ID == 26795 || $post->ID == 26795 || $post->ID == 26795) { echo ''; } ?>

Over the centuries there have been intense debates about how we read, with some pretty crazy ideas at times which you can read about in my book manuscript.  For instance, one group followed the theory that ideas are the basic units of communication and are represented by sentences.  So we must read sentences as units too.  One can only feel for the poor children in their care who were still trying to figure out words!

Here is an interesting article feeding into this issue:

The key things to note about what Caitlin is showing are:

  1. It is absolutely clear that we are reading by interaction with the letters, not whole words.
  2. The process is more complex than your brain doing a simple scan, letter by letter.

The latter issue is one we occasionally come across, with children who can decode a word quite well letter by letter, but never step through into fluent reading.  The reason for this seems to be a lack of engagement of some specialist cortex that instantly sorts the letters presented to fit them with likely known patterns.

The engagement of this cortex, sometimes known as the “letterbox”, is a critical part of the magic that happens when words begin to just float off the page to you, apparently effortlessly.

We have developed a special game for the later stages of Easyread to be sure that the letterbox is engaged, called Wordmash.

David Morgan is creator of the Easyread System, an online synthetic phonics program for struggling readers.