Linda Siegel

Professor Emerita, place of work, University of British Columbia


Early Identification and Intervention to prevent reading difficultie

The purpose of this presentation is to describe a simple, inexpensive, and effective system, used in the North Vancouver School District, to detect children at risk for reading difficulties in Kindergarten and to provide a classroom based intervention to help all children develop their reading and spelling skills.
1. To learn procedures for the early identification of children at risk for reading problems
2. To learn intervention procedures for children in kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2.
I will describe a study in which the teachers administered a brief screening device involving some aspects of early literacy and used a program called Firm Foundations. The children in the study either had English as a first language L1) or were learning English as a second language (ESL). When we began the study, 25% of the L1 were at risk for reading difficulties and 50% of the ESL children were at risk. By grade 4, 1.5% of the children in each group, ESL and L1, had reading problems. 98.5 % of the children were significantly above grade level in reading and spelling. Early identification and intervention can prevent most reading problems.
This presentation is appropriate for teachers and other school personnel.


Linda Siegel is the former Dorothy C. Lam Chair in Special Education and an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

She has over 200 publications on early identification and intervention to prevent reading problems, dyslexia, reading and language development, mathematical concept learning, mathematical learning disabilities, and children learning English as a second language.
She has recently published a book entitled Not Stupid, Not Lazy: Understanding Dyslexia and Other Learning Disabilities. This book is published by the International Dyslexia Association.