Learning to read

Learning to read is the acquisition and practice of the skills necessary to understand meaning of the printed words. The process of learning to read builds on cognitive, linguistic, and social skills developed from a very early age.

Reading difficulties or dyslexia

Children who have severe and long-lasting problems with single-word reading (decoding) and/or reading fluency of text are most often diagnosed with reading a disability or ‘dyslexia’.

Why children struggle in reading: environmental factors

There are both environmental and within-child reasons for reading difficulties. Environmental factors can be related to poor parental literacy skills or the low standard of the educational system or teacher training in the home country.

Why children struggle in reading: within-child related factors

There are both environmental and within-child related factors for reading difficulties. Within-child related factors might include a child's poor language development or a lack of interest. Reasons could also differ according to different orthographies and different geographical contexts.

How to help children with word reading difficulties

It is very important that the teacher understands principles of effective instruction and how to help children who have problems already in word-level reading. Here we describe the principles and methods for effective interventions for these children.

Identification of reading disabilities

Continuous observation in the classroom and assessment of the development of reading skills are the basis for identifying and helping children who are slower learning to read and who may need extra support from the teacher.