DIALUKI – Diagnosing reading and writing in a second or foreign language

Principal Investigator: prof. Charles Alderson, Lancaster University

Other researchers: Ari Huhta, Lea Nieminen, Riikka Ullakonoja, Eeva-Leena Haapakangas, Sanna Olkkonen

Collaborators outside CALS: Ulla Richardson, Kenneth Eklund, Heikki Lyytinen (Agora Center / Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä), Maisa Martin (Department of Languages, JyU), Scott Jarvis (University of Ohio), Judit Kormos (Lancaster University), David Barton (Lancaster Literacy Research Centre), John H.A.L. de Jong (Amsterdam Free University), Sauli Takala, Paavo Leppänen

Duration: 2010-2013

Funding: Academy of Finland, University of Jyväskylä, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, the UK)


The project studies the diagnosis of reading and writing abilities in a second or foreign language. It seeks to identify the cognitive features which predict a learner's strengths and weaknesses in those areas. The project brings together scholars from applied linguistics, psychology and assessment to engage in multidisciplinary work and to develop innovative ways of diagnosing the development of second and foreign language abilities.

The main contribution of the project will be to offer novel, well-grounded theoretical insights and to develop a range of methodologies to study second and foreign language development and its diagnosis. We are exploring the causes underlying strengths and weaknesses in language development, and the relationship between literacy skills in one's first language and the development of second language abilities. The results of the project will also have practical implications by providing a sounder theoretical basis for the development of curricula, pedagogic materials and diagnostic tests.

URL: www.jyu.fi/dialuki