Dyslexia and the Phonological Deficit Hypothesis
Developing Phonological Awareness in Young English Language Learners
The present essay aims at investigating the relationship between dyslexia, phonological awareness, and the development of reading skills, both in a first language (L1) and in a foreign language (FL) – and especially in the English language. The first paragraph offers a theoretical overview of the notions of dyslexia and phonological awareness. The essay moves on to examine the relationship between early phonological awareness skills in preschool children and the later development of their literacy skills. The authors then describe an intervention program to foster phonological awareness skills in English-speaking preschoolers, and propose to employ this practice – in an adapted manner – in Italian preschools. What follows is a focus on the role of phonological awareness in primary school children. After reviewing the main approaches in the field of language teaching methodology, and their degree of ‘dyslexic-friendliness’, the authors present a phonics teaching proposal to strengthen not only phonological awareness skills in primary school children, but also to approach children to literacy in the form of regular correspondences between sounds and letters in English, through the educational tool of storytelling.