Stanford Reading Research Comments



I talk and talk about teaching children to read. I get that I'm just one person who happens to have taught reading and have been successful with my children and a few others. Yeah, I want to pass that on so others can have that same success. But why should anyone listen to me?


Today I want to share some research related to reading that will provide some credibility and perhaps convince others that they should take the plunge.


This research was conducted at Stanford University. I'll share some of what I thought was valuable and provide comments.


Beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, instead of trying to learn whole words, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading, according to new Stanford research investigating how the brain responds to different types of reading instruction.

First, that is quite powerful in the support of not using sight words. Using the area of the brain “best wired for reading” seems like a no-brainer. Teaching with the phonograms has this covered!

Words learned through the letter-sound instruction elicited neural activity biased toward the left side of the brain, which encompasses visual and language regions. In contrast, words learned via whole-word association showed activity biased toward right hemisphere processing.

Think about your child's brain. Do you want to ensure that it as strong as possible for reading purposes? Most schools teach some type of phonics but I'm not sure how many teach it very explicitly. You can teach it at home using the phonograms and wire your child's brain for success. This is a huge part of what drove me to teach Ella to read.


McCandliss noted that this strong left hemisphere engagement during early word recognition is a hallmark of skilled readers, and is characteristically lacking in children and adults who are struggling with reading.


Here is a common quote of mine, “Teaching the phonograms gives a child a leg up on other children when it comes to reading.” This is why I say it.


In addition, the study's participants were subsequently able to read new words they had never seen before, as long as they followed the same letter-sound patterns they were taught to focus on. Within a split second, the process of deciphering a new word triggered the left hemisphere processes.


I've seen this so many times. And it continues to boggle my mind. Everything else I shared today makes sense. But some of the words I watched Ella read as if she had seen them many times blew my mind. Because I read with her all the time she didn't have a chance to learn new bigger words. I knew what words she had seen before. This isn't he only time I've seen this in research. Once a child is good at reading using phonograms, they are sounding out words at Mach 1 and we can't even see it.


This is my favorite article on reading research. I hope it piques your interest. Let me know if you would like to talk phonograms and give your child that leg up.


You can read the entire article at the link below.


https://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/may/reading-brain-phonics-052815.html

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