The parent project is part of a large NIH-supported program project with six sections, designed to determine the relationship between speech and reading, and to understand the basis of the reading problems suffered by some children. In the present program of research large numbers of Russian school children and their caregivers will be tested in order to determine the characteristics of Russian dyslexia and to understand the problems of disfluent reading in English and other languages. The primary intent is to understand better the transition from beginning to skilled reading using the Russian writing system which, because of its consistency, is better suited for this purpose than English. A secondary purpose is to test hypothesis about the relation between reading ability and a persons ability to analyze speech into its building blocks (phonemes).
A third aim i s to assess causal models that relate a child's early language and literacy experience to reading ability. The foreign collaborator will test Russian school children (3rd and 4th grades) and their primary caregivers on a large battery of tests designed to assess reading performance, spoken language functioning, and aspect of brain laterality, and literacy experience. All of the test produces have been used successfully previously with American subjects and the majority of these have also been piloted successfully with Russian children. The test procedures include measures of child's accuracy and fluency in reading. Also, measures of spoken-language functioning will be obtained. Finally, caregivers will be tested on measures similar to the children and will also provide histories of the child's early language and literacy experience. The advantage of extending the procedures planned for US children to those of other countries is that the relationships between the written alphabet and speech sounds are many and varied in English and it is then possible to determine how this complicates learning to read in US children.