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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). Attendance of all classroom sessions is obligatory.

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.

Course objectives

  • State of the art

  • Development of scientific reasoning

  • Presenting a small scale study


Lectures Exam

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Written exam with open and MC-questions (66.6%)

  • Written reviews (33.3%)

  • Presentations

  • Knowledge clip

Research Masterstudents write all exams and reviews in English.

Small changes are possible, see Blackboard!


  • In order to get access students need to enroll the Blackboard course.

  • A detailed course description will be uploaded on Blackboard.

  • All course announcements will be placed on Blackboard.

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

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 Blackboard).

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



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