Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read


ANU Emeritus Faculty Lecture

Professor Maggie Snowling CBE, FBA, FMedSci

Dyslexia, Language and Learning to Read 

Professor Snowling is specifically interested in the nature and causes of children's reading difficulties and how best to ameliorate them. Without the ability to read fluently with comprehension there is a downward spiral of poor educational achievement and career prospects. Dyslexia is therefore a major problem for society and a key question is whether it is possible to intervene early to ameliorate its impact. Studies following the development of children at family-risk of dyslexia reveal that it is associated with language delays and speech difficulties in the pre-school years before reading instruction begins. Literacy outcomes for children depend not only on the risk factors that predispose to reading difficulties but also on protective factors which mitigate the risk. Together current evidence places dyslexia on a continuum with other language learning impairments.

Professor Maggie Snowling is President of St John's College Oxford and Professor of Psychology at University of Oxford. She is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences and professionally qualified as a clinical psychologist. She is 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. She 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.

Professor Snowling will be introduced by Emeritus Professor James Fox, the Chair of the ANU Emeritus Faculty and the vote of thanks will be given by Professor John White, President of the Oxford University Society, ACT.