Screening for Dyslexia in French-Speaking University Students: An Evaluation of the Detection Accuracy of the Alouette Test


  • Cavalli Eddy
  • Colé Pascale
  • Leloup Gilles
  • Poracchia-George Florence
  • Sprenger-Charolles Liliane
  • El Ahmadi Abdessadek

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Developmental dyslexia is a lifelong impairment affecting 5% to 10% of the population. In French-speaking countries, although a number of standardized tests for dyslexia in children are available, tools suitable to screen for dyslexia in adults are lacking. In this study, we administered the Alouette reading test to a normative sample of 164 French university students without dyslexia and a validation sample of 83 students with dyslexia. The Alouette reading test is designed to screen for dyslexia in children, since it taps skills that are typically deficient in dyslexia (i.e., phonological skills). However, the test's psychometric properties have not previously been available, and it is not standardized for adults. The results showed that, on the Alouette test, dyslexic readers were impaired on measures of accuracy, speed, and efficiency (accuracy/reading time). We also found significant correlations between the Alouette reading efficiency and phonological efficiency scores. Finally, in terms of the Alouette test, speed-accuracy trade-offs were found in both groups, and optimal cutoff scores were determined with receiver operator characteristic curves analysis, yielding excellent discriminatory power, with 83.1% sensitivity and 100% specificity for reading efficiency. Thus, this study supports the Alouette test as a sensitive and specific screening tool for adults with dyslexia.

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