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Webinar 1: Longitudinal Relationships Between Developmental Language Disorder and Dyslexia: Same or Different?

With learning to read as a backdrop, this seminar will discuss findings from a longitudinal study of children at high-risk of dyslexia either because of preschool speech and language difficulties or because of a first degree affected relative, followed from age 3 to 9 years. A focus on the preschool language profiles suggests that there are shared risk factors between familial dyslexia and developmental language disorder (DLD). The developmental picture is however more complex. It will be argued, in line with the critical age hypothesis, that children who enter school with a persistent speech or language impairment are most at risk of reading problems. A dyslexia outcome is associated with persistently poor phonology whereas children with DLD show more general language impairments from an early stage associated later with poor reading comprehension and poor mathematical skills.


Professor Maggie Snowling
University of Oxford

Professor Maggie Snowling is President of St. John’s College and Professor of Psychology at the University of Oxford. She is also professionally qualified as a clinical psychologist. Professor Snowling is an acclaimed researcher in cognitive development and a leading international authority in the fields of dyslexia and language disorders. Her research on children’s reading and language is at the interface of psychology and education and she is committed to widening access to higher education.

Maggie is best known for her work on dyslexia and developmental language disorders. She served on Sir Jim Rose’s Expert Advisory Group on provision for Dyslexia (2009), was advisor to the Phonics Screening Check in England (2011) and an expert member of the Education for All: Fast Track Initiative group in Washington DC (2011). She has recently been an advisor to the UK’s Department for Education on the Reception Baseline Assessment.
Over the past few years Professor Snowling has been particularly interested in improving public understanding of dyslexia and developmental language disorders (DLD). With Professor Dorothy Bishop she was involved in the creation of the Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder YouTube channel, now managed by the charity NAPLIC; and in building consensus based on input from 50 experts from the English-speaking world, regarding the definition and characteristics of developmental language disorder. She has also continued to be engaged in the dissemination of knowledge of dyslexia through publication of the Very Short Introduction to Dyslexia (OUP, 2019) coupled with public talks at literary and science festivals, and the History of Dyslexia project.

Professor Snowling’s longstanding interest in the implementation of effective language and literacy interventions for ‘at risk’ groups including those who are socially disadvantaged extends beyond the UK to low and middle income countries continues with projects in Chile, Brazil and the ‘Talk Together’ project which looks at child language development and oral language interventions in 3–6 year olds in India and the Philippines, where communities are often multilingual.

This webinar is part of the Distinguished Speaker Webinar Series on Special and Inclusive Education 2021-22. For more information visit https://www.unic.ac.cy/eduseries2021-22

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