Dislessia e bilinguismo: qualcosa in comune?

Cappa, Claudia and Giulivi, Sara (2012) Dislessia e bilinguismo: qualcosa in comune? Babylonia, 3. pp. 60-63.

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The authors present some considerations on the relationship between dyslexia and bilingualism, based on a comparison between the main areas of difficulty of the former and the numerous linguistic and cogni- tive advantages that are mentioned in the scientific literature of the latter. Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) that involves the ability to read. It manifests itself particularly in the problems individu- als encounter in decoding written texts. This is due to the fact that the process of grapheme-phoneme association has not become automatic. In addition, dyslexia involves deficits in the storage and retrieval of the lexicon and in meta-phonological skills as well as deficits in execu- tive functions and the working memory. Strangely enough, bilingual individuals seem to have a more distinct phonological, morphosyn- tactic and semantic awareness, and, consequently, generally greater metalinguistic abilities. This leads to better executive functions and has positive effects on both the working memory and the long term memory. Therefore, it may be legitimate to hypothesize that promoting bilingualism in education may have a “preventive” and/or “habilita- tive” function in the sense that it may strengthen the cognitive and linguistic areas that may manifest deficits in an individual with SLD.

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