Authors: Eddy Cavalli, Séverine Casalis, Abdessadek El Ahmadi, Mélody Zira, Florence Poracchia-George, Pascale Colé.

Article: Vocabulary skills are well developed in university students with dyslexia: Evidence from multiple case studies.

Publication: Research in Developmental Disabilities Volumes 51–52, Pages 89-102 2016 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2016.01.006

[Full Text]


Reading deficits are persistent in university students with dyslexia (DYS).
Persistence of deficits in phonological skills in DYS.
But vocabulary breadth (number of known words) is well developed in DYS.
And vocabulary depth (precision) is more developed in DYS than in normal readers.
Vocabulary skills can be considered as potential compensatory reading skills in DYS.


Most studies in adults with developmental dyslexia have focused on identifying the deficits responsible for their persistent reading difficulties, but little is known on how these readers manage the intensive exposure to written language required to obtain a university degree.

The main objective of this study was to identify certain skills, and specifically vocabulary skills, that French university students with dyslexia have developed and that may contribute to their literacy skills. We tested 20 university students with dyslexia and 20 normal readers (matched on chronological age, gender, nonverbal IQ, and level of education) in reading, phonological, vocabulary breadth (number of known words), and vocabulary depth (accuracy and precision) tasks.

Results on reading and phonological tasks confirmed the persistence of deficits in written word recognition and phonological skills. However, we found that the two groups performed at the same level in the vocabulary breadth task, whereas dyslexics systematically outperformed their chronological age controls in the vocabulary depth task.



Tagged as: dyslexic strengths, vocabulary, and wordmeaning


Cavalli, E., Casalis, S., Ahmadi, A.E., Zira, M., Poracchia-George, F., & Colé, P. (2016). Vocabulary skills are well developed in university students with dyslexia: Evidence from multiple case studies. Research in developmental disabilities, 51-52, 89-102

Leave a public question or comment:

If you need personal help or assistance please use our contact forms instead.

All comments are moderated. Comments that are not relevant to the page topic or which contain identifiable personal information will be removed.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *