Teachers, Children with Reading Difficulties, and Remedial Reading Assistance in Primary Schools Academic Article uri icon


  • While there is a body of research addressing the causes of reading difficulty and the identification and remediation of children with a reading difficulty, little is reported regarding the type and adequacy of assistance that these children actually receive in school. This study addresses the latter two issues. A random sample of 110 Year 3 teachers from State primary schools answered questions concerning school resources for assisting children with a reading difficulty, main method of teaching reading, their beliefs concerning reading difficulty, and their own level of general teaching experience and experience and training in managing reading difficulty. These teachers then provided information concerning the ability level, behavioural problems, perceived cause of reading difficulty, assessment, and adequacy of assistance for 303 Year 3 children whom they identified as having a reading difficulty. Results indicated that 42.7% of teachers predominantly used a whole language approach to teaching reading and that, by teacher definition, only 36.6% of children were receiving adequate assistance for their reading difficulty. Regression analysis showed that the factors most strongly associated with adequate assistance were a less severe level of reading difficulty, a higher level of support available within the school, and more children with reading difficulty in the class. The implications of these findings and other characteristics of the children with reading difficulties are discussed.

publication date

  • March 1996