Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Area of Study
Taught In English
First Language Acquistion and Language Impairment
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Knowledge and insight: to gain knowledge and insight in the field of spelling and reading disorders, also known as dyslexia. We will study
the possible causes and the symptoms of dyslexia. We will also go into features of both technical reading and reading comprehension. In
addition to that, we will study screening materials and treatment methods for children with dyslexia.
- critical analysis of treatment methods;
- making error analyses of written materials (dictations, stories,
exams) of children with dyslexia;
- transforming analyses into advices for teachers and parents;
- performing a dyslexia screening;
- oral presentation skills;
- giving peer feedback.
About 4% of all people in the world suffer from dyslexia. These people have trouble learning how to read and write. Many different treatment methods (some more effective that others) have been developed over the last decades. Treatment helps people with dyslexia to better understand the orthography of their own language and how to strategically put that knowledge to use, while reading or writing. However, dyslexia cannot be cured, so it will affect their lives, whether it concerns a child going to school or an adult working in a professional setting.
We will study literature about the assumed causes of dyslexia and the (linguistic) theories that aim at confirming these assumptions. We will also study the Dutch educational system and the ways in which it has incorporated structural measures to identify dyslexia markers in
children as early as possible. Besides that, we will study screening materials, the phases of the diagnostic process, and treatment methods. We will analyse data (written and oral materials) from children with dyslexia. Halfway the seminars, students will start giving presentations about one of the topics treated in class.
Lectures and seminars (2 x 2 hours per week).
TYPE OF ASSESSMENT
Written exam (80% of the final grade) and four written assignments (together 20% of the final grade). A low grade for one assignment (but
not lower than 5) can be compensated with a high grade for another assignment. Both the average of the assignments and the exam grade have to be at least 5.5. Students must have given their presentation before taking part in the exam.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Some courses may require additional fees.