In search of effective remediation for students with developmental dyslexia – a review of contemporary English literature
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Although developmental dyslexia is frequently diagnosed in Poland, little knowledge of effective treatment for this disorder is available in Polish society. Remedial teachers for many years have applied traditional methods aimed at correction and compensation for affected cognitive functions and academic skills. Otherwise, although western therapies are regularly advertised in the media, their effectiveness has rarely been subject to scientific investigation. Since the assumptions underlying some approaches are not consistent with current understanding of cognitive function, they may attract negative expert appraisal. Unfortunately, it seems that fashion in dyslexia therapy is resistant to rare expressions of criticism from the scientific community. The purpose of this article is to promote awareness about effective treatment for specific reading disorders. Teachers’ greater understanding in this area should help Polish dyslexic children and their parents, who may be confused by offers of misguided therapy and sharp business practise. It is hoped that this article will clarify the situation. In this review of modern English journal articles, focus is on remedial teaching of reading, and more specifically, support for dyslexic students experiencing difficulties in decoding. Here we are concerned only with therapy in alphabetic languages in which individual speech sounds correspond to letters. Analysis of articles from the last six years leads to the conclusion that the most effective therapy for the reading disorder is training in phonological awareness and consolidation of letter-sound knowledge. However, these skills should be practised in the context of reading.
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