Margaret J. Snowling's research while affiliated with University of Oxford and other places

Publications (211)

Article
Background: There is now substantial evidence that language interventions delivered to small groups can be effective for improving language skills and hence strengthening the foundation for formal schooling. However, there are remaining challenges when delivering such interventions in naturalistic environments at scale. Method: We reflect on three...
Article
This study explored the effects of a 27-week reading and language intervention, for low-income children living in a remote Chilean community, using a randomized controlled trial. At the end of the intervention, children in the intervention group showed improvements compared to the waiting group on pre-literacy, reading, language, and reading compre...
Article
Learning the sounds of letters is important for learning to decode printed words and is a key component of phonics instruction. Some letter sounds are easier for children than others, and studies of these differences can shed light on the factors that influence children’s learning. The present study examined knowledge of the sounds of lowercase let...
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Full-text available
We followed children at family-risk of dyslexia and children with preschool language difficulties from age 3½, comparing them with controls (N = 234). At age 8, children were classified as having dyslexia or Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and compared at earlier time points with controls. Children with dyslexia have specific difficulties wit...
Data
Appendix S3. Relationship between Round 2 statements and final statements reported in Results section.
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Appendix S1. Background document, with the statements for round 1.
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Appendix S5. Report showing quantitative and qualitative responses to Round 2 statements.
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Appendix S4. Report showing quantitative and qualitative responses to Round 1 statements.
Data
Appendix S2. Background document, with the statements for round 2.
Article
We examine the role of language production mechanisms in sentence repetition, a task widely used as a diagnostic tool in developmental disorders. We investigate sentence repetition in 5- to 8-year-old native speakers of Kannada, an inflectionally rich language of India. The inflectional characteristics of the language make it an ideal testing groun...
Chapter
Disorders of literacy are arguably the most studied and best understood of all the cognitive disorders of childhood. This chapter focuses on both disorders of reading accuracy (dyslexia) and reading comprehension difficulties. Dyslexia commonly co-occurs alongside other developmental difficulties, such as specific language impairment, mathematical...
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We investigate the role of distal, proximal and child risk factors as predictors of reading readiness and attention and behaviour in children atrisk of dyslexia. The parents of a longitudinal sample of 251 preschool children, including children at family-risk of dyslexia and children with preschool language difficulties, provided measures of socioe...
Article
Duff, Mengoni, Bailey and Snowling (Journal of Research in Reading, 38: 109–123; 2015) evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the phonics screening check against two reference standards. This report aims to correct a minor data error in the original article and to present further analysis of the data. The methods used are calculation of predi...
Article
Background This study considers the role of early speech difficulties in literacy development, in the context of additional risk factors. Method Children were identified with speech sound disorder (SSD) at the age of 3½ years, on the basis of performance on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology. Their literacy skills were assesse...
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Full-text available
Delayed or impaired language development is a common developmental concern, yet there is little agreement about the criteria used to identify and classify language impairments in children. Children's language difficulties are at the interface between education, medicine and the allied professions, who may all adopt different approaches to conceptua...
Data
Round 2 statements, showing relationship with Round 1. Final item number shown in square brackets. (PDF)
Data
Briefing document sent to panel members with Round 2 items. (PDF)
Data
Round 2 report. Personalised version of this sent to all respondents, showing overall distribution of responses and qualitative comments. (PDF)
Data
Round 1 report. Personalised version of this sent to all respondents, showing overall distribution of responses and qualitative comments. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Delayed or impaired language development is a common developmental concern, yet there is little agreement about the criteria used to identify and classify language impairments in children. Children's language difficulties are at the interface between education, medicine and the allied professions, who may all adopt different approaches to conceptua...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Specific language impairment (SLI) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, observed in 5-10 % of children. Family and twin studies suggest a strong genetic component, but relatively few candidate genes have been reported to date. A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) described the first statistically significant association sp...
Article
Full-text available
Delayed or impaired language development is a common developmental concern, yet there is little agreement about the criteria used to identify and classify language impairments in children. Children's language difficulties are at the interface between education, medicine and the allied professions, who may all adopt different approaches to conceptua...
Article
Children with preschool language difficulties are at high risk of literacy problems; however, the nature of the relationship between delayed language development and dyslexia is not understood. Three hundred eight Slovak and Czech children were recruited into three groups: family risk of dyslexia, speech/language difficulties and controls, and were...
Article
Surveys in low- and middle-income (LMI countries) reveal persistently low levels of learning among children in disadvantaged communities. Against this background, our synthesis of ethnographies aims at a fresh interpretation of classroom practices to clarify instruction-related barriers to literacy attainments. The review focuses on the period from...
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The current study compared eye fixation patterns during word and sentence processing in a consistent and an inconsistent alphabetic orthography. German and English children as well as adults matched on word reading ability read matched sentences while their eye fixation behavior was recorded. Results indicated that German children read in a more sm...
Article
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This article reviews 95 publications (based on 21 independent samples) that have examined children at family risk of reading disorders. We report that children at family risk of dyslexia experience delayed language development as infants and toddlers. In the preschool period, they have significant difficulties in phonological processes as well as w...
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Background: Lack of agreement about criteria and terminology for children’s language difficulties affects access to services as well as hindering research and practice. We report the second phase of a study using an online Delphi method to address these issues. In the first phase, we focused on criteria for language disorder. Here we consider termi...
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Background: Children with language impairment (LI) show heterogeneity in development. We tracked children from pre-school to middle childhood to characterize three developmental trajectories: resolving, persisting and emerging LI. Methods: We analyzed data from children identified as having preschool LI, or being at family risk of dyslexia, toge...
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The development of reading skills is underpinned by oral language abilities: Phonological skills appear to have a causal influence on the development of early word-level literacy skills, and reading-comprehension ability depends, in addition to word-level literacy skills, on broader (semantic and syntactic) language skills. Here, we report a longit...
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The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This study explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, we investigated whether these...
Article
Full-text available
A significant proportion of children (up to 7% in the UK) present with pronounced language difficulties that cannot be explained by obvious causes like other neurological and medical conditions. A substantial genetic component is predicted to underlie such language problems. Copy number variants (CNVs) have been implicated in neurodevelopmental and...
Chapter
Education holds the key to career opportunity, prosperity and ultimately adult well-being. Children who have difficulties in learning are at high risk of educational failure which in turn can limit their career options. In this chapter we consider the nature and etiology of specific learning disorders, namely reading, spelling and mathematics disor...
Article
Full-text available
Reading fluency is often predicted by Rapid Automatized Naming speed (RAN), which as the name implies, measures the automaticity with which familiar stimuli (e.g., letters) can be retrieved and named. Readers with dyslexia are considered to have less ‘automatized’ access to lexical information, reflected in longer RAN times compared with non-dyslex...
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Background Causal theories of dyslexia suggest that it is a heritable disorder, which is the outcome of multiple risk factors. However, whether early screening for dyslexia is viable is not yet known.Methods The study followed children at high risk of dyslexia from preschool through the early primary years assessing them from age 3 years and 6 mont...
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Twin studies indicate that dyscalculia (or mathematical disability) is caused partly by a genetic component, which is yet to be understood at the molecular level. Recently, a coding variant (rs133885) in the myosin-18B gene was shown to be associated with mathematical abilities with a specific effect among children with dyslexia. This association r...
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The current study investigated the time course of cross-linguistic differences in word recognition. We recorded eye movements of German and English children and adults while reading closely matched sentences, each including a target word manipulated for length and frequency. Results showed differential word recognition processes for both developing...
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Full-text available
In the absence of criteria for the diagnosis of dyslexia, considerable weight is given to self-report, in particular in studies of children at family risk of dyslexia. The present paper uses secondary data from a previous study to compare parents who self-report as dyslexic and those who do not, in relation to objectively determined levels of abili...
Book
TEST PSICOMETRICO. Valutazione rapida e completa: ALCE offre l’opportunità di valutare con un unico strumento e in poco tempo le abilità di lettura e di comprensione del testo, letto in autonomia e ascoltato oralmente. Consente inoltre, in soli 3’, di approfondire l’assessment indagando il funzionamento dei meccanismi cognitivi sottostanti alla de...
Article
Full-text available
In this short article, we discuss what is specific language impairment (SLI) and why it is a hidden disability that few people have heard about. We describe the impact on research, policy and practice of SLI being a neglected condition. We end by providing the background and rationale of a new internet campaign, RALLI (www.youtube.com/rallicampaign...
Article
Full-text available
High comorbidity rates between reading disorder (RD) and mathematics disorder (MD) indicate that, although the cognitive core deficits underlying these disorders are distinct, additional domain-general risk factors might be shared between the disorders. Three domain-general cognitive abilities were investigated in children with RD and MD: processin...
Article
The authors reflect on findings from three studies of different approaches to reading intervention (Al Otaiba et al., Denton et al., and Miller et al., all found in this issue). It is argued that the science of interventions for reading disorders is advanced and that these and other related studies provide a strong evidence base for guiding educati...
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Background Intervention studies for children at risk of dyslexia have typically been delivered preschool, and show short-term effects on letter knowledge and phoneme awareness, with little transfer to literacy.Methods This randomised controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a reading and language intervention for 6-year-old children identifi...
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Background Introduced in June 2012, the phonics screening check aims to assess whether 6-year-old children are meeting an appropriate standard in phonic decoding and to identify children struggling with phonic skills.AimsWe investigated whether the check is a valid measure of phonic skill and is sensitive in identifying children at risk of reading...
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Within a dimensional view of reading disorders, it is important to understand the role of environmental factors in determining individual differences in literacy outcome. In the present study, we compared a group of 40 parents of children with dyslexia (PDys) with a group of 40 parents of typically developing children. The two parent groups did not...
Article
As well as being the hallmark of mathematics disorders, deficits in number processing have also been reported for individuals with reading disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate separately the components of numerical processing affected in reading and mathematical disorders within the framework of the Triple Code Model. Children...
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We review current knowledge about reading development and the origins of difficulties in learning to read. We distinguish between the processes involved in learning to decode print, and the processes involved in reading for meaning (reading comprehension). At a cognitive level, difficulties in learning to read appear to be predominantly caused by d...
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This article reports the evaluation of a 6-week programme of teaching designed to support the development of phoneme blending skills in children with Down syndrome (DS). Teaching assistants (TAs) were trained to deliver the intervention to individual children in daily 10 -15-minute sessions, within a broader context of reading and language instruct...
Article
Comorbidity among developmental disorders such as dyslexia, language impairment, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and developmental coordination disorder is common. This study explores comorbid weaknesses in preschool children at family risk of dyslexia with and without language impairment and considers the role that comorbidity plays in de...
Chapter
This introductory chapter of Developing Reading Comprehension outlines the richness of written language and the complexities of the processes involved in reading for meaning. This serves to highlight the many ways in which children's ability to understand text can break down, and will provide points to consider when teaching and developing interven...
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Full-text available
Children at family risk of dyslexia have been reported to show phonological deficits as well as broader language delays in the preschool years. The preschool language skills of 112 children at family risk of dyslexia (FR) at ages 3½ and 4½ were compared with those of children with SLI and typically developing (TD) controls. Children at FR showed tw...
Article
En este editorial discutimos qué son los trastornos específicos del lenguaje (TEL) y por qué es una discapacidad escondida, invisible. ¿Por qué tan pocas personas saben lo que es el TEL? Describimos el impacto que tiene esta falta de reconocimiento del TEL no solamente en la investigación, en la cantidad de estudios que hay sobre el TEL, sino tambi...
Article
This paper outlines the nature and characteristics of children's reading disorders and considers current ideas about the definitions of dyslexia and reading comprehension impairment. We argue that reading skills show continuous variations within the population, making the diagnostic “cut-offs” used in the identification of reading disorders essenti...
Article
In this editorial, we discuss what is specific language impairment (SLI) and why it is a hidden disability that few people have heard about. We describe the impact on research, policy and practice of SLI being a neglected condition. We end by providing the background and rationale of a new internet campaign, RALLI (www.youtube.com/rallicampaign), a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Oral language skills in the preschool and early school years are critical to educational success and provide the foundations for the later development of reading comprehension. Methods: In a randomized controlled trial, 180 children from 15 UK nursery schools (n = 12 from each setting; M(age) = 4;0) were randomly allocated to receive a...
Article
This study investigated the role of length and complexity on sentence repetition in children with dyslexia and typical readers. Length and complexity each had independent effects on sentence repetition, and children with dyslexia performed more poorly than typical readers. This group effect was attributable to individual differences in language rat...
Article
The authors review current knowledge about the cognitive processes underlying the early stages of word reading development. Recent findings in a variety of alphabetic languages converge on the conclusion that there are 3 “cognitive foundations” for learning to read: letter–sound knowledge, phonemic awareness, and rapid automatized naming skills. De...
Article
Letter names are stressed in informal and formal literacy instruction with young children in the US, whereas letters sounds are stressed in England. We examined the impact of these differences on English children of about 5 and 6 years of age (in reception year and Year 1, respectively) and US 6 year olds (in kindergarten). Children in both countri...
Article
Visual stress (the experience of visual distortions and discomfort during prolonged reading) is frequently identified and alleviated with coloured overlays or lenses. Previous studies have associated visual stress with dyslexia and as a consequence, coloured overlays are widely distributed to children and adults with reading difficulty. However, th...
Article
Although there are a number of standardised measures to assess dyslexia in children, there are comparatively fewer instruments suitable for the assessment of dyslexia in adults. Given the growing number of students entering UK higher education institutions, there is a need to develop reliable tools for assessing the additional needs of those with d...
Article
This paper reviews current proposals concerning the definition of dyslexia and contrasts it with reading comprehension impairment. We then discuss methods for early identification and review evidence that teacher assessments and ratings may be valid screening tools. Finally, we argue that interventions should be theoretically motivated and evidence...
Chapter
Research on the development of reading provides a framework for considering reading disorders including dyslexia and poor reading comprehension. The nature and behavioral characteristics of each disorder is described before proceeding to discuss causal explanations in terms of cognitive deficits. The possible neurobiological origins of these defici...
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Full-text available
We describe the background and rationale of an internet campaign to raise awareness of language learning impairments (RALLI).
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Reaction time (RT) variability on a Stop Signal task was examined among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and/or dyslexia in comparison to typically developing (TD) controls. Children's go-trial RTs were analyzed using a novel ex-Gaussian method. Children with ADHD symptoms had increased variability in the fast...
Article
There appears to be a close and probably causal relationship between early variations in phoneme skills and later reading skills in typically developing children, though the pattern in children with Down Syndrome is less clear. We present the results of a 2-year longitudinal study of 49 children with Down Syndrome (DS) and 61 typically developing (...
Article
There is good evidence that phoneme awareness and letter-sound knowledge are reliable longitudinal predictors of learning to read, though whether they have a causal effect remains uncertain. In this article, we present the results of a mediation analysis using data from a previous large-scale intervention study. We found that a phonology and readin...