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Early identification and prevention of reading problems in alphabetic and semanto-phonetic writing environments

Final Report Summary - LITERATE (Early identification and prevention of reading problems in alphabetic and semanto-phonetic writing environments)

The goal of the LITERATE project’s collaboration is to compare and try to affect the development of reading skill among compromised readers in alphabetic and semanto-phonetic writing environments represented by European and Chinese orthographies, respectively. Our emphasis is on research of the identification of children who need help in learning to read but particularly our specific emphasis is on research of preventive technologies helping compromised readers to acquire basic reading skill in all the collaborating countries – China, Finland and the Netherlands. All of the participants represent research communities that have been executing ambitious longitudinal research associated with reading acquisition who are highly interested in finding ways how to help them efficiently. The studies of the participating research groups provide important information about the most important bottlenecks hindering learning among at risk children. The bottlenecks associated with the alphabetic writing systems including the fully transparent orthography of the Finnish language, the slightly less transparent Dutch writing and the non-alphabetic Chinese where the requirements of the initial learning (of Pinyin) is close to that needed for that of the other two orthographies, however, the later stages of learning task (i.e. of the Chinese symbols) differ dramatically. The staff exchange scheme is important for exchange of complimentary know-how, data sharing, networking and conducting new innovative and groundbreaking basic and applied research by well established research centers. The results of staff research effort here can have far reaching influence globally well beyond the scheme ends. The project’s achievements are the following: 17 published scientific articles, 1 submitted scientific article, finalised versions of the digital learning environment for learning Pinyin, Chinese Character and Dutch (online games available for research participants from for conducting intervention studies.