Professor Victor van Daal

Name: Professor Victor van Daal
Department: Children, Education and Communities
Current position: Director of the Centre for Literacy and Numeracy Research and Professor of Education
Location: Ormskirk Main Campus, Faculty of Education


Victor became the Director of the Centre for Literacy and Numeracy Research (CLNR) and Professor of Education at Edge Hill University in March 2013, after having worked as a Professor of Special Education at the Reading Centre at Stavanger University, Norway. Before moving to Norway in 2005, he was a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Dyslexia Unit at the University of Wales, Bangor (1999-2004). Victor studied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (MA in 1981) and obtained his PhD from the Free University in Amsterdam (1993). From 1993 to 1999 Victor worked as a Lecturer and a Senior Lecturer at both universities in Amsterdam. Victor’s research interests include typical and atypical development of reading and arithmetic, second language learning, multimedia and literacy learning, international comparative studies on reading comprehension and mathematics, and methodology and statistics for the social sciences. His work was returned in the REF 2014 for EHU.


  • 4 March 1993, Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogy: Doctor’s Degree on thesis entitled ‘Computer-based reading and spelling practice for young dyslexics’.
  • 28 August 1981, University of Amsterdam, Department of Psychology: Master’s Degree, Major subject: Experimental Psychology, Minor subjects: Education Studies and Psycholinguistics.
  • 5 June 1971, St.-Bernardinuscollege, Heerlen, Netherlands: Gymnasium α.


  • From 1 March 2013 till present, Professor in Education, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire, UK.
  • 1 October 2004 – 28 February 2013, Professor of Special Education, National Centre for Reading Education and Reading Research, University of Stavanger, Norway.
  • 1 September 2010 – 1 July 2011, Fellow-in-Residence at Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS), Wassenaar, Netherlands.
  • 1 February 2000 – 31 January 2004, Senior Research Fellow at School of Psychology and Director of the Dyslexia Unit (now: The Miles Dyslexia Centre), University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.
  • 1 January 1997 – 31 January 2000, Senior Researcher at Paedologisch Instituut, Amsterdam.
  • 1 April 1994 – 15 September 1995, Senior-psychologist at Octant Amsterdam, Advice Office for Education and Employment.
  • Spring and summer 1992, British Council Fellow at University College Bangor, Gwynedd, UK.
  • 1 May 1988 – 1 March 2005, Lecturer, Free University Amsterdam, Department of Special Education and Senior Lecturer, University of Amsterdam, Department of Special Education.
  • 1 May 1982 – 1 December 1991, PhD and post-doc researcher sponsored by the Foundation for Educational Research in the Netherlands: ‘Sequencing verbal information’, ‘A computer-based remedial programme for reading’, ‘The development of orthographic memory’, ‘Computer-based speech and the remediation of dyslexia’, ‘Training of reading comprehension strategies in primary school children’.
  • 1 September 1976 – 1 May 1982, Teaching-assistant and Lecturer at the Psychology Laboratory of the University of Amsterdam.

Grant Capture:

  • SVO-ANGO grant for the project ‘Computer speech and the treatment of dyslexia’, 1991, ƒ120,000 = £43,750.
  • Grant-in-aid from the British Council for the project ‘ The simulation of learning to read and spell’, 1992, £15,000.
  • Four research grants from the PI-VU funding organisation (Paedologisch Instituut-Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), 1996-2000, each grant ƒ10,000, total £14,580.
  • Grant from the Bethany Trust for the analysis of a self-report scale for dyslexia, 2001, £5,000.
  • Grant from the Development Trust for the development of a dyslexia screening test, 2002, £5,000.
  • Grant from the Welsh Assembly for the development of a screening test for dyslexia in a bilingual context, 2002, £25,000.
  • Grant from Institute for Longitudinal Studies (IoE, London) for analysing data from the British Cohort Studies with respect to learning difficulties and their effects on school and job careers, 2002, £12,000.
  • Grant from EU Socrates programme for project ‘Good practice for struggling readers’, 2007, €20,700, complemented by €27,186 provided by the University of Stavanger, total grant: €47,886 = £38,480.
  • Grant from Norwegian Ministry of Education for PIRLS, over two five-year periods, from 2001-2006, and from 2006-2011, total grant: £2,123,610.
  • Fellow-in-Residence grant from NIAS for sabbatical project ‘Direct assessments of second language aptitudes and abilities’, 2010-2011, £37,163.
  • Edge Hill University REF Investment Fund £10,800, 2013-2014 for Orthographic Learning project.

Selected Publications

Publications are on ResearchGate and Google Scholar. They were cited 542 times (1,821 reads, RG score = 20.05, h-index (excluding self-citations = 11),, 15/5/2018).

  • Ouellette, G. , & Van Daal, V.H.P. (2017). Introduction to the special issue. Orthographic learning and mental representations in literacy: Striving for a better understanding of a complex lead role. Scientific Studies of Reading, 21, 1-4.
  • Van Daal, V.H.P., & Wass, M. (2017). First and second language learnability explained by orthographic depth and orthographic learning: A ‘natural’ Scandinavian experiment. Scientific Studies of Reading, 21, 46-59.
  • Williams, K., Swift, J., Williams, H., & Van Daal, V. (2017). Raising children’s self-efficacy through parental involvement in homework. Educational Research, 59, 316-334.
  • Antón-Méndez, I., Ellis, E. M., Coventry, W., Byrne, B., & Van Daal, V. H. P. (2015). Markers of success: A study of twins’ instructed second language acquisition. Learning and Individual Differences, 42, 44-52.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P. (2015). Can educational practice be based on single-subject designs? British Journal of Special Education, 42, 6-10.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P. (2015). Commentary on “The dyslexia debate: Actions, reactions, and over-reactions.” by J. Elliott. Psychology of Education Review, 39, 22-25.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Adèr, H. J. (2014). Commentary on “The widespread abuse of statistics by researchers: what is the problem and what is the ethical way forward?” Psychology of Education Review, 38, 17-19.
  • Sandvik, J. M., Van Daal, V. H. P., & Adèr, H. J. (2014). Emergent Literacy: Preschool Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices. Journal of Early Literacy Research, 14, 28-52.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., Van der Leij, A., & Adèr, H. J. (2013). Specificity and overlap in skills underpinning reading and arithmetical fluency. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26, 1009-1030.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Sandvik, J. M. (2013). The effects of multimedia on early literacy development of children at risk: A meta-analysis. In: A. Shamir & O. Korat (Eds.), Technology as a support for literacy achievements for children at risk (pp. 73-122). Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer.
  • Coventry, W., Anton-Mendez, I., Ellis, E., Levinson, C., Byrne, B., Van Daal, V. H. P., & Ellis, N. C. (2012). The etiology of individual differences in second language acquisition in Australian school students: A behaviour-genetic study. Language Learning, 62, 880-901.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., Solheim, R. G., & Gabrielsen, N. N. (2012). Godt nok? Norske elevers leseferdigheter på 4. og 5. trinn. PIRLS 2011, Norsk rapport. Oslo: Lesesenteret, Universitetet i Stavanger. [Norwegian national PIRLS 2011 report, part 1]
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Sandvik, J. M. (2011). Reading research and the promotion of reading outside the school: A comprehensive review of empirical research. International Journal about Parents in Education, 5, 97-108.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P. (2009). Reading Research and the Promotion of Reading Outside the School: A Comprehensive Review of Empirical Research for EU Eurydice Study on Reading Literacy (available from the author). This expert report is one of the foundations of the 2011 Eurydice report ‘Teaching Reading in Europe: Contexts, Policies and Practices’, downloadable from:
  • Van Daal, V. H. P. (2008). Struggling readers and multimedia. In A. G. Bus & S. B. Neuman (Eds.), Multimedia and literacy development: Improving achievement for young learners (pp. 124-134). London: Routledge.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P. (2008). The advisory process and the empirical cycle. In H. J. Adèr & G. J. Mellenbergh (Eds.), Advising on research methods (pp. 51-61). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
  • Ellis, N. C., Natsume. M., Stavropoulou, K., Hoxhallari, L., Van Daal, V. H. P., Polyzoe, N., Tsipa, M-L., & Petalas, M. (2004). The effects of orthographic depth on learning to read alphabetic, syllabic, and logographic scripts. Reading Research Quarterly, 39, 438-468.
  • Hoxhallari, L., Van Daal, V. H. P., & Ellis, N. C. (2004). Learning to read words in Albanian: A skill easily acquired. Scientific Studies of Reading, 8, 153-166.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Reitsma, P. (2000). Computer-assisted learning to read and spell: Results from two pilot studies. Journal of Research in Reading, 23, 181-193.
  • Van der Leij, A., & Van Daal, V. H. P. (1999). Automatization aspects of dyslexia: Speed limitation in word identification, sensitivity to increasing task demands, and orthographic compensation. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32, 417-428.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Van der Leij, A. (1999). Developmental dyslexia: Related to specific or general deficits? Annals of Dyslexia, 49, 71-104.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Reitsma, P. (1999). Effects of outpatient treatment of dyslexia. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32, 447-456.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Reitsma, P., & Van der Leij, A. (1994). Processing units in word reading by disabled readers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 57, 180-210.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Reitsma, P. (1993). The use of speech feedback by normal and disabled readers in computer-based reading practice. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 5, 243-259.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Van der Leij, A. (1992). Computer- based reading and spelling practice for children with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 25, 186-195.
  • Van Daal, V. H. P., & Reitsma, P. (1990). Effects of independent word practice with segmented and whole-word sound feedback in disabled readers. Journal of Research in Reading, 13, 133-148.

Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise

Invited Papers:

  • Keynote for 11th British Dyslexia Association International Conference, 12th April 2018.
  • Keynote for 10th British Dyslexia Association International Conference, 10th March 2016.
  • Lecture for British Dyslexia Association Raising Achievement Conference, 5th November 2015.
  • Seminar on Comorbidity of Reading and Arithmetic Difficulties at University of Jyväskylä, Finland, 18th March 2015.
  • Main lecture for opening conference of Rudolf Berlin Centre Amsterdam, Netherlands, 18th December 2013.
  • Staff seminar at Psychology Department, University of Umeå, Sweden, 28th February 2012.
  • Seminar for Behavioural Science Institute, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, 25th February 2011.
  • Rita Vuyk Lecture, Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Amsterdam, 5th October 2010.
  • Israel Science Foundation workshop on ‘The effect of multimedia on literacy achievements among children at risk’, November 2010, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • First Joint Workshop of the Edmond J. Safra Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities and IDeA Center Frankfurt am Main, November 2010, University of Haifa, Israel.
  • Workshop to design a behavioural-genetic study of second language acquisition, sponsored by the Language Learning Round Table Programme, June 2007, University of Colorado, Boulder, US.
  • Royal Dutch Academy for Arts and Sciences Colloquium ‘Advising on statistics and methodology’, March 2007, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Royal Dutch Academy for Arts and Sciences Colloquium ‘How media can contribute to literacy’, June 2006, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Reviewer (, 108 merit points (94th percentile) on 1/5/18)

Editorial Board Member:

  • Journal of Learning Disabilities
  • Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Scientific Studies of Reading.

Past Editorial Board Member:

  • Dyslexia: An International Journal of Research and Practice.

Guest Editor:

  • Two Special Issues on BDA 2001 International Conference for Dyslexia: An International Journal of Research and Practice (2002).
  • Special Issue of Scientific Studies of Reading ‘Self-teaching and lexical representations in literacy acquisition’ (2017).

Ad-hoc Reviewer: Acta Psychologica, Addiction Research & Theory, American Educational Research Journal, Applied Psycholinguistics, Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, British Journal of Educational Psychology, British Journal of Special Education, Child Development, Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, Dyslexia: An International Journal of Research and Practice, International Journal about Parents in Education, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Journal of Research in Reading, Language and Instruction, Language and Speech, Language Learning, Learning and Individual Differences, Learning and Instruction, London Review of Education, Psychology of Education Review, Reading Research Quarterly, Review of Educational Research, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, Scandinavian Journal of Educational Psychology, Second Language Research, Translational Psychiatry.

Grant reviewer:

  • New Zealand Centre of Excellence Programmes.
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Tenure reviewer:

  • Ontario Institute of Special Education (Canada).
  • Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä (Finland).

External PhD Reviewer:

  • On the contribution of handwritten spelling to orthographic learning, B. Zilberman Shoam, University of Haifa, Israel, April 2015.
  • Differential susceptibility to an early literacy intervention, V. van der Kooy, Leiden University, Netherlands, September 2011.
  • Processing casual speech in native and non-native language, A. Tuinman, Max Planck Institute/ Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen, Netherlands, April 2011.
  • The influence of schooling conditions and teaching practices on curriculum implementation for Grade 4 reading literacy development, L. Zimmerman, University of Pretoria, RSA, September 2010.
  • The development of reading skills in Irish and English languages in children from varying linguistic backgrounds and schooling experiences, C. Parsons, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, December 2008.
  • Orthographic processing in dyslexic and normal children, V. Martens, University of Amsterdam, September 2006.
  • A study of the reading skills of reading disabled children compared to chronological age matched and reading age matched control children in Cyprus, M. Constantinidou, University College of London, Institute of Education, March 2005.
  • Lezen gaat voor! (Reading comes first!), C. Struiksma, University of Amsterdam, March 2003.
  • Links between reading and spelling in the remediation of learning disabilities, C. Miranda, University of Auckland (NZ), December 1996.


  •  Developed a reading method for Wolters-Noordhoff publishers (called: Leeshuis, House of Reading), released in 2005, together with a CAI programme for the first two primary school years.
  • Patent holder for the Stamp Sound Box, letter stamps for preschool children that produce the standard Dutch letter-sounds.
  • Produced CAI reading programme released in 2000, called ‘The Circus of Reading’ for Meulenhoff Educational Publishers (also developed a Swedish version).
  • Expert reports for the European Union Eurydice Programme On Reading Literacy: ‘Expert report on EU Eurydice Study on Reading Literacy’. ‘Reading Research and the Promotion of Reading Outside the School: A Comprehensive Review of Empirical Research for EU Eurydice Study on Reading Literacy’.

Conference Chair:

  • 2003 Bangor Dyslexia Conference.
  • 2003 International Academy of Research in Learning Disabilities international conference.
  • 1st Stavanger Reading and Writing Conference, August/September, 2007.
  • 10th British Dyslexia Association International Conference, March, 2016.


  • 1992 Institute of Reading Research Fellowship from the International Reading Association for ‘Comparison of deep and shallow orthographies by means of connectionist modelling’ ($1,000).


  • Voting Member SSSR (Society for the Scientific Study of Reading).

Administrative Duties:

  • Director of the Dyslexia Unit at Bangor, supervising 5 full-time staff, and about 135 teachers who supplied specialist teaching for 350 primary school children with dyslexia throughout North Wales.


  • European grant application on a behaviour-genetic study of second language acquisition: organised two workgroup meetings in October 2007 and September 2009.


  • Communalities between reading and mathematical skill. Finnish Academy project, PI: Professor Mikko Aro.
  • All children are equal but some are more equal: Improving the acquisition of English at school. Netherlands Initiative for Education Research project, PIs: Professors Maurits van der Molen, Patrick Snellings, Judith Rispens and Jurgen Tijms.
  • Dutch Dyslexia Programme.




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