Derivational Morphology Training in French-Speaking, 9- to 14- Year-Old Children and Adolescents With Developmental Dyslexia: Does it Improve Morphological Awaraness, Reading and Spelling Outcome Measures?

J Learn Disabil. 2024 Feb 7:222194231223526. doi: 10.1177/00222194231223526. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Children with developmental dyslexia (DD) display partially preserved morphology skills which they rely upon for reading and spelling. Therefore, we conducted explicit and intensive training of derivational morphology in individuals with DD, ages 9 to 14 years, in order to assess its effect on: morphological awareness, reading (speed and accuracy), and spelling. Our pre-posttest design included a group trained in derivational morphology and a group of children who continued their business-as-usual rehabilitation program with their speech-language therapist. Results showed effects on morphological awareness and on the spelling of complex words, with a large between-group effect size for trained items and a large to moderate effect size for untrained items. All these gains tended to be maintained over time on the delayed posttest, 2 months later. For reading, the results were more contrasted, with large between-group effect sizes for accuracy and speed for trained items, reducing to a small effect for accuracy on the delayed posttest. For untrained items, small effects were observed on accuracy (at both posttests) but not on speed. These results are very promising and argue in favor of using derivational morphology as a medium to improve literacy skills in French-speaking children and adolescents with DD.

Keywords: intervention; literacy; morphology.