Reading Depends on Speech


It is a proven fact that young learners who progress more rapidly with reading exhibit better phonological awareness. This ability is assessed by tasks like deciding whether two words rhyme, indicating the number of syllables in words, and deciding whether two words begin, end or contain the same sound (Castles). The reason for this is known: Reading depends on speech. Students do not relearn language when they learn to read. They learn to relate the writing to existing knowledge of spoken language. Writing systems are codes for representing spoken language. Learning about the written code is easier for students who know about the characteristics of the spoken words that it represents. Knowledge of the properties of spoken language at the start of formal instruction has an enormous impact on students’ progress (Hulme).

EFL students need extra help with the sounds.

That is what does.

Castles, A., Rastle, K., & Nation, K. (2018). Ending the reading wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expert. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19(1), 5–51. 772271

Hulme, C., Nash, H.M., Gooch, D., Lervåg, A., & Snowling, M.J. (2015). The foundations of literacy development in children at familial risk of dyslexia. Psychological Science, 26(12), 1877–1886. 10.1177/0956797615603702

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