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Reading aloud

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A webinar on reading aloud in schools

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Reading aloud

  1. 1. Why we need to read aloud @DavidDidau Chiltern TSA Tuesday 26th May 2020
  2. 2. Reading is complex Skilled reading: Fluent execution and coordination of word recognition and text comprehension. The Many Strands that are Woven into Skilled Reading (Scarborough, 2001) Word recognition Phonological awareness (syllables, phonemes, etc.) Decoding (alphabetic principle, spelling- sound correspondences) Sight recognition (of familiar words) Language comprehension Background knowledge (facts, concepts, etc.) Vocabulary (Breadth, precision, links, etc.) Language structures (syntax, semantics, etc.) Verbal reasoning (inference, metaphor, etc.) Literacy knowledge (print, concepts, genres etc.)
  3. 3. There is no correlation between ‘word recognition’ skills and intelligence If there was, we would need to find evidence of the following propositions: 1. that the pattern of information-processing skills that underlie the reading deficits of low-IQ poor readers is different from the information-processing skills that underlie the reading deficits of high-IQ poor readers 2. that the neuroanatomical differences that underlie the cognitive deficits of these two groups are different 3. that low- and high-IQ poor readers require different treatments to remediate their reading problems 4. that there is differential etiology in the two groups based on different heritability of the component deficits. Stanovich (2005): “there is a wealth of evidence regarding [these propositions] that is largely negative”.
  4. 4. So, what does cause reading difficulty? • Glue ear? – “It’s estimated that one in five children around the age of two will be affected by glue ear at any given time, and about 8 in every 10 children will have had glue ear at least once by the time they’re 10 years old.” www.nhs.uk • Visual problems? – Maybe 1 in 5 children with undiagnosed visual issues Optometry Today • English orthography?
  5. 5. Seymour, Aro & Erskine (2003) What’s going wrong? Errors in word reading at the end of first year of instruction
  6. 6. All languages are not equal 7 years 8 years 9 years 20 40 60 80 English French Spanish Goswami et al 1998 • At the age of 9 a French child does not read as well as a 7 year old Spanish child. • It takes 2 additional years of schooling for an English child to reach the level of a French child. Evolution of error rates in pseudo word reading 0
  7. 7. The importance of fluency They gradually ascended for half a mile then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence where the wood ceased theand eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House situated on the opposite side of the valley , into which the road with some abruptness wound.
  8. 8. Is comprehension possible? 1. What did they climb? 2. Where did the characters find themselves? 3. At what point did they first see Pemberley House? 4. Where was the house in relation to the characters? 5. How did the author describe the road?
  9. 9. Comprehension depends on reading speed They gradually ascended for half a mile then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence where the wood ceased and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House situated on the opposite side of the valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. 1. What did they climb? 2. Where did the characters find themselves? 3. At what point did they first see Pemberley House? 4. Where was the house in relation to the characters? 5. How did the author describe the road?
  10. 10. Into the classroom… • Many students ‘hate’ reading but everyone loves stories • Independent reading is only likely to be beneficial if students can decode fluently • How can you practise fluency? • Is listening ‘cheating’? – Reading comprehension is highly correlated with listening comprehension (Bell & Perfetti, 1994; Gernsbacher, Varner, & Faust, 1990) – For difficult-to-understand texts, prosody can be a real aid to understanding. (Kosslyn & Matt, 1977) • Don’t make students ‘follow along’.
  11. 11. Episodic buffer Visuo-spatial sketchpad Phonological loop Episodic LTM Visual semantics Language Working memory model Fluid components Crystallised components Central executive Baddeley, Working Memory: Theories, Models, and Controversies (2011)
  12. 12. The phonological loop system Phonological store Auditory control processes Auditory word presentation (listening) Visual word presentation (reading) Words are ‘stored’ for about 2 seconds before needing to be rehearsed.
  13. 13. The silent voice • ‘Silent’ reading is pretty recent – “…his eyes scanned the page and his heart sought out the meaning, but his voice was silent and his tongue was still. Anyone could approach him freely and guests were not commonly announced, so that often, when we came to visit him, we found him reading like this in silence, for he never read aloud. Augustine, Confessions Book Six, Chapter Three • Silence may be an illusion: – We all subvocalise – Prosody adds meaning St Ambrose – 340 - 397 CE Rubenstein, Lewis & Rubenstein, 1971; Colheart et al., 1977; Seidenberg et al., 1996; Ferrand, 2001 (Chapter 4)
  14. 14. Are you reading ‘aloud’? Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. Nabokov, Lolita
  15. 15. • Which should be our goal? –Exam success –Fluent readers • Reading fluency benefits everyone in the system but committing lesson time to reading fluency tends not to benefit individual teachers.
  16. 16. Reading makes you smarter Below expected level % At expected level % Above expected level % Very much 2.4 63.5 34.2 Quite a lot 4.2 83.5 12.3 A bit 17.4 75.8 6.8 Not at all 37 54.9 8.1 Enjoyment of reading and reading attainment in 2012 (n=13,710)
  17. 17. Reading makes you cleverer Below expected level % At expected level % Above expected level % Every day 3.7 68.3 26.1 A few times a week 7.1 81.7 11.2 About once a week 13.6 78.4 8 A few times a month 14.1 78.8 7.1 About once a month 18.9 72.2 8.9 Rarely 25.1 67 7.9 Never 36.2 58.3 5.4 Reading frequency and reading attainment in 2012 (n=13,710)
  18. 18. Knowledge and reading • The more you read, the more you know • How can we get children who cannot decode fluently to read independently? • The promise of ‘just reading’. Westbrook et al 2019
  19. 19. Key Messages 1. There’s no correlation between decoding and intelligence 2. Reading fluency is perhaps the most pressing issue in schools 3. Comprehension depends on background knowledge 4. Everyone loves stories 5. Being read to can help make kids cleverer.
  20. 20. @DavidDidau learningspy.co.uk ddidau@gmail.com “It is so easy to be wrong – and to persist in being wrong – when the costs of being wrong are paid by others.” Thomas Sowell

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