Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a neurobiological deficit characterized by a difficulty in language processing (Vellutino, 1979) and literacy acquisition, both in language coding and decoding (Reid, 2009). Generally, people with dyslexia show phonological deficits (Snowling 2000), difficulties in automatizing skills (Nicolson & Fawcett, 2008), working memory deficits (Jeffries & Everatt, 2004), verbal short term memory (Baddeley, 2015), and difficulties in temporarily storing serial order information (Majerus & Cowan, 2016). Moreover, the rate of information processing is slower in people with dyslexia than in their peers (Wolf & Bowers, 1999) and this possibly hinders text comprehension. There are significant differences within the dyslexic population, so that the various deficits may or may not co-occur, and be more or less severe. However, dyslexic people, due to inefficient memory systems - working memory, short and long-term memory, have a recognized difficulty in storing and retrieving new words, as well as a limited ability to learn new vocabulary incidentally, for example through reading or interacting. All these aspects have a negative impact on foreign language learning (Szmalec et al. 2013), especially because the phonological memory is acknowledged playing a fundamental role in vocabulary learning (Baddely et al., 1998; Baddely, 2015). Vocabulary is an essential component of language knowledge and a limited word inventory hinders communication. Foreign language learning at school is characterized by an insufficient exposure to linguistic input, but also to the modality of input presentation that is different from the one experienced in first language acquisition and in natural settings. Lack of ostensive contexts, motivation, and multiple sensorial stimuli possibly affect efficient vocabulary learning at school. Therefore, it is evident that additional input exposure and special training techniques are needed to improve vocabulary storage and retrieval in L2 learners with DD. Experimental memorization techniques were used to teach both general and specialized English lexicon to Italian University students with dyslexia. Two groups of students with DD, aged 19 to 24, were taught new vocabulary. The main group was administered a rapid automatized naming (RAN) training, while the control group was instructed in the same lexicon using a more traditional methodology. Results show that the group which received the experimental treatment obtained best scores at the final examination test, 67% of correct answers vs. 58.7% of the control group, highlighting the beneficial effect of RAN on L2 vocabulary learning with people with dyslexia.

MEMORIZATION TECHNIQUES TO TEACH L2 ENGLISH VOCABULARY TO DYSLEXIC STUDENTS

Sabrina Noccetti
2018

Abstract

Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a neurobiological deficit characterized by a difficulty in language processing (Vellutino, 1979) and literacy acquisition, both in language coding and decoding (Reid, 2009). Generally, people with dyslexia show phonological deficits (Snowling 2000), difficulties in automatizing skills (Nicolson & Fawcett, 2008), working memory deficits (Jeffries & Everatt, 2004), verbal short term memory (Baddeley, 2015), and difficulties in temporarily storing serial order information (Majerus & Cowan, 2016). Moreover, the rate of information processing is slower in people with dyslexia than in their peers (Wolf & Bowers, 1999) and this possibly hinders text comprehension. There are significant differences within the dyslexic population, so that the various deficits may or may not co-occur, and be more or less severe. However, dyslexic people, due to inefficient memory systems - working memory, short and long-term memory, have a recognized difficulty in storing and retrieving new words, as well as a limited ability to learn new vocabulary incidentally, for example through reading or interacting. All these aspects have a negative impact on foreign language learning (Szmalec et al. 2013), especially because the phonological memory is acknowledged playing a fundamental role in vocabulary learning (Baddely et al., 1998; Baddely, 2015). Vocabulary is an essential component of language knowledge and a limited word inventory hinders communication. Foreign language learning at school is characterized by an insufficient exposure to linguistic input, but also to the modality of input presentation that is different from the one experienced in first language acquisition and in natural settings. Lack of ostensive contexts, motivation, and multiple sensorial stimuli possibly affect efficient vocabulary learning at school. Therefore, it is evident that additional input exposure and special training techniques are needed to improve vocabulary storage and retrieval in L2 learners with DD. Experimental memorization techniques were used to teach both general and specialized English lexicon to Italian University students with dyslexia. Two groups of students with DD, aged 19 to 24, were taught new vocabulary. The main group was administered a rapid automatized naming (RAN) training, while the control group was instructed in the same lexicon using a more traditional methodology. Results show that the group which received the experimental treatment obtained best scores at the final examination test, 67% of correct answers vs. 58.7% of the control group, highlighting the beneficial effect of RAN on L2 vocabulary learning with people with dyslexia.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/948528
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