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Learning problems and impairments: research and practice


NB Language of instruction is English

Admission requirements



This course provides an interdisciplinary view plus unique balance between theory, diagnosis and teaching strategies, including case studies.

Students study recent research published in main journals (e.g., Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities).

Students are required to attend all classroom and / or online sessions and to participate. The selection of research papers includes traditional themes related to learning problems (dyslexia, dyscalculia) but adds coverage on at risk preschool children, language delayed children, teacher as collaborative consultant, meaning based approaches to reading, attention deficit disorders, using computers to enhance learning, social interaction and learning, and other high-interest current topics in the field.

Students are expected to reflect critically on scientific literature and on their own scientific behavior, to determine one’s position based on transparent scientific reasoning.

NB This course is also open for Research Master students as an elective. For research master students the course will contain an extra assignment. Students need to contact the instructor after the first class to discuss the content of the extra assignment.

Course objectives

  • State of the art

  • Development of scientific reasoning

  • Presenting a small scale study


Mode of instruction

Interactive lectures.

Assessment method

  • Written exam with open and MC-questions (100%)

  • Written reviews (should be satisfactory)

  • Presentations should be satisfactory

  • Knowledge clip should be satisfactory

  • Research students will get an extra assignment (to be agreed with the coordinator)

Research Masterstudents write all exams and reviews in English.

Small changes are possible, see Brightspace!


  • Registration for this course via usis automatically leads to enrollment into the Brightspace environment of this course.

  • A detailed course description will be uploaded on Brightspace.

  • All course announcements will be placed on Brightspace.

  • Students hand in their reviews and a knowledge clip on Brightspace.

Reading list

  • Hulme, C. & Snowling, M. J. (2009). Developmental Disorders of Language Learning and Cognition. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Scientific papers (to be announced, see course description on Brightspace).

Small changes are possible (also in the reading list), see Brightspace!



Students need to register for lectures in uSis. It is not possible to take a course without a valid registration.


Students are not automatically registered for exams. They can register themselves in uSis until 10 calendar days before the exam date at the latest. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the exam.

Please consult the course and exam registration website for information on registration periods and further instructions.

Contact information

Co-ordinator of this course is dr. T. M. Sikkema-de Jong. She will hold (online) office hours (the hour following the lecture) and will be available by e-mail or by appointment.