Seminars in Speech and Language
There is a considerable gap in English reading achievement between English-language learners and native speakers in the United States. Differentiation of whether English language learners’ struggles are symptomatic of reading disability or related to second language acquisition is often challenging. These issues highlight the need for increased insight into reading development and disability in this population. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of cross-linguistic universals in reading acquisition, how reading disabilities manifest in various languages, and whether diagnostic and instructional approaches that are effective for native English speakers are also appropriate for English-language learners. Recommendations for assessment and intervention practices for at-risk and reading-disabled English-language learners are provided.