Learning to Read

brainenglish

Learning To Read

  • Our brain evolved a large frontal lobe to help us process incoming information for survival (p. 33).
  • We were born with an instinct to learn, and this instinct plays a role in our capacity to learn to read (p. 33).
  • There are 44 sounds and 26 letters to represent them. Sometimes the same letter can be matched to different sounds and sometimes the same sound can be matched to different letters (p. 24).
  • Learning to read involves connecting 2 cerebral capabilities that are already present in young brains: spoken language network and visual recognition circuits (p. 34).
  • Frith (1985) found 3 phases in learning to read: pictorial stage (child’s brain photographs words and visually adjusts to the shape of the letters), phonological stage (brain begins to decode graphemes into phonemes or letters into sounds), orthographic stage (when the child recognizes words quickly and accurately (p. 34).
  • The 3 above activate several brain circuits, which over time and with practice, converge into a specialized area in the left hemisphere called the visual word form area (p. 34).
  • Reading is not a natural ability (p. 35).
  • The brain’s ability to hear and remember spoken words IS natural (p. 35).
  • Children begin to learn words before their 1st birthday, and during their 2nd year acquire them at 8-10/day. School aged children have an active vocabulary of over 3,000 words and a mental lexicon of 5,000 words (p. 35).
  • Writing was born 5,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent (p. 35).
  • Reading is a new phenomena in the development of humans (p. 35).
  • Reading is not a survival skill so it is not genetically encoded (p. 35).
  • No area of the brain is specialized for reading (p. 35).
  • According to the national Institute for Literacy, nearly 40 million adults in the US are functionally illiterate (p. 35).
  • Momentous events in our culture, like the invention of writing, can cause important cerebral adaptations to occur as a result of cultural learning ~ this is due to the brain’s plasticity ~ ability to adapt to significant changes in the environment (p. 35).
  • Neuronal recycling: Dehaene’s (2009) term to describe the taking over of a brain region, initially devoted to a different function.  The recycling works around preexisting predispositions (p. 36).
  • Intelligence does NOT play a critical role in learning to read! Learning to read is independent of intelligence (p. 36).
  • Children who learned to read BEFORE coming to school do not indicate a strong relationship between IQ and early reading. IQ is only weakly related to reading achievement in grades 1 and 2.  Children who have difficulty learning to read often have above average IQs (p. 36).
  • Before children learn to read, they acquire vocabulary. A child’s beginning reading will be most successful if they read material that contains words they are already using (word forms)  (P. 37).
  • The phoneme/grapheme connection can be made more easily, and new words is added to the child’s mental lexicon (p. 37).
  • There must be some neural connections between the systems that allow the brain to recognize spoken words and the system that recognizes written words (p. 37).
  • A proficient reader has several different lexicons: mental lexicon (store of words), orthographic lexicon (visual recognition of letters, graphemes, morphemes ~ island is is+land), phonological lexicon (stores how words are pronounced eye-land), grammatical lexicon (contains rules of plurals and sentence structure), semantic lexicon (meaning of the word) (p. 37).
  • Speech is composed of individual sounds (phonemes), and written spellings represent those sounds (alphabetic principle). Child must be aware that the phonemes of spoken language can be manipulated to form new words and rhymes (p. 37).
  • Neural efficiency is related to genetic composition but these genetic factors can be modified by the environment. The neural systems that perceive the phonemes in our language are more efficient in some children than in others (p. 37).
  • Being aware of sound differences in spoken language is crucial to learning to read (p. 37).
  • Phonological Awareness: recognition that oral language can be divided into smaller components (sentences to words, words to syllables, syllables to phonemes)  (p. 37).
  • Includes identifying and manipulating onsets and rimes, awareness of alliteration, rhyming, syllabication, intonation ~ having an understanding of all these levels (p. 38).
  • In children, phonological awareness starts with initial sounds and rhyming, recognizing segmenting sentences into words. Next comes segmenting words into syllables and blending syllables into words (p. 38).
  • PHONEMIC awareness is a SUBDIVISION of phonological awareness and refers to words being made of individual sounds that can be manipulated to create new words (p. 38).
  • In phonemic awareness, children: isolate phonemes, segment words into phonemes, delete a phoneme from a word (p. 38).
  • Phonological awareness comes from listening to rhyming books, but phonemic awareness is more sophisticated, and it is CLOSELY RELATED to a child’s SUCCESS in learning to read (p. 38)!
  • Phonological Awareness is any size unit of sound (p. 39).
  • Reading programs with focus on phonological and phonemic awareness have proven to be successful, especially with strugglers (p. 38).
  • Phonemic awareness is ORAL and AUDITORY manipulation of sounds. Phonics associates letters and sounds with written symbols ~ the alphabetic principal (p. 38).
  • Learning letter-sound relationships during phonics does not necessarily lead to phonemic awareness (p. 38).
  • Research on learning to read focuses on PHONEMES (p. 38).
  • Phonemic awareness is a strong predictor of reading success throughout school (p. 38).
  • 70-80% of students with phonemic awareness are able to learn the alphabetic principle (p. 39).
  • Early instruction in reading, especially in letter-sound association, strengthens phonological awareness and helps in the development of phonemic awareness (p. 38).
  • Discovery of phonemes is neither innate nor automatic (p. 39).
  • Beginning readers must learn the alphabetic code before they can decode written words (p. 39).
  • Brain begins to recognize patterns based on visual characteristics ~ alphabet, -ed or -tion at end of words.  This is Frith's pictorial stage.  Children may even know sight words before formal teaching of reading (p. 39).
  • In the phonological stage, the brain stops to process whole words and begins to identify graphemes that correspond with the phonemes (p. 39).
  • Rules of spelling is called orthography (p. 40).
  • Languages whose letters and sounds have a close correspondence are easier to learn.  This is shallow orthography (p. 40).
  • English is an example of deep orthography.  The alphabet does not permit an ideal 1:1 correspondence between its phonemes and graphemes (p. 40).
  • Consider rough, cough, bough and dough.  This lack of sound-to-letter correspondence makes it difficult for the brain to recognize patterns and affects the child's ability to spell with accuracy and to read with meaning (p. 40).
  • There are more than 1,110 ways to spell the sounds of the 44 phonemes (p. 40).
  • Alphabetic Principle:  spoken words are made up of phonemes and the phonemes are represented in written text as letters (p. 41).
  • Letters are abstract and unfamiliar, and the sounds they represent are not natural segments of speech.  There are 44 phonemes and 26 letters so each phoneme is not coded with a unique letter (p.41).
  • How a letter is pronounced depends on the letters that surround it (p.41).  (Consider e in dike, dead, and deed.  Consider th, ph have 2 letters but one phoneme.
  • A reader must practice word recognition (p. 41).
  • Brain regions are reassigned to perform the task of sound-to-letter connections.  (p. 41).
  • Practice is the key to our inconsistent orthography (p. 41).
  • The brain's visual areas break down a word into letters and graphemes (p. 41).
  • Children learn to read the -ough words in context (p. 42).
  • Having children practice letter recognition or phoneme pronunciation without teaching the letter-to-sound correspondence has been shown in studies to be of no value in helping children acquire the alphabetic principle (p. 42).
  • Decoding:  using phonological awareness to help decipher printed words by linking them to spoken words that the child already knows (p. 42).
  • Decoding starts with learning the visual image of the alphabet and the basic sounds they represent (p. 42).
  • There is debate about whether beginning readers should learn the letters of the alphabet by their name or by their sound.  Some researchers believe that knowing the names of the letters of the alphabet may actually delay reading acquisition (p. 42).
  • Reading requires understanding phonemes ~ not letter names (p. 42)!
  • It might be helpful to teach the letter's common sounds rather than their names to accelerate the child into linking sounds to letters (p. 42).
  • Environmental print reading:  recognizing words like McDonald's in context only. Children match symbols in their environment to concrete objects in contextual situations (p. 42).
  • Exactly HOW humans make the connections between sounds and words is still unclear (p. 42).
  • Brain scans help neurolinguists get a better understanding of how written word knowledge develops (p. 42).  Ehri says there are 4 stages of word recognition in early reading:  prealphabetic, partial alphabetic, full alphabetic, consolidated alphabetic (p. 43).
  • Prealphabetic:  children remember words by connecting visual cues, such as bell having 2 l's.  Just visual memory ~ no letter-sound connection (p. 43).
  • Partial alphabetic:  Children relying on using the first and last letter sound, therefore they will confuse words such as talk, take, tack (p. 43).
  • Full alphabetic:  Sounding out words such as trap.  Phonemic awareness is improved.  Child makes connections between letters and phonemes (p. 43).
  • Consolidated alphabetic phase:  When the reader chunks letters within words to decode such as -ake in cake (p. 43).
  • Chunking makes word reading faster and more efficient.  It is helpful for reading longer multi-syllable words (p. 43).
  • Ehri's model is consistent with other studies, which describes and increasing degree of phoneme awareness (p. 43).
  • Beginning readers focus:  beginning sound stage/beginning + ending sound stage/ sounding out whole word (p. 44).
  • The mental lexicon grows rapidly throughout the stages (p. 44).
  • Neural systems are no longer decoding letter by letter, but are recognizing morphemes.  Morphemes are the smallest word elements that can change a word's meaning (p. 44).
  • Morphemes can stand on own as a complete words (free), or be prefixes or suffixes (bound) (p. 44).
  • Morphology:  builds words out of pieces (p. 44).
  • Inflectional morphemes:  suffixes that provide information ('s, plural s, -ed, -s on a verb ~ calls)  (p. 44).
  • Derivational morphemes:  affixes (prefixes or suffixes) that create new words by changing the meaning of the root word.  Sometimes the part of speech is actually changed, like attend/attendance (p. 45).
  • Research shows that before children learn to read, they are more cognizant of morphology than phonology (p. 45).  (Another words, the s in dogs means more than one, and -er in bigger is a comparison.  They do not understand the -s in yes or the -er in power.)
  • By grade 3, morphological awareness begins to surpass phonemic awareness in the development of decoding skills (p. 45).
  • Children need morphological awareness to understand the meanings of words. Word recognition won't help (p. 45).
  • Morphological awareness can help determine if a word is an adjective (singing), noun (singer), verb (sing) and thus can assist in determining a word's meaning (p. 45).
  • Syntactic position of the word helps determine its grammatical aspects making the sentence easier to understand and increases reading speed (p. 45).
  • Word recognition is automatic, and the reader can understand familiar words.  Next is fluent reading (p. 45).
  • Studies show teachers are not spending enough time building morphological skills.  When teachers DO teach it, there are BETTER readers.  Explain and demonstrate variations in word structure and other elements (p. 45).
  • Spelling becomes important soon after the child has mastered phonemic awareness and begins to make the letter-sound correspondences (p. 46).
  • By preschool, children are sensitive to the orthographic pattern in spelling.  1st graders are aware of -ck being at the end of words followed by short vowels ( p. 46).
  • The mapping of spelling to pronunciation is more reliable than vice versa (p. 46).
  • Research shows that the more ways a sequence of phonemes can be spelled the more hesitation in reading.  For ex. the phoneme sound of the rime -elf is always spelled that way, but the -eer in sneer can be spelled ere, eer, ier, ear (p. 46).
  • This research shows at least 1 way in which reading and spelling may be closely related in neural network processing (p. 46).
  • Success in reading does not mean success in spelling (p. 46).
  • Spelling + Production a more complex skill that utilizes additional mental processes (p. 46).
  • Spelling is crucial for recognizing and decoding the meaning of words (p. 46).
  • To become an expert decoder, the reader will need to learn how to correctly identify and spell the exceptions (p. 46).
  • Studies show that the accuracy of a student's spelling in kindergarten and grade 1 is a predictor of later reading ability (p. 46).
  • As spelling develops, word recognition speed is increased during reading (p. 46).
  • Word recognition becomes automatic, and students recognize new words based on their morphemes (p. 46).
  • This is how students expand their lexicon in grade 3 and beyond (p. 46).
  • Good spelling skills usually leads to rapid word recognition and comprehension (p. 46).
  • Learning to read = language processing + visual recognition systems (p. 46).
  • English has unpredictable spelling and syntax (p. 46).
  • Comprehension = meaning of individual words into the structure and context of the entire sentence (p. 47).
  • The syntax in "the cat is white" is easy ~ only 1 interpretation.  As sentences become more complex, syntax plays an important role in comprehension (p. 47).
  • Written texts tend to use more complex grammatical structure than conversation (p. 47).
  • Syntax = subject verb object.  Toddlers say "I want cookie" ~ not "I cookie want" or "Cookie I want" (p. 47).
  • There are 3 types of syntactic structure for sentences:  Simple (1 main clause ~ The boy rowed the boat.)  Compound (2 or more main clauses separated by a comma and joined by a connecting word ~ The boy rowed the boat, and his mother watched.)  Complex:  a main clause and one or more dependent or relative clauses ~ The boy who rowed the boat waved to his mother.) (p. 47)
  • Some clauses:  include negation (didn't), prepositional phrases, conjunctions (boy and his mother).  Passive voice reverses the relative position of subject and object (The boat was rowed by the boy).  Relative clauses can be relative to the subject (the boy who rows the boat is lost) or relative to the object (the boy rows the boat that is leaking) (p. 48).
  • There are 6 syntactic variations:  word order, minimum-distance principle, analysis of conjoined clauses, passive voice, negation, embedding (p. 48).
  • Word Order:  beginning readers are accustomed to SVO in ACTIVE voice ~ He chased the dog.  Passive voice is tricky.  He was chased by the dog still has SVO in same order but the reader might think He chased the dog (p. 48).
  • Minimum-Distance Principle:  brains look for patterns.  Brains assume verbs refer to the closest preceding nouns.  He rowed the boat all by himself follows this principle.  He rowed the boat that belonged to the fisherman all by himself does not follow principle.  Readers rely on the MD principle when the # of words in the sentence exceeds their working memory capacity (p. 48).
  • Analysis of Conjoined Clauses:  When a sentence has 2 clauses, a young reader may assume the clauses are conjoined by a conjunction such as and.  A reader may misinterpret The man chased the dog that ate the steak to mean The man chased the dog and the man ate the steak (p. 48).
  • Passive Voice:  Violates the SVO sequence.  She was called by him could be mistaken for She called him.  Readers must use common sense; the window was broken by the baseball could not be confused for the window broke the baseball (p. 48).
  • Negation:  Negative sentences are more difficult for the young brain.  They assume it is positive then they have to shift to negative.  Circle the cows but not the sheep is tricky (p. 49).  Children need to practice comprehension and fluency with negation sentences.
  • Embedding:  In grades 2 and 3, readers encounter these 3 types of embedded clauses: Subject of the main clause is the same subject of the embedded clause (The boy rowed the boat and waved to his mother.)  The object of the main clause is the subject of the embedded clause ~ can be easily misinterpreted (The man chased the dog that ate the steak.)  The subject of the main clause is the object of the embedded clause (The boat that the boy rowed belongs to the fisherman.)  Ambiguity arises because these types of sentences violates the SVO sequence AND the minimum-distance principle (p. 49).
  • With working memory and practice, students pay closer attention to syntax (p. 49).
  • Morphology studies how words are put together from pieces and how these pieces can change the meaning of words or create new ones (p. 49).
  • Morphological awareness contributes to reading comprehension by:  meaning, syntactic properties, phonological properties, relational properties (p. 49).
  • Meaning:  for ex. operation and operative are formed with the same root but have different meanings (p. 49).
  • Syntactic properties:  the understanding that a particular suffix indicates a part of speech -y in noisy is an adjective and -ly indicates and adverb noisily (p. 49).
  • Phonological properties:  for ex. adding -ic to hero involves a shift in emphasis from the first syllable to the second, and adding -al to hymn involves pronouncing the previously silent letter (p. 49).
  • Relational properties:  the understanding of adding different prefixes and suffixes to the same roots changes the word.  When readers use relational properties effectively, their reading fluency, pronunciation, and comprehension improve.  They get better at distinguishing between real morphological relationships such as sail-sailor and NOT may-mayor (p. 49).
  • Research has shown that phonological awareness and memory and visual spacial skills (all part of decoding) are stronger predictors of success with reading comprehension than intelligence during the early reading stages (p. 50).
  • As children progress, research shows decoding speed and intelligence on IQ tests are closely related to reading comprehension (p. 50).
  • On one study, decoding ability was the BEST predictor of reading comprehension.  The child's IQ was less of a predictor (p. 50).
  • Reading comprehension is closely related to spoken language comprehension (p. 50).
  • One reason why children can read words but are not comprehending is because they learn spoken language in different settings.  Written text has stricter grammatical structures and more formal vocabulary (p. 50).
  • How well a child comprehends a written text is determined by how well that child comprehends the same text when it is spoken (p. 50).
  • We have 2 temporary memories that perform different tasks.  The term short-term memory is used by cognitive neuroscientists to include 2 memory stages:  immediate and working (p. 50).
  • Immediate memory:  temporary, happens consciously or subconsciously, holds data up to 30 seconds, if it is of little importance it drops out of the memory system (for ex. remembering a phone number to a pizza place)  (p. 51).
  • Working memory:  when you talk to people about whether to order Chinese or pizza, requires more attention and processing.  This is the 2nd temporary memory and it is conscious processing.  Mostly occurs in the frontal lobes (p. 51).
  • Working memory can only handle a few items at one time, and this capacity changes with age.  Infants/preschoolers ~ 2 items of information at once.  Preadolescents ~ 3-7 items, and as adults can range through 9 (p. 52).
  • This capacity explains why we memorize songs/poems in stages.  Rehearsal is a term used for repetition.  It is possible to increase the number of items in working memory through chunking (p. 52).
  • Working memory can deal with items for a limited time ~ it is temporary.  Preadolescents ~ 5-10 minutes, adults 10-20 minutes.  This is when fatigue or boredom sets in and the mind shifts.  For focus to continue, there must be some change in the way the individual is dealing with the item ~ maybe by making connections.  Unresolved items can stay in working memory longer (p. 52).
  • Reading is a complicated skill involving a number of brain systems (p. 52).
  • Phonologic memory:  the ability retain verbal bits of memory (p. 52).
  • When reading ~ decoding process breaks word into segments, retains it in working memory, phonemes blended to form words (p. 52).
  • When reading, visual and memory systems must decode and retain; this gets more difficult with more complex sentences.  The reader must pay attention to syntax and context (p. 53).
  • Because of limited working memory, beginning readers will have difficulty understanding longer, more complex sentences (p. 53).
  • Age, experience, and language proficiency determines ability to store words in working memory (p. 53).
  • Phonological code:  code used to store written words.  It is crucial for using and developing the ability of working memory to store representations of written words (p. 53).
  • During reading, working memory helps comprehension by understanding complex structure and preserving syntax (p. 53).
  • Understanding Complex Sentences:  working memory holds decoded results while the visual cortex processes words and phrases.  Working memory puts the pieces together for meaning (p. 53).
  • Preserving syntax (word order):  working memory preserves word order so the reader can process the sequence, recognize negation (p. 54).
  • Working memory hold sentences and paragraphs and chapters.  With practice, the memory becomes more efficient at recognizing words, and chunking words into phrases, so the child reads faster and comprehends more (p. 54).
  • Working memory can't hold all words, so a gist is formed, known as chunking.  The brain adds new gists of clauses as the reading continues (p. 54).
  • Gists are an efficient way of managing the competition of space and time in working memory.  It can range, by age, from the gist of a sentence to the gist of a whole text (p. 54).
  • Gists can retain in memory networks for extended periods and serve as cues for recall (p. 55).
  • Other factors affect working memory from retaining or losing information.  If the reading is interesting, it is likely to move past immediate memory to working memory for conscious processing.  If the reading activates material recently learned, long-term storage retrieves that information, where it enhances the new learning.  This is called transfer (p. 55).
  • Reading can leave working memory when a child leaves the text to chat or when additional information is placed in the working memory, and the capacity is exceeded, for ex. if a child is reading faster than he can comprehend.  The words are removed from memory before a gist is formed and comprehension suffers (p. 56).
  • Decoding too many unfamiliar words is too demanding on working memory (p. 56).
  • Research shows that people's pace has an affect on comprehension.  Studies find that people spend the most time reading a topic sentence of a paragraph, probably to retain the gist (p. 56).
  • Research shows readers best retained concepts that were referenced repeatedly as well as those that were linked through cause and effect (p. 56).
  • Readers spent the least amount of time reading details, and thus had difficulty recalling them.  They could recall humorous or vivid events probably because such events evoked emotion, a powerful memory enhancer(p. 56).
  • We have a visual processing system that allows us to make mental images as well as a memory system that can remember these images (p. 56).
  • Reading comprehension influences the process of memory storage, consolidation, and recall (p. 56).
  • Gist formation explains 1 aspect of recall.  Gists are largely dependent on past experiences and the mental networks that evolved because of the experiences (p. 56).
  • Readers use their past memories to determine cause/effect, compare/contrast, and make inferences about the author's meaning. This is why a subject matter that you know nothing about is so difficult to understand, even though you can read the words (p. 56).
  • Memory networks are greatly influenced by culture (p. 57).
  • Memory networks store information and images.  Images can be vivid if recalled a lot.   Images are essential to understanding language and for reading comprehension (p. 57).
  • New experiences can be modified in 3 ways:  accretion, tuning, restructuring (p. 57).
  • Accretion:  learner incorporates new information into existing schema (p. 57).  For ex., one knows what to expect at a public library.
  • Tuning:  altering ones existing schema to fit the new experience (p. 57).  For ex., adapting to the card catalog being online as a computer database, not in pull out drawers.
  • Restructuring:  a brand new schema must be created (p. 57).  For ex., now one can look for books online ~ a brand new schema of a library is created.
  • Technology can not track reading progress directly into an individual child's brain (p. 58).
  • Which areas of the brain used to read depends on how skilled the person is at reading (p. 58).
  • In beginning readers, the right hemisphere is initially used most likely processing the visual picture of the word ~ the pictorial stage (p. 59).
  • By 6 or 7 years old, the beginning reader responds more actively to printed words than geometric shapes (logos to "read" words) or nonsense words (p. 59).
  • By the age  of 8, the brain used both hemispheres, especially the visual recognition system.  High activity occurs in the occipitotemporal area in the left hemisphere.  It is also called the visual word form area (p. 59).
  • With more reading practice the visual word form area ~ VWFA ~ attaches meaning directly to whole word forms to increase fluency and comprehension (p. 59).
  • Broca's area is involved in word analysis (p. 59).
  • Activation in the VWFA and other language areas is in direct proportion to the child's phonemic awareness skills (p. 59).
  • The word dog is in print. VWFA records the 3 alphabetic symbols and activates the left hemisphere language center to provide and match phonemes to the letters, a mental image is conceptualized.  As the child learns the word, the VFWA attaches meaning to the letter string, increasing speed and comprehension (p. 60).
  • Most reading activity takes place in the left hemisphere, but poor readers show activity in both hemispheres.  This may mean that the brain recruits right hemisphere regions to compensate for difficulties (p. 60).
  • Learning to read enhances spoken language capabilities.  At the age of 10 onward, visual analysis occurs faster, with repeated encounters with the same word, the child's brain makes a neural model called a word form.  The child can read the word quickly without conscious thought (p. 60).
  • Broca's area starts to play a minor role now.  The more skilled the reader, the more quickly the VFWA responds to seeing a word ~ less than 200 thousandths of a second ~ faster than a blink of an eye (p. 60).
  • Imaging scans reveal that there are similar but not identical patterns of regional brain activity when adult and child skilled readers perform identical reading tasks  (p. 61).
  • Learning to read tends to be linear ~ from phonemes to morphemes to graphemes.  It becomes bidirectional as reading skills develop and expand (p. 62).
  • Beginning readers rely on visual recognition information and use Broca's area and the VFWA to slowly analyze each word.  Intermediate readers rely mainly on the VFWA to process and direct information to interconnected sites, rapidly producing meaning from words, with only marginal help from Broca's area when needed (p. 62).
  • People with reading difficulties show patterns of different brain activation (p. 62).
  • Written words seem to be processed by 2 cerebral routes (p. 63).
  • When we encounter a word used frequently we use a direct lexical or vocabulary centered route which identifies the letters, selects the word/meaning, uses phonological information to sound it out (p. 63).
  • With rare words, we use a phonological route (p. 63).
  • Fluent and proficient reading requires the brain regions to be organized into multiple parallel paths (p. 64).
  • Our eye movement strategies adapt to our native language's reading protocols (p. 64).
  • Beginning readers fixate on every word in a text, and often fixate on the same word several times.  50% of their eye movements are regressions.  This indicates the beginning reader is having difficulty encoding the text.  The longer fixation time may be a result from the slower process of word analysis that occurs in the VWFA (p. 65).
  • In adults, slower readers have a small perceptual span than faster readers. Slower readers use more cerebral processing resources to comprehend the words they are fixated on than do fast readers (p. 65).
  • Increasing the spacer between words makes it easier for the eye to differentiate the beginnings and endings of words, increasing the speed of reading (p. 65).
  • The importance of reading practice:  learning to read requires significant reorganization of the visual recognition and language processing areas of the brain. New neuronal connections and broader cerebral networks need to be established. Strengthening these connections and building networks comes through repetition and practice.  The more these pathways are activated, the more consolidated they become (p. 65).
  • Practice allows mental lexicons and the VWFA acquire increasingly accurate representations of a word's spelling and meaning, strengthening the connection between how the word sounds (phonological) and its spelling (orthographic representation).  The stronger the phonological-orthographic connection, the faster one reads (p. 65).
  • Fluency involves developing rapid and automatic word identification processes as well as bridging the gap between word recognition and comprehension (p. 66).
  • Reading practice improves spelling due to familiarity with patterns (p. 66).
  • Practice exposes the reader to familiar and new words in different contexts, improving comprehension (p. 66).
  • Reading ability in kindergarten is a strong predictor of reading ability in grade 8 (p. 66).
  • The faster we read, the more details we miss (p. 66).
  • Most skilled readers can read a paragraph with misspellings because the beginning and ending letters as well as context supply enough clues for the phonologic module to recognize the words and determine meaning.

Further resource:

http://www.readingrockets.org/shows/launching/brain

All page numbers above corresponds to:  How The Brain Learns To Read by David Sousa, 2014.

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COPYRIGHT 12/12/2015. PLEASE CITE AS FOLLOWS:

Araujo, Judith E., M. Ed., CAGS. "Science Behind Learning to Read." Mrs. Judy Araujo, Reading Specialist. N.p., 12 Dec. 2015. Web.  <http://www.mrsjudyaraujo.com/science-behind-learning-to-read/‚Äč>.

Sousa, David A. How the Brain Learns to Read. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, a SAGE, 2014. Print.

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