• Jean ECALLE (Lyon 2)
    The benefits of digital training for the reduction of reading difficulties
    2015, Vol.XX-2, pp. 35-50

    We aim to present the development and the validation of two software programmes: one to train children in decoding and word recognition and the other one for comprehension. They are based on recent theoretical hypotheses, one stipulating that syllable are important units for reading words in French and the other one underlining that reading comprehension is underpinned by literal processing and two inferential processing, coherence inferences and knowledge-based inferences. These two software programmes were tested with several groups of children and adolescents with reading difficulties, some were poor decoders, others poor comprehenders and others poor decoders and poor comprehenders.

  • Jean ECALLE (Lyon 2)
    Assessment of reading and related skills
    2010, Vol. XV-1, pp. 105-120

    Reading assessment should be completed with cognitive skills (memory and rapid automatized naming) and linguistic skills (particularly phonological domain) related to reading and learning to read. This review aims to present the importance of assessing in general and the two aspects of reading assessment in terms of screening and diagnosis. For screening and more precisely to detect children at-risk of failure in learning to read, tests of language development and phonological skills are presented. For a diagnosis in reading, we distinguish pencil-paper tests and computer-based tests. For a complete diagnosis, tests in written word recognition and in reading comprehension are presented with their limits. We conclude that assessment should be closely related to interventions as prevention or remediation.

  • Christel LEUWERS (Lille 3)
    Development of the understanding of syntax in reading and writing
    1997, Vol. II-2, pp. 51-60

    Listening and reading comprehension of several syntactic structures was analysed with second to fifth grade readers. Three different structures were compared in both reading and listening: simple sentences, simple sentences with morphological markers for number and gender, and complex relative sentences. The difference between reading and listening was analysed systematically. Data showed that this difference changes with school level and with the type of syntactic structure and their specific constraints. The constraints that differentiate most between reading and listening were shown to be the identification of morphological markers necessary for identifying words (for simple sentences with markers) or the handling of working memory resources (for complex sentences).

  • Jacqueline LEYBAERT (Bruxelles, Belgique)
    The acquisition of reading skills with deaf children: the contribution of 'Completed Spoken Language'
    1996, Vol. I-1, pp. 81-94

    It is a well known phenomenon that deaf children generally have many difficulties in acquiring reading and spelling in alphabetic orthographies. It is argued here that these difficulties mainly result from the fact that these children rely on lipreading to perceive spoken language and that their phonological representations are underspecified. Two lines of evidence are presented in support of this view: 1/ an analysis of how deaf children exposed to spoken language only and/or to signed language read and spell; 2/ an analysis of the effect of exposure to visual systems disambiguating lipreading on the development of phonological abilities. It is concludede that deaf children may develop reading and spelling along lines similar to those of hearing children, provided that they are exposed to a linguistic input in which all the phonological contrasts of spoken language are specified.

  • Jean-Philippe RIVIÈRE (IUFM de Bretagne)
    Reading skills of French youngsters: new ways of large-scale assessing of cognitive performance
    2010, Vol. XV-1, pp. 121-144

    Every year, reading performance of about 700.000 young people is assessed in the framework of a day (JAPD, Journée d'Appel de Préparation à la Défense) organised by the French Ministry of Defense. These tests changed recently due to some constraints of test administration and the taking into account of the results of the previous version of the test. Based on the results collected over the years 2004-2008, this paper presents the methodological design of this large span evaluation of reading. This study is an occasion to moderate the binary oppositions between literate and illiterate, and to show that various more or less efficient ways of reading, characterize this activity. For some young people, the switch from schooling to active professional life implies a new relation with written language. The school, which is the main location of reading and writing solicitation, will be replaced by economical activities. For some young people, the relation with writing will be definitively distended.

    Acquisition of reading and writing skills and dyslexia: Review of the literature
    2003, Vol. VIII-1, pp. 63-90

    The aim of this paper is to present an overview of the processes involved in reading/spelling acquisition as well as possible explanations of developmental pathologies. Results obtained in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian are examined. All these languages have alphabetic spelling systems but differ as to the "transparency" of the grapheme-phoneme relationship. The results of these studies enable to separate the parameters common to different languages from those that are language-specific both in the acquisition of reading and spelling and in the genesis of dyslexia. The review of the literature also allows to sustain a strong phonological hypothesis, namely that the successes and failures specific to reading (and spelling) depend on the one hand on the transparency of the grapho-phonological relations in the writing system and, on the other hand, on the quality of the phonemic representations of the subject

    Cognitive science and the acquisition of reading and writing
    1997, Vol. II-2, pp. 35-49

    Reading (and spelling) studies conducted in the framework of 'Cognitive Sciences' are based on models which have to take into account expert reading, reading acquisition as well as acquired and developmental reading disabilities. Predictions based on these models are compared to psycholinguistic observations, to neurolinguistic investigations, and/or to simulation data. These models, which have to explain general cognitive processes, must also take into account environmental parameters. The main objective of this paper is to explain reading (and spelling) acquisition processes. We review studies on English-, German-, Spanish-, and French-speaking children. All these languages have alphabets, but differ in the transparency of their grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Results of these studies might therefore allow to distinguish between what depends on universal processes and what depends on the linguistic environment. We describe methods used in reading (and spelling) studies also because striking differences between research results may also be due to methodological problems.

  • Sylviane VALDOIS (Grenoble 2)
    Assessing difficulties in the acquisition of reading
    2010, Vol. XV-1, pp. 89-103

    Improvement of knowledge about the cognitive mechanisms involved in skilled reading and reading acquisition contributed to the development of new tools for the assessment of reading disability. A first step of the assessment focuses on the efficacy of the global and analytic reading procedures. Evidence for disharmonious development of these procedures then requires investigating the cognitive mechanisms involved in their establishment. Phonological processing skills are then typically assessed because of their well-known impact on reading acquisition. Recent findings have shown that the integrity of another cognitive mechanism, the visual attention span, was also required for the normal development of the reading system.

  • Serge VERLINDE (Louvain, Belgique)
    The conception of Integrated Tutorial Software as an Aid for Reading, Translation and Writing
    2010, Vol. XV-2, pp. 53-65

    The Base lexicale du français (BLF) website functions as a portal to numerous lexicographic resources for French. The structure of the interface is based on the potential needs of the users. However, the various options available may also confuse the user. Therefore, we have developed a new functionality which allows users to submit texts they either want to read or translate. After the texts have been analysed, they are presented to the user with an additional layer of relevant lexicographic information. This information appears in the form of a pop-up window for every word. In addition to these reading and translation assistants, the BLF also offers a writing assistant which differs considerably from traditional grammar checkers.