Morphological awareness intervention in adults with developmental dyslexia

Morphological awareness intervention in adults with developmental dyslexia

First Author: Max Wilson -- Université Laval
Additional authors/chairs: 
Anne Lafay; Monica Lavoie; Lydia Paradis; Isabelle Touchette; Élisabeth Déry
Keywords: Morphological Awareness, Comprehension, Adult Students, Intervention, Developmental dyslexia
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose. Morphological awareness (MA) contributes to the successful reading and spelling compensation in adults with developmental dyslexia (Law, Wouters, & Ghesquière, 2015). MA instruction has proven successful in children (Goodwin & Ahn, 2013). French is a morphologically rich language. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of an intervention based on MA in French-Canadian university students with a diagnosis of developmental dyslexia.
Method. Participants. Nineteen undergraduate (n=15) and master’s students (n=4) with a diagnosis of developmental dyslexia (15 female; mean age = 26 y.o., sd = 7). Six presented with a concomitant diagnosis of ADHD. All participants performed within normal limits for non-verbal reasoning and vocabulary.
Procedure. Participants received three group sessions (2 hours each; 6 hours total), once a week during three consecutives weeks. The intervention consisted of the explicit instruction on how to identify and use the morphological properties of words (production of words from definitions, morphological accord, etc.). Home activities were also provided for a total of 7 hours (30 minutes/day for 14 days). Participants were tested pre and post-intervention with standardized French tests of word reading, word spelling, MA and text comprehension. We compared scores with paired t-tests.
Results. Performance post-intervention improved significantly for MA and word reading. Word spelling was marginal. Interestingly, text comprehension significantly improved. Processing times (in ms) did not improve.
Conclusions. These results show the efficacy of a MA intervention in adults with dyslexia and further highlight the links between MA and reading comprehension (Deacon, Kieffer, & Laroche, 2014).