With only 26 letters to represent all possible words, it is inevitable that words overlap considerably with each other. The more words that children can read, the more likely it is that a word will overlap in letters with other words, meaning that sensitivity to both letter identity and letter position is critical. Relatively little is know about how children learn to process letter position information. We asked ReadOxford visitor Dr Yvette Kezilas to tell us more.
What is meant by ‘sight word reading’? It’s a term that seems to mean different things to different people, leading to misunderstandings and confusion. We asked Professor Anne Castles to share with us what the evidence says about sight word reading.
Learning letter-sound associations is one of the first and most important challenges children are faced with when they first learn to read. To a skilled reader, this may seem like a simple task: there is no question that the visual symbol p represents the speech sound ”p”, as in pig, whereas the symbol t refers to the sound “t”, as in tiger. Yet these relationships are entirely arbitrary to the novice reader; there is no reason that p should say “p” or t should say “t”. Learning to map between spelling patterns (orthography) and sounds (phonology) is a form of paired associate learning.
We asked ReadOxford alumna Dr Robin Litt to tell us more about paired associate learning and its role in learning to read.
Nearly a fifth of England’s primary school population is made up of children who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) – children with a home language that isn’t English, yet who are being educated in England through the medium of the English language. At ReadOxford, we are often asked about EAL. We asked Oxford’s Professor Victoria Murphy, an expert in EAL, to tell us more.
When I heard that Morag Stuart and Rhona Stainthorp were writing a book about reading development and teaching, I immediately had high expectations. To say I’m not disappointed is an understatement. This is a fabulous book that should be read by everyone interested in the processes involved in learning to read and how these can be best fostered in the classroom.
If you think about what your eyes are doing as you read this blog, you probably imagine them moving in a smooth line from left to right, line by line. You might occasionally decide to go back to re-read something. In fact, your eyes are doing something quite different. They’re moving in a series of jumps called saccades and in between the saccades are pauses, called fixations. Psychologists have learned a lot about reading by measuring the pattern of fixations and saccades as people read.