Thursday, December 21, 2006

Reading and language development - nice overview

I'm always searching for easy to read overview articles to help myself, and hopefully others, see the forest from the trees regarding complex aspects of human behavior. Today I ran across a 1999 article written for speech and language pathologists which I thought did a very nice job of providing the general gestalt of the process of learning to read and the important relations between early reading/literacy skills and early language development. I particularly like the simplified step-by-step explanation of the basics of learning to read on pages 50-51 (the section titled "Skilled Reading: The Goal")

The reference and abstract for this article (as well as a link to the complete article) are provided below.

Snow, C. E., Scarborough, H. S., & Burns, M. S. (1999). What speech-language pathologists need to know about early reading. Topics in Language Disorders, 20(1), 48-58. (click here to view)

  • The National Research Council report, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children, reviews research on early reading and recommends prevention strategies and optimal interventions for reading difficulties. Since speech-language pathologists often treat children whose language problems co-occur with reading difficulties, they can help inform parents and teachers about the relation between language and literacy difficulties, and help coordinate interventions across these two areas. We summarize the NRC’s conclusions concerning normal reading development and key developmental milestones in the various domains relevant to reading success (phonological awareness, letter identification, the alphabetic principle, automatic word recognition, comprehension strategies).
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