Volume 71, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Dyslexia is a language-development deficit in the area of reading and spelling. Research has provided evidence that the extent to which dyslexics have problems with literacy acquisition may differ across languages. It is thought that this is caused by differences in consistency concerning grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Consistencies and inconsistencies between languages may, therefore, also have an effect on L2 learning. If this is indeed the case, words that are orthographically and phonologically similar in both L1 and L2 will cause relatively few problems, while words that are only phonologically similar will cause greater inhibition effects for dyslexics compared to non-dyslexic readers. To test this hypothesis, I conducted a naming task with Dutch subjects who learned English at secondary school. The results show that dyslexic readers make more errors and have slower response times than non-dyslexic readers. I also compared two levels of proficiency (2 vmbo ('lower secondary professional education') and 5 vwo ('pre-university education'). In general, the dyslexies from vwo performed much better than dyslexies from vmbo, which was to be expected, as the students of vwo had had more experience in using the English language. The dyslexies in vwo did not, however, perform better compared to age-level controls than did the dyslexies in vmbo. Although more research is needed to determine what exactly the role of level of proficiency is in L2 acquisition, the results in general support the hypothesis that the inconsistencies in the English grapheme-phoneme correspondences provide an extra challenge for dyslexies who are learning English as a second language.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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