You can find key information about how we read and spell, and how to teach reading and spelling, here:
- Language at the Speed of Sight by Mark Seidenberg.
- Early Reading Instruction: What science really tells us about how to teach reading, by Diane McGuinness. By the same author is Language Development and Learning to Read, now out of print, but available as a free pdf here.
- Reading in the Brain by Stanislas Dehaene. Watch him on video here and here.
- Essentials of Assessing, Preventing and Overcoming Reading Difficulties by David Kilpatrick. Videos of David and other experts can be found at The Reading League.
- Articles by Louisa Moats (many available free online – just search by title and author). Two video lectures by Dr Moats are here and here.
- Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf.
- AUSPELD and its state-based affiliates have research information on their websites, or try the easy-to-read Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Guide for Parents website.
- Learning Difficulties Australia’s website
- The Five from Five website
- The Children of the Code website
- This 2014 Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of treatment approaches for children and adults with reading difficulties.
- Outside the Square’s Australian films about dyslexia, now free on Youtube.
- Association for Direct Instruction
- LD Online, and in particular this article.
- Developmental Disorders of Language and Literacy Network – online network of professionals who want to close the gap between research and practice in literacy teaching.
- SpellTalk listserve: US-based professional discussion group about spelling, and a good source of information about current research.
How literate are Australians? Recent large-scale international studies suggest that far too many Australians are struggling with reading and spelling.
National inquiries into the teaching of reading have been held in Australia, the UK and the USA.
All the reports are online so you can read them yourself – click here for the links and what I regard as a few key excerpts.
Dyslexia is part of Specific Learning Disability in the latest edition of the diagnostic manual used by medical and allied professions (DSM-5). In Australia and the UK there have been recent reports describing about the difficulties and needs of people with decoding problems. Click here for more information and the relevant links.
A useful literature review on literacy-teaching in Australia was published by ACER in 2002, called Closing the gap between research and practice – foundations for the acquisition of literacy.
Two key, long-term studies into literacy-teaching methodology in Scotland have been published in recent years and are worth highlighting – one conducted in Clackmannanshire and one in West Dunbartonshire. Click here for a brief overview and links to their reports.
Two of Australia’s most respected reading scientists wrote a paper in 2007 called Learning to Read in Australia, which remains very relevant.