Recently I had the pleasure of doing a webinar for the International Dyslexia Association, Florida Branch regarding the crucial role language plays in the acquisition of literacy skills. During the webinar, I reviewed the role of language in the acquisition of reading and explains why children with reading difficulties must be assessed for language deficits. I also explained how undetected language deficits can adversely hamper reading interventions causing the students to plateau in their literacy gains. Finally, I offered suggestions regarding which assessments should be considered by parents and professionals for students who exhibit persistent reading difficulties.
With respect to learners’ objectives, I first discussed the role of language in the acquisition of literacy. Then I explained why children with reading difficulties must be assessed for language deficits. After that, I stressed how undetected language deficits can impact reading interventions. I finished the webinar by listing language assessment instruments for students 6-18 years of age, sensitive to the detection of language and pragmatic deficits as well as described clinical language assessment procedures that can be used to accurately supplement formal testing results.
I hope that you will find the below webinar and handouts helpful in understanding the importance of thorough good quality language assessments for students with suspected literacy deficits.