The Theoretical Background to Dyslexia
Run by School of Educational Sciences
30.000 Credits or 15.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Mrs Joanna Dunton
Overall aims and purpose
The module aims to help students gain knowledge and information about the theoretical background of developmental dyslexia through study of research findings on the nature of the difficulty, its assessment, and its remediation. This will be linked to the way that such research studies, along with the work of leading practitioners, has led to developments in teaching methodology and general understanding of the difficulty. Key factors in assessment of attainment will be discussed in the context of individual needs. The module aims to alert students to how dyslexia fits into the range of specific learning difficulties; alongside this is a survey of legislation against disability discrimination in educational institutions, and statutory duties of educational institutions to meet the needs of pupils and students.
This module (XME 4016) and Module XME 4017 are designed to run in tandem if they wish to apply for AMBDA status.
Students who wish to apply for Associated Member status of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA) should take XME 4016, XME 4017 (or XME 4054) and XME 4011.
This is a wide ranging module, covering psychological research into the range of difficulties that are characteristic of developmental dyslexia, neurophysiological research into its possible causes, and models of reading and spelling acquisition as well as the role of memory. Topics include:
- Survey of the main theories about dyslexia and its aetiology;
- The nature of dyslexic difficulties as found by research and observation;
- Introduction to assessment tools for the purpose of assessing attainment, and to using test results to formulate teaching approaches and programmes;
- The ways that difficulties with mathematics are related to those of reading and spelling difficulties;
- An introduction to those aspects of phonetics, phonology, and philology which will be of assistance to teachers in work with dyslexic learners;
- Social and emotional issues in dyslexia;
- A historical introduction to dyslexia, its identification and approaches to teaching;
- Current statutory provision for learners with additional educational needs;
- Required to keep up-to-date with a combination of recent, relevant texts, books and peer reviewed research articles and to build skills of critical review and evaluation of this material.
threshold40-49% - Pass: Some consideration given to planning and structure, limited in depth of analysis and use of research, but demonstrating some understanding of the subject matter. 50-59% - Pass: Clear evidence of planning leading to a good structure, sound understanding of theories and analysis, and good use of research supported by appropriate evidence.
good60-69% - Merit: Shows significant insight, offers sustained and relevant analysis, well researched and referenced and written with a clear structure and style.
excellent70-84% - Distinction: Demonstrates excellence in power of analysis, argument, originality, range of research, organisation and stylistic quality. 85-100% - Distinction: Outstanding work which demonstrates exceptional scholarship and is worthy of publication, or instrumental in developing professional practice.
- Understand and critically appraise: current research in the specific learning difficulties/dyslexia and its relevance for teaching and learning.
- Develop and demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills competently to observe diagnostically and assess the cognitive abilities and difficulties of pupils who fail to become competent in literacy and/or numeracy and report appropriately on their needs and provision required.
- Be able to critically evaluate and interpret reports from other professionals, including educational psychologists and use their findings to inform work with dyslexic learners.
- Demonstrate familiarity with the evidence-base concerning effective interventions for learners with dyslexia and literacy difficulties, and show how such knowledge may be used in monitoring and evaluating programmes of support.
- Demonstrate and understanding of the implications of social, emotional, behavioural and community issues for dyslexic learners and their families across the full age range.
- Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary theories of the typical development of language, literacy and numeracy skills and how dyslexic learners may differ from those who are not experiencing difficulties in acquiring these skills.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Lectures/presentations on general methodology and particular topics: 1.5 hours. 4 each weekend / 30 hours of formal session over 5 whole days.