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Selected Research Project
Project Title Hong Kong Students Diagnosed with Childhood Dyslexia: What is and is not Compensated?
Principal Investigator Professor Chung Kien Hoa, Kevin
Area of Research Project Psychological Studies
Project Period
From 1/2012 To 12/2014
  1. To test which language-related cognitive tasks can best distinguish compensated and uncompensated dyslexic adolescents from chronological age (CA)-matched controls
  2. To investigate the extent to which dyslexic adolescents compensate for their early reading difficulties, both in the reading and cognitive processes levels that support reading by testing, for the remaining residual difficulties in compensated dyslexics
  3. To examine to what extent compensated and uncompensated dyslexics exhibit cognitive profiles similar to or different from their childhood profiles
  4. To use electrophysiological measures (i.e., event-related potentials-ERPs) to investigate aspects of cognitive”Vlinguistic processes underlying the manifestations of compensated and uncompensated dyslexia in Chinese adolescents
Methods Used

Phase I:
Examine the cognitive profile of CD and UD.

Phase II:
Examine the different neurophysiological levels of linguistic sensitivity in groups of dyslexics versus non-dyslexics by electrophysiological (ERP) measures.

Summary of Findings
  • To identify cognitive abilities distinguishing compensated and uncompensated dyslexic adolescents from typically developing adolescents
  • To study and establish the cognitive profiles of compensated and uncompensated dyslexics
  • To identify neurological markers for compensated and uncompensated dyslexics
Results for Phase 1
  • Twenty-eight improved dyslexics were selected from a pool of 254 dyslexic students diagnosed as dyslexic in Grade 1 to 2.
  • Improved dyslexics have fewer cognitive-linguistic deficits compare with non-improved dyslexics.
  • Morphological skills and visual-orthographic knowledge have the greatest power in discriminating improved and non-improved dyslexics.
Results for Phase II
  • Twelve dyslexic students and 12 typically developing students from Grade 7 ”V 8.
  • The ERP observation from visual-orthographic knowledge procedure suggests that dyslexic adolescents may have problems in the specialized neuronal circuits for processing visual-orthographic information that can hinder individuals”¦ reading and spelling ability.
  • Findings underscore the importance of cognitive-linguistic processes underlying the manifestations of improved and non-improved dyslexia in Chinese adolescent readers.
  • Provide important information on the variability in adolescent learning, including reading and writing strategies as well as overall literacy development.
  • Enrich information on models of reading development.
  • Help in design appropriate training and intervention methods for CD and UD in Chinese-speaking dyslexic populations.
  • Chung, K.K.H., Ho, C. S. H., Chan, D. W., Tsang, S. M., & Lee, S. H. (2013). Contributions of syntactic awareness to reading in Chinese-speaking adolescent readers with and without dyslexia. Dyslexia, 19, 11-36
  • Wong, S. W. L., Xiao M. X. Y., & Chung, K. K. H. (2012). Issues of culture and language in developmental disorders: The case of dyslexia in Chinese learners, In C. Marshall (Ed.), Current Issues in Developmental Disorders (pp.151-164). New York: Psychology Press.
Biography of Principal Investigator

Prof Kevin Chung is the Head of Department of Early Childhood Education and Chair Professor of Department of Special Education and Counselling. He was the Associate Dean (Research) from July 2008 to August 2010 of the Faculty of Education Studies, as well as the Coordinator of KRA: Learning and Assessment. Prior to joining the Institute, he was the Program Director of MED and PCAES (Special and Inclusive Education) in the University of Hong Kong. He also taught high school in Sydney, Australia, for more than 4 years before embarking on a different track in his academic career. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He won research grants 3 from the General Education Fund, 2 from the Quality Education Fund, and 2 from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities. His research interests are developmental dyslexia, language/reading acquisition and instruction, and inclusive/special education.

Funding Source

General Research Fund