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Masters in Educational Practice: Child and adolescent development 0-19


Literacy and numeracy development



The acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills has a fundamental role in an individuals development and also in their adult work and social life. The development of these skills ordinarily follow a normal trajectory but from time to time difficulties or deviances in developments are observed. Difficulties may be a result of a developmental delay or may be due to having a disorder such as a specific language impairment, dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia. You do not have to be an expert in literacy and numeracy to notice if a child is having difficulties in these areas, if you are concerned about a particular child in your class speak to another member of staff and follow the school’s procedures. This will allow the children in your class to be given the greatest opportunities possible to leave school literate and numerate.

Additional materials


Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Uta Frith (2005). The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education. Blackwell Publishing.
Brooks, G. (2009). What works for pupils in Wales with literacy difficulties: The Effectiveness of Intervention Schemes. NFER.

Cain, K. (2010). Reading Development and Difficulties. BPS Blackwell.

Charles Hulme and Margaret J. Snowling (2008). Developmental Disorders of Language Learning and Cognition. Wiley-Blackwell.

Margaret J. Snowling and Joy Stackhouse (2005). Dyslexia, Speech and Language 2nd Edition: A Practitioner's Handbook. Dyslexia Series Whurr.              

Some research papers

Bishop, D.V.M., McDonald, D., Bird, S. & Hayiou-Thomas, M.E. (2009). Children who read words accurately despite language impairment: Who are they and how do they do it? Child Development, 80, 593–605.

Catts, H. W., Fey, M. E., Tomblin, J. B., Zhang, X. (December 2002). ‘A longitudinal investigation of reading outcomes in children with language impairments’. J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 45 (6): 1142–57.
Dirks, E., Spyer, G., van Lieshout, E. C. D. M., & de Sonneville, L. (2008). Prevalence of Combined Reading and Arithmetic Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 460–473.

Knopik, V. S., Alarcón, M., & DeFries, J. C. (1997). Comorbidity of mathematics and reading deficits: evidence for a genetic etiology. Behavior Genetics, 27, 447–53.

Kovas, Y., Haworth, C. M. A., Harlaar, N., Petrill, S. A., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2007). Overlap and specificity of genetic and environmental influences on mathematics and reading disability in 10-year-old twins. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 48, 914–922.

Landerl, K., Fussenegger, B., Moll, K., & Willburger, E. (2009). Dyslexia and dyscalculia: two learning disorders with different cognitive profiles. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 103, 309–24.

Morgan, P. L., Farkas, G., Tufis, P. A., & Sperling, R. A. (2008). Are reading and behavior problems risk factors for each other? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41, 417–36.

Pennington, B. F., & Bishop, D. V. (2009). Relations among speech, language, and reading disorders. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 283–306.

Raitano, N. A., Pennington, B. F., Tunick, R. A., Boada, R., & Shriberg, L. D. (2004) Pre-literacy skills of subgroups of children with speech sound disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45, 821–35.

Sanson, A., Prior, M., & Smart, D. (1996). Reading disabilities with and without behaviour problems at 7-8 years: prediction from longitudinal data from infancy to 6 years. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 37, 529–41.

Schuele, C. M. (2004). The impact of developmental speech and language impairments on the acquisition of literacy skills. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Review, 10, 176–83.

Simkin, Z.; Conti-Ramsden, G. (2006). ‘Evidence of reading difficulty in subgroups of children with specific language impairment’. Child Language Teaching and Therapy 22 (3): 315–331.

Snowling, M. J., Adams, J. W., Bishop, D. V., Stothard, S. E. (2001). ‘Educational attainments of school leavers with a preschool history of speech-language impairments’. Int J Lang Commun Disord 36 (2): 173–8.

Snowling, M. J., Muter,V., & Carroll, J. (2007). Children at family risk of dyslexia: a follow up in early adolescence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48, 609–618.


Supporting triple literacy: Language learning in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3

Welsh-medium Education Strategy  

What is a Specific Language Impairment?

SLI Handbook from I Can website

Talking point website  

Zero to three website (select ‘Early Language and Literacy’ from drop down link ‘Care and Education’ on the home page)

Afasic website 

NAPLIC website

Literacy difficulties 

Numeracy additional materials


Teaching guide ideas website
mad4maths website 
Woodlands-junior website
Box of ideas website
Dyscalculia website
dysTalk website

Reading materials:

Butterworth, B. (2005). The development of arithmetical abilities. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46(1), pp.3–18

Geary, D. C., Hoard, M. K., Byrd-Craven, J., Nugent, L. & Numtee, C. (2007). Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Achievement Deficits in Children with Mathematical Learning Disability, Child Development, 78(4), pp1343–1359.  

Kaufmann, L., Handl, P., & Thöny, B. (November/December 2003). Evaluation of a numeracy intervention program focusing on basic numerical knowledge and conceptual knowledge. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36(6), 564–573. doi: 10.1177/00222194030360060701

Kirby, A. & Peters, L. (2009). Mathematics and Dyscalculia. The Dyscovery Centre.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s 2008 document Mathematics in the National Curriculum for Wales.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s 2008 document Mathematical Development

The Welsh Government’s 2011 document on Developing higher-order mathematical skills

For further reading around mathematical development please visit David C. Geary’s website for a reference list of publications on this topic.

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