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The high cost of orthographic disadvantage
English has a high orthography, i.e. myriad spelling patterns. Until recently, it has been assumed children in other countries have the same reading difficulties that English-text readers experience. Recent crosslinguistic research on reading-accuracy development is indicating that this is definately not the case, and that reading-accuracy difficulties are largely an English phenomena. This article discusses English orthographic complexity and crosslinguistic differences in reading development between English-text readers and readers of European languages with transparent orthographies, such as Welsh, Italian and Finnish. It then explores different dimensions of orthographic advantage, including its impact on national competitive advantage, the need to consider orthographic complexity in reading-accuracy instruction, and needs for crosslinguistic research on reading-accuracy development and instruction.