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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 27 Issue 1 (1998) Effective Academic Interventions in t...
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Volume 27, Issue 1 (1998)

Effective Academic Interventions in the United Kingdom: Does the "Specific" in Specific Learning Difficulties (Disabilities) Now Make a Difference to the Way We Teach?

pp. 767—775

Abstract: The extent to which the “specific” in specific learning difficulties determines instructional methods was discussed by an interest group that met some 10 years ago. This article examines developments since that time by drawing together the areas of cognitive research, applied practice and trends in literacy teaching in the UK. In both the USA and the UK, research has continued to emphasize the role of phonology, its assessment and instructional implications. Meanwhile, educational psychologists in both countries have adopted and defended a variety of discrepancy definitions both on theoretical grounds and as administrative necessities. Focusing on phonology, in the UK there are now many standardized and commercially distributed phonological assessment materials which need to be used judiciously. While those researching the “specific” are also stressing the importance of meaning-based compensatory strategies, the teaching of phonological awareness and phonics has become an integral part of general teaching programmes. It is argued that, in terms of instructional implications, the gap between the specific and the general has thus narrowed even further.

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