THE SCIENCE OF READING BASICS
The Reading Brain
WHAT IS THE SCIENCE OF READING?
"The Science of Reading (SoR) is a comprehensive body of research that encompasses years of scientific knowledge, spans across many languages, and shares the contributions of experts from relevant disciplines such as education, special education, literacy, psychology, neurology, and more. The Science of Reading has evolved from a wide span of research designs, experimental methods, participants, and statistical analyses. This conclusive, empirically supported research provides us with the information we need to gain a deeper understanding of how we learn to read, what skills are involved, how they work together, and which parts of the brain are responsible for reading development. From this research, we can identify an evidence-based best practice approach for teaching foundational literacy skills called Structured Literacy."
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?
Here are a few key takeaways from decades of research about how everyone learns to read
WE ARE NOT BORN WITH "READING BRAINS"
We do not learn to read the same way we learn to talk. Every human needs to "recycle" neural pathways in order to read. This finding reinforces the idea that we need to explicitly and systematically teach foundational skills. We cannot assume children will learn how words work and how to apply sounds to letters unless we teach it directly.
STRONG FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS (PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS AND PHONICS) ARE IMPERATIVE TO LEARNING HOW TO READ
The main objective of reading is comprehension, that is not argued. But if too much mental effort has to go towards decoding words, little energy will be left for comprehension.
Strong foundational skills are key!
BUILDING BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE AND VOCABULARY LEADS TO STRONGER COMPREHENSION
Background knowledge and having a large verbal vocabularies are both key in comprehension. Vocabularies and background knowledge can be gained at home and at school.
RESEARCH SHOWS 95% OF OUR POPULATION IS CAPABLE OF BECOMING SKILLED READERS
Unfortunately, our nation is currently underperforming at an incredibly alarming rate. This does not need to be the case. If we can spread this knowledge of best, evidence-based practice, we spread literacy much farther and change so many lives.
IMPORTANT SCIENCE OF READING VISUALS
SIMPLE VIEW OF READING
Although learning to read is not a simple task, this visual gives a clear idea of why both decoding and language comprehension skills are critical to reading comprehension.
Scarborough's Rope is a great visual to show all the elements of reading that must developed to make a skilled reader. Every strand of the rope is important. The top part shows the elements of language comprehension that are needed. The bottom part shows elements of word recognition. As each strand develops, fluency will become more automatic, and the reader will become more skilled.
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HOW DOES THE SCIENCE OF READING IMPACT YOUR CHILD?
The Science of Reading proves that the best way to develop a reading brain is through explicit, systematic instruction. Another way to say this is "Structured Literacy."
As you can see in this visual around 65% of our students need a structured literacy approach to become a proficient reader. It also shows 100% of our students are advantaged by this type of instruction.
Foundational reading skills such as phonological awareness and phonics should be taught to all students. Language comprehension skills such as vocabulary development and background knowledge need to be developed to create independent readers.
Check with your child's school. Ask questions such as:
-How do they implement the Science of Reading?
-How do they address foundational reading skills?
-How do they help students who have dyslexia or other reading struggles?
Contact us at Developing Readers Academy for more information.
SCIENCE OF READING RESOURCES
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT AVAILABLE READING RESOURCES, TUTORING SERVICES, OR HAVE A GENERAL QUESTION?
PLEASE REACH OUT! WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
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