Authors: Karol A. Moore, Jialin Lai, Juan F. Quinonez-Beltran, Kausalai Wijekumar & R. Malatesha Joshi.

Article: A cross-orthographic view of dyslexia identification.

Publication: Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science (Springer). Published: 01 September 2023 2023 | DOI: 10.1007/s41809-023-00128-0


There is evidence that dyslexia occurs in many languages around the world. As many have attempted to develop theories that encompass the multidimensionality of dyslexia across languages, they fall short when accounting for variation due to orthographic depth while also focusing on European alphabetic languages. Many students with dyslexia demonstrate difficulties in languages that are neither European nor alphabetic. Therefore, a more comprehensive model is needed to provide consistency in understanding, assessment, and identification for a greater number of students. We employ the ten dimensions of orthographic complexity proposed by (Daniels and Share, Scientific Studies of Reading 22:101–116, 2018) to discuss how orthographic features (e.g., spoken-written distance, spatial arrangement and nonlinearity, historical change, and omission of phonetic elements) are associated with reading acquisition and difficulties. We review and synthesize literature to provide a background for reading acquisition and dyslexia in alphabetic languages (e.g., Finnish, Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, and English; Seymour et al., British Journal of Psychology 94:143–174, 2003) that range from transparent to opaque in orthographic depth as well as other languages that are Semitic (e.g., Arabic and Hebrew), syllabic-alphabetic (e.g., Korean), and morphosyllabic (e.g., Chinese). Implications for assessment, identification, and intervention, as well as future directions will be discussed. This approach could aid in a shift in perspective from ‘Anglocentric’ and ‘alphabetocentric’ (Daniels and Share, Scientific Studies of Reading 22:101–116, 2018; Share, Psychological Bulletin 134:584–615, 2008, Share, Reading Research Quarterly 56:S391–S402, 2021) to a broader view that addresses a wider variety of orthographies.

Tagged as: definition of dyslexia, languages, orthographic depth, and orthographies


Moore, K.A., Lai, J., Quinonez-Beltran, J.F. et al. A cross-orthographic view of dyslexia identification. J Cult Cogn Sci (2023).

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