Literacy learning difficulties in Australian primary schools: Who are the children identified and how do their schools and teachers support them?

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Literacy Educators Association


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of Education




Originally published as: Rohl, M., & Milton, M. (2002). What's happening in schools for primary students with learning difficulties in literacy and numeracy? A national survey. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 25(1), 25. Original article available here.


In this article we look in detail at six students who were identified by their schools as having difficulty in learning literacy. These students came from a range of school settings and cultural and linguistic communities and they exemplify the diversity of the literacy learning needs of students identified as having learning difficulties or learning disabilities. We pinpoint some of the many complex factors that may interact to inhibit literacy learning. We then examine how these students were being supported in their literacy learning by their schools, we raise some important issues and draw some conclusions about how schools and teachers can effectively support the learning of students who do not make expected progress.