Friday, February 13, 2015

See Jane run. Run, Jane, run!

Reading to young children is a crucial supportive factor in their intellectual, social and emotional development.

A neuroscientist at the University of California-San Francisco says a crucial factor in the child’s ability to read is providing supportive instruction, at home and in school, in the K-3 elementary years.

Dr. Fumiko Hoeft and her colleagues, in a Feb. 11 piece, have confirmed that neural development in the left temporoparietal region of the brain is the critical determinant in developing successful reading skills.

The word is: this expansion of neural pathways “is surely a function of both nature and nurture”—some kids may be genetically more likely to master reading, and some kids may get more relevant nurture, but all kids can get a boost in both channels with appropriate guidance.

Learning to read is a straightforward and marvelously complex process:
“Typically, children follow a very specific path toward reading. First, there is the fundamental phonological processing—the awareness of sounds themselves. This awareness builds into phonics, or the ability to decode a sound to match a letter. And those, finally, merge into full, automatic reading comprehension.”

Parents and teachers have complementary—and necessary—roles in teaching kids to read. If the job isn’t done right during K-3, it’s real tough for kids to make up for it later.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015

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