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Application of the Componential Model of Reading for Assessment and Intervention: Implications for Semitic Languages - R. Malatesha Joshi. PhD

Professor R. Malatesh Joshi from Texas A&M University, gave a fascinating lecture about illiteracy in Semantic languages. He proclaimed that illiteracy is of social and national concern, since it affects all walks of life, and that it is crucial to perfect assessment and intervention tools in order to fight this phenomenon.
According to his lecture, decoding and linguistic comprehension can explain much of the variance in reading comprehension, while IQ scores predict only about 25%Decoding contributes more at the early grade levels, while comprehension is more of a relevance to the upper grade levels.
He differentiated between two types of poor readers - dyslexics, who exhibit poor decoding with intact reading, and hyperlexics, who exhibit the opposite pattern. He showed that each type holds a unique linguistic and cognitive profile.
Finally, Prof. Joshi talked about illiteracy and bilingualism. He asserted that literacy acquisition and literacy problems among bilinguals may be influenced by the type of writing systems and the "orthographic distance" between the two languages. He ended his talk stating that vary little studies have been conducted on illiteracy and bilingualism, and since the majority of the world’s population is bilingual, more research on this subject is needed.