The Education Department is to launch a new research project for primary school children in September to help cure their learning difficulties. The project, which will last for a year, is a collaborative effort between the Government and Professor Linda Siegel, of the University of British Columbia in Canada, a world-renowned expert in reading and writing disabilities. 'Children with specific learning difficulties in reading and writing, if not identified and remedied, may have poorer academic achievements and self-esteem than their peers, which can even lead to behavioural problems,' a department spokesman said. Participating Primary One English teachers will be trained to identify at-risk children, the department said. The children will take part in a programme where they will learn to master listening, sound discrimination and vocabulary skills in English through games and activities. The department said the programme had already proved successful in helping children in Canada. The programme will also be adopted on the mainland and in Argentina.