Research Dialogue Series

When does a language difficulty become a reading disorder?



13 August 2019

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

ILSTE, Level 4, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane

ZooM Video Conference

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Professor Maggie Snowling, President, St. John’s College, Oxford

I will present 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 8 years. Evidence suggests that there are shared risk factors between familial dyslexia and language impairment but the developmental picture is 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. 

Presenter Bio

Maggie SnowlingI took up the role of President of St. John’s in September 2012. Before that I held a personal Chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of York where I was Co-Director of the Centre for Reading and Language.  I completed my first degree at Bristol and my doctorate at University College London. I am also professionally qualified as a clinical psychologist. I am a Past-President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading and one of the Joint Editors of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. I served as a member of Sir Jim Rose’s Expert Advisory Group on provision for Dyslexia in 2009 and as an expert member of the Education for All: Fast Track Initiative group in Washington DC in 2011.  I am a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. I was appointed CBE for services to science and the understanding of dyslexia in 2016.

My research focuses on children’s language and learning and I am specifically interested in the nature and causes of children’s reading difficulties and how best to ameliorate them.

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