The picture shows our research group enjoying some shared reading time at Oxford’s Story Museum.
We know that shared reading matters. Study after study shows that children vary enormously in the amount of shared reading they experience in the pre-school years. In turn, this variation is associated with language and literacy development once they get to school. But why is shared reading so important?
Continue reading “Book Language”
Primed by an email conversation about the connections between vocabulary and reading comprehension, I’ve dug out a chapter I wrote nearly 10 years ago on the very topic. If I was writing it now, one thing I’d want to include is discussion of vocabulary instruction and its role in improving reading comprehension. Although there is more to reading comprehension than vocabulary, there is good evidence that gains in vocabulary knowledge are associated with gains in reading comprehension (e.g., Clarke et al., 2010). Equally though, successful reading itself provides the essential substrate for learning new vocabulary – hence the rich and complex interactions between vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Continue reading “Reading comprehension and vocabulary: what’s the connection?”
Earlier this year, a record breaking 131,798 children from across the country submitted a story to the annual BBC Radio 2 500 Words writing competition. All this hard work and creative effort produced a massive 55 million words, making over 284 million words in total since the competition began in 2012. Every story is special, and every story is read. You can read and listen to the shortlisted stories over on the BBC Radio 2 500 Words homepage, and tune in to the results show on Friday 16th June, live from the Tower of London. But our question for today is what is the children’s word of the year? Which word fired the children’s imaginations and captured the spirit of this year’s stories? Our friends in the Children’s Dictionaries Department at Oxford University Press have found out the answer… and….
Continue reading “And the children’s word of 2017 is…”
Many thanks to Mandy Nayton and colleagues from Australia’s Dyslexia-SPELD Foundation for organising a fantastic conference. Three packed days, more than 500 delegates and 84 speakers, all united by a common theme: what are the factors that underpin children’s language and literacy development and how can this knowledge be used to build effective education for all children?
Continue reading “Language, Literacy & Learning Conference, Perth 2017”
There’s still time to encourage children to enter this year’s BBC 500 Words writing competition. Find out a little more about the competition and how its helping our research into children’s language and writing.
Continue reading “BBC 500 Words: Informing research on children’s writing and language”
Our research depends on partnership — with teachers, schools and other people and organisations committed to understanding literacy and its development. In recognition of this, we are pleased to announce the ReadOxford Partner initiative.
Continue reading “Launching the ReadOxford Partnership”
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.
Continue reading “Guest Blog: Letter Position Processing and Learning to Read”
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.
Continue reading “Guest Blog: Are sight words unjustly slighted?”
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.
Continue reading “Guest Blog: Paired Associate Learning and 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.
Continue reading “Guest Blog: Learning to Read in Another Language”