The dominant explanatory hypothesis of learning difficulties in dyslexia is a phonological deficit , with determinant disturbances of phonological awareness, verbal short-term memory and rapid automatized naming, causing an alteration in the access to the phonological representations of words, linked with poor acquisition of grapheme-phoneme correspondances. This deficit would impair reading through the phonological channel, and then compromise the implementation of the lexical pathway. However, the deficits on these procedures can be more or less marked, reflecting a certain heterogeneity in dyslexia. Some studies showed these particular difficulties. And other studies in EEG made it possible to understand the stages of treatment of the written words among expert readers, and to identify in mother-tongue the alterations of this specific treatment among dyslexic persons. But the difficulties of dyslexic people in the treatment of second languages ​​have not been systematically explored. That’s why it seems necessary to be interested in the learning of a second language among dyslexic persons, and in particular the learning of English, an opaque language known to be one of the most difficult languages ​​to acquire in children. This project is centered around this learning in the particular context of the school, characterized, despite the desire to favor the oral modality when learning second languages ​​in school context, by an important place in school learning retained by the written modality. These learning conditions are not appearing to be the most favorable or adapted to dyslexic people.

The main goal of the project is to better understand the mechanisms of lexical processing (recognition and learning of words) in English among dyslexic individuals.

In fact, it seeks to explain the particular difficulties of the treatment of second language among dyslexic people, in order to facilitate their access to the second language by optimal learning conditions. More precisely, it focuses on learning English as a second language in school context, by dyslexic students whose mother-tongue is French. 


Pr. Séverine CASALIS & Dr. Gwendoline MAHE








developmental dyslexia, second language learning, school context, orthographic bias, modality effect