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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Reading disability has been studied for over a century in countries using alphabetic writing systems. It is estimated that around 3% to 5% of the school population in any Western country has a reading disability, which is described as a severe and persistent difficulty in reading and spelling not a result of any apparent intrinsic or extrinsic causes. Delayed and inappropriate intervention often results in learning, emotional, and behavioural problems in children. This article first provides a review of research literature on reading disability in alphabetic languages and then introduces the characteristics of the Chinese writing system. It highlights some research projects on Chinese reading disability; and explores how these findings may be applied to the identification of and intervention for Chinese children with reading disability. It concludes that a well-planned and systematic research in reading disability is essential for developing effective evidence-based identification and intervention approaches for children with reading disability.

Keywords: reading disability, alphabetic writing systems, non-alphabetic language, effective identification, linguistic characteristics

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