A group of 7th and 8th grade Italian children with difficulty in learning English as a foreign language (FLLD) was selected and compared to a control group matched for age and non-verbal intelligence but with average foreign language learning ability. Two experiments were conducted in order to examine participants’ verbal and non-verbal learning such as native language reading decoding and comprehension, calculation speed and correctness as well as self-regulation and attention control. Both experiments showed that children with FLLD are at risk for reading comprehension disability but their reading speed and accuracy are in an average range according to Italian norms. Results also allow to exclude that FLLD could be associated with a deficit in calculation learning although children with FLLD seem to be at risk for an ADD that emerged from teachers’ ratings. The disability profile of children with FLLD appears not completely comparable with that of young adults with FLLD
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