Disorders of Literacy: Diagnosis and Intervention
Disorders of Literacy: Diagnosis and Intervention 2023-24
School Of Human And Behavioural Sciences
Module - Semester 2
Children’s literacy disorders can take several different forms. The most well-known of these, dyslexia, affects accurate and fluent word reading and spelling. It is primarily characterised by (oral language) phonological processing and reading fluency difficulties. Another disorder, reading comprehension impairment, involves difficulty in understanding what one has read, even when reading accurately and fluently. Reading comprehension impairment seems to arise from weak oral language skills, including poor vocabulary, grammar, and oral language comprehension. Both of these reading disorders are also associated with spelling and writing difficulties. They also often co-occur with other difficulties in areas such as motor co-ordination, mental calculation, concentration and personal organisation. If correctly diagnosed, children’s and adolescents’ literacy difficulties can be remediated with targeted, evidence-based interventions that address the specific causes of their difficulties.
In this module, we will link theory with practice in learning about developmental literacy disorders. In the theoretical sessions, students will learn about the causes of literacy disorders, their manifestations in childhood and adolescence, about methods for their diagnosis through ‘skills-based assessments’, and about effective interventions. In the practical component, students will work with a pupil experiencing literacy difficulties. Over several weeks, students will work with a pupil and will carry out an in-depth skills assessment in order to build up a profile of the pupil’s literacy strengths and weaknesses. Based on this profile, an end-goal will be for each student to write a full diagnostic report, and develop a plan for an individualised program of effective intervention for their pupil. The module comprises three strands: (1) weekly theory lectures, (2) weekly seminars and workshops focusing on the purpose, administration, and interpretation of various literacy skills-based assessments, and remediation strategies, and, (3) weekly assessment/intervention sessions with an assigned pupil in a local school. In light of the practical component, this module requires a serious commitment of attendance at all of its components. It is recommended for students with a keen interest in educational psychology, special needs education, and the psychological study of developmental disorders of learning, language and literacy.
N.B. In case of COVID-19-related restrictions on face-to-face teaching in school, adaptations will be made for remote sessions with pupils via TEAMS and other online platforms. Students may be asked to switch from one format to the other at short notice.
Essential requirement: A valid enhanced DBS certificate prior to the start of the module. In order to undertake and complete the practical component of this module, students must be in possession of a valid enhanced DBS prior to Week 1 of the semester. Without this, students will not be permitted to continue on the module.
-threshold -Adequate answers, largely based on lecture material with no real development of arguments or critical evaluation. Structure and organisation of work is adequate. Work meeting this criteria is typically be awarded a grade in the C range. A grade in the D range is typically awarded if aspects of the work contains inaccuracies/misunderstandings or a failure to expand on key points. A failing grade is awarded where there are substantive inaccuracies/misunderstandings or major omissions. -good -Reasonably comprehensive coverage demonstrating good understanding of the material. Answers contain evidence of further study beyond the lecture material and demonstrate some development of arguments or critical evaluation. Work is well organised and structured. Work meeting this criteria is generally awarded a grade in the B range. -excellent -Comprehensive and accurate coverage of the area demonstrating a deep insight into the material. Answers demonstrate evidence of substantial further study. Work contains clear arguments or critical evaluation. Answers contain clarity of expression. Work meeting this criteria is generally awarded a grade in the A range.
- Be able to evaluate own assessment and diagnosis skills and respond to feedback.
- Be able to interpret the pupil’s performance on a variety of tests, and be able to assess the degree of severity and complexity of the child’s profile of strengths and difficulties.
- Competently be able to administer and evaluate tests bearing on literacy and related skills in pupils.
- Competently develop a plan for a well-founded and individualized course of intervention, based on language-based and multisensory teaching principles.
- Critically evaluate relevant research articles using a psychological approach.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of current research and theory of the causes and manifestations of developmental disorders of literacy.
- Understand the criteria for scientifically-sound intervention studies, and be able to critically evaluate studies reporting intervention effects in dyslexia and reading comprehension impairment.
- Understand the key principles of literacy skills-based assessments in educational practice.
- Write a full skills assessment report, backed up by a portfolio of practical assessment sesssions/materials/observations based on direct work with pupil.