Dimitra Katsarou


The question about the extent to which the acquisition of a second language at an early age affects the literacy development of the child seems to be ambiguous and depends on multiple factors both from the internal and external environment of the child. Bilingualism seems some times to affect the knowledge of the mother tongue in children with typical development, whereas some other times not. The research area, however, about children with dyslexia is very poor. Therefore, we conducted a research in order to find out the extent to which bilingual dyslexic students struggle in acquiring the second language in the Greek first and second grade. In addition, we wanted to examine the reaction and performance of those students and their monolingual dyslexic counterparts towards a special-designed test in order to come out with results which reveal which the best way to teach those students is and in which activities the students are more participative and effective. Results showed that students with bilingualism and dyslexia in their early school years are more confident and participative in tasks which include simple vocabulary items and audiovisual material. In addition, the results are even more satisfying when there is a conjunction between the words of the languages they already know with the target language. Finally, students with dyslexia respond better in tasks with simple instructions which require oral answers and not written. They are also more confident when the teacher explains in detail every aspect of the task and follows the elicitation technique which leads the students to the correct answers.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



dyslexia, special education, bilingualism, linguistic skills

Full Text:



Andreou, G. (2007). Phonological awareness in bilingual and trilingual schoolchildren. The Linguistics Journal, 3(3), 8-15.

Andreou, G. & Baseki, J. (2014). Dyslexia and Spelling in two different orthographies: A linguistic-cognitive analysis, Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 7, 1172-1191.

Bakker, C. (2000). The care and education of young bilinguals. Cleve don: Multilingual Matters.

Battaglia, M.P. (2008). Nonprobability Sampling, Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods. Sage Publications: U.K.

Benson, J.C. (2002). Real and Potential Benefits of Bilingual Programmes in Developing Countries. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 5, 6, 303-317.

Bloom, L. & Lahey, M. (1978). Language Development and Language Disorders. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Bloom, L., Hood, L. & Lightbown, P. (1974). Imitation in language development: If, when and why. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 380–420.

Brohy, C. (2001). Generic and/or specific advantages of bilingualism in a dynamic plurilingual situation: The case of French as official L3 in the school of Samedan (Switzerland). International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 4(1), 38-49.

Cummins, J. (1978). Cognitive development of children in immersion programs. Canadian Modern Language Review, 34, 855-883.

Deponio, P., Landon, J., Mullin, K. & Reid, G. (2000). An Audit of Processes Involved in Identifying and Assessing Bilingual Learners Suspected of Being Dyslexic: a Scottish Study. Moray House Institute of Education, University of Edinburgh: UK.

Dulude, L. (2012). Writing Systems, Phonemic Awareness, and Bilingualism: Cross- Linguistic Issues in Dyslexia. Journal of Cognitive Science, 5, 9-12.

Griessler, M. (2001). The effects of third language learning on second language proficiency: An Austrian example. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 4(1), 50-60.

Hakuta, K. (1986). Mirror of Language: The debate on bilingualism, New York: Basic.

International Dyslexia Association (2000). Teacher Strategies for Dyslexics, [accessed 12/1/2014]

Jessner, U. (1999). Metalinguistic awareness in multilinguals: Cognitive aspects of third language learning, Language Learning, 8, 201-209.

Kovelman, I., Bisconti, S. & Hoeft, F. (2016). Literacy + Dyslexia Revealed through Bilingual Brain Development,

Lambert, W.E. & Tucker, G.R. (1972). Bilingual Education of children: the St. Lambert experiment. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Peal, E. & Lambert, W.E. (1962). The relation of bilingualism and intelligence. London: Psychological Monographs.

Sandravelis, A.G. (2015). Screening of dyslexia in Greek language for bilingual students in compulsory education

Skutnabb-Kangas, T. & Tukoma, P. (1976). Teaching migrant children’s mother tongue and learning the language of the host country in the context of the socio-cultural situation of the migrant family, Report Written for UNESCO, Tampere: University of Tampere, Department of Sociology and Social Psychology: Research Reports.

Tsokalidou, R. (2005). Raising bilingual awareness in Greek primary schools. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 8(1), 48-61.

Umbel, M.V., Rearson, B.Z., Fernadez, M.C. & Oller, D.K. (1992). Measuring Bilingual Children’s Receptive Vocabularies. Child Development, 63, 1012-1020.


Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Special Education Research (ISSN 2501 - 2428) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).