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Comparative reading research offers us an avenue to study a universal process — learning to read — in cultures and societies with different customs, traditions and writing systems. Such studies provide insights into how we learn, and fail to learn, and information about methods for meeting the reading needs of different students in our own country. In studying learning to read in another writing system there is always the temptation to make comparisons in terms of which is better or worse, easier or harder. In the past, research from Japan indicated that learning to read in Japanese produced fewer reading disabilities due to its writing system. Both past and more recent research on comparative differences in reading disabilities, particularly in Japan, have been examined to determine whether in fact more recent findings corroborate these beliefs.

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