pragmatic skills).

Dyslexia: A Language Learning Impairment, Snowling (2014)

Joint British Academy/British Psychological Society lecture, 2013

Closing a Virtuous Circle: Reciprocal Influences Between Theory and Practice in Studies of Reading Intervention, Snowling and Hulme (2014)

This article reflects on findings from three studies of different approaches to reading intervention (Al Otaiba et al., Denton et al., and Miller et al.). It is argued that the science of interventions for reading disorders is advanced and that these and other related studies provide a strong evidence base for guiding educational policy in this area.

Adults with dyslexia

Validity of a Protocol for Adult Self-Report of Dyslexia and Related Difficulties, Snowling, Dawes, Nash and Hulme (2012)

There is an increased prevalence of reading and related difficulties in children of dyslexic parents. In order to understand the causes of these difficulties, it is important to quantify the risk factors passed from parents to their offspring. A confirmatory factor analysis with four factors (Reading, Word Finding, Attention and Hyperactivity) provided a reasonable fit to the data.

Am I Dyslexic? Parental Self-Report of Literacy Difficulties, Leavett, Nash and Snowling, M.J. (2104)

In the absence of criteria for the diagnosis of dyslexia, considerable weight is given to self-report, in particular in studies of children at family-risk of dyslexia. This paper uses secondary data from a previous study to compare parents who self-report as dyslexic and those who do not, in relation to objectively determined levels of ability.

Dyslexia, ADHD, executive-motor skills

Reaction time variability in children with dyslexia and/or ADHD symptoms, Gooch, Snowling and Hulme (2012)

Reaction time (RT) variability on a Stop Signal task was examined among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and/or dyslexia in comparison to typically developing (TD) controls. Children's go-trial RTs were analysed using a novel ex-Gaussian method. Children with ADHD symptoms had increased variability in the fast but not the slow portions of their RT distributions compared to those without ADHD symptoms. The RT distributions of children with dyslexia were similar to those of TD-controls. It is argued that variability in responding may be underpinned by impairments in response preparation or timing during Stop Signal tasks.

Comorbidities in pre-school children at risk of dyslexia: the role of language ability, Gooch, Hulme, Nash and Snowling (2013)

Comorbidity among developmental disorders such as dyslexia, language impairment, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and developmental coordination disorder is common. This article explores comorbid weaknesses in pre-school children at family-risk of dyslexia with and without language impairment and considers the role that comorbidity plays in determining children's outcomes.

The development of executive function and language skills in children at risk of reading difficulties, Gooch, Thompson, Nash, Snowling and Hulme (2015)

The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This article explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, the team investigated whether these skills independently predict children's attention/behaviour skills.

Home learning environment

Early exposure to storybooks in the home: Validation of title/author checklist measures in a sample of children at elevated risk of reading difficulty, Hamilton (2014)

Title/Author checklists are a reliable and valid method of measuring young children’s exposure to storybooks. Early storybook exposure is robustly associated with concurrent oral language; a correlation between storybook exposure and concurrent pre-literacy skills was observed for typically developing children, but not for children at elevated risk of reading difficulty. This article includes the Child Title Checklist (CTC) and the Child Author Checklist (CAT).

Dyslexia

Preschool Language Profiles of Children at Family Risk of Dyslexia: Continuities with SLI, Nash, Hulme, Gooch and Snowling (2013)

Children at family-risk of dyslexia have been reported to show phonological deficits as well as broader language delays in the pre-school years. The article highlights the early overlap between family risk of dyslexia and SLI. A family history of dyslexia carries an increased risk for SLI and the two disorders both show an increased incidence of phonological deficits which appear to be a proximal risk factor for developing a reading impairment.

Comorbidities in pre-school children at risk of dyslexia: the role of language ability, Gooch, Hulme, Nash and Snowling (2013)

Comorbidity among developmental disorders such as dyslexia, language impairment, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and developmental coordination disorder is common. This article explores comorbid weaknesses in pre-school children at family-risk of dyslexia with and without language impairment and considers the role that comorbidity plays in determining children's outcomes.

Basic Number Processing in Children with Specific Learning Disorders: Co-morbidity of Reading and Mathematics Disorders, Moll, Gobel and Snowling (2014)

As well as being the hallmark of mathematics disorders, deficits in number processing have also been reported for individuals with reading disorders. The aim of the study reported in this article was to investigate separately the components of numerical processing affected in reading and mathematical disorders within the framework of the Triple Code Model.

Developmental dyslexia: predicting individual risk, Thompson, Hulme, Nash, Gooch, Hayiou-Thomas and Snowling (2015)

Causal theories of dyslexia suggest that it is a heritable disorder, which is the outcome of multiple risk factors. However, whether early screening for dyslexia is viable is not yet known. The article concludes that dyslexia is the outcome of multiple risk factors and children with language difficulties at school entry are at high risk. Family history of dyslexia is a predictor of literacy outcome from the pre-school years. However, screening does not reach an acceptable clinical level until close to school entry when letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and RAN, rather than family risk, together provide good sensitivity and specificity as a screening battery.

Specific language impairment

Preschool Language Profiles of Children at Family Risk of Dyslexia: Continuities with SLI, Nash, Hulme, Gooch and Snowling (2013)

Children at family risk of dyslexia have been reported to show phonological deficits as well as broader language delays in the preschool years. The article highlights the early overlap between family risk of dyslexia and SLI. A family history of dyslexia carries an increased risk for SLI and the two disorders both show an increased incidence of phonological deficits which appear to be a proximal risk factor for developing a reading impairment.

Comorbidities in pre-school children at risk of dyslexia: the role of language ability, Gooch, Hulme, Nash and Snowling (2013)

Comorbidity among developmental disorders such as dyslexia, language impairment, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and developmental coordination disorder is common. This article explores comorbid weaknesses in pre-school children at family-risk of dyslexia with and without language impairment and considers the role that comorbidity plays in determining children's outcomes.

Specific language impairment: a convenient label for whom? Reilly et al.; includes commentary by Snowling (2014)

The term ‘specific language impairment’ (SLI), in use since the 1980s, describes children with language impairment whose cognitive skills are within normal limits where there is no identifiable reason for the language impairment. SLI is determined by applying exclusionary criteria, so that it is defined by what it is not, rather than by what it is. The decision not to include SLI in DSM-5 provoked much debate and concern from researchers and clinicians.

The article and commentaries explore how the term ‘specific language impairment’ emerged, consider how disorders, including SLI, are generally defined and explore how societal changes might impact on the use of the term.

Interventions

Effectiveness of a combined reading and language intervention for children at-risk of dyslexia, Duff, Hulme, Grainger, Hardwick and Snowling (2014)

Intervention studies for children at risk of dyslexia have typically been delivered pre-school, and show short-term effects on letter knowledge and phoneme awareness, with little transfer to literacy. This article reports on a randomised controlled trial that evaluated the effectiveness of a reading and language intervention for 6-year-old children identified by research criteria as being at risk of dyslexia and their school-identified peers. Following mixed effects regression models and path analyses, small-to-moderate effects were shown on letter knowledge, phoneme awareness and taught vocabulary. However, these were fragile and short-lived, and there was no reliable effect on the primary outcome of word-level reading.

Maths

Basic Number Processing in Children with Specific Learning Disorders: Co-morbidity of Reading and Mathematics Disorders, Moll, Gobel and Snowling (2014)

As well as being the hallmark of mathematics disorders, deficits in number processing have also been reported for individuals with reading disorders. The aim of the study reported in this article was to investigate separately the components of numerical processing affected in reading and mathematical disorders within the framework of the Triple Code Model.

Lack of replication for the myosin-18B association with mathematical ability in independent cohorts, Pettigrew, Fajutrao Valles, Moll et al. (2015)

Twin studies indicate that dyscalculia (or mathematical disability) is caused partly by a genetic component, which is yet to be understood at the molecular level. Recently, a coding variant (rs133885) in the myosin-18B gene was shown to be associated with mathematical abilities with a specific effect among children with dyslexia. This association represents one of the most significant genetic associations reported to date for mathematical abilities and the only one reaching genome-wide statistical significance. This article reports on a replication study in different cohorts to assess the effect of rs133885 maths-related measures.

 

Early language and executive skills predict variations in number and arithmetic skills in children at family-risk of dyslexia and typically developing controls, Moll, Snowling, Göbel and Hulme (2015)

Two important foundations for learning are language and executive skills. This article reports on data from a longitudinal study tracking the development of 93 children at family-risk of dyslexia and 76 controls which was used to investigate the influence of these skills on the development of arithmetic.