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Different teaching methods affect brain processes

 
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 11:15 am    Post subject: Different teaching methods affect brain processes Reply with quote

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/may/reading-brain-phonics-052815.html

Quote:
Stanford Report, May 28, 2015

Stanford study on brain waves shows how different teaching methods affect reading development

Stanford Professor Bruce McCandliss found that beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading.

BY MAY WONG

Beginning readers who focus on letter-sound relationships, or phonics, instead of trying to learn whole words, increase activity in the area of their brains best wired for reading, according to new Stanford research investigating how the brain responds to different types of reading instruction.

In other words, to develop reading skills, teaching students to sound out "C-A-T" sparks more optimal brain circuitry than instructing them to memorize the word "cat." And, the study found, these teaching-induced differences show up even on future encounters with the word.


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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reminded of this old article by Charles Richardson - also with the theme of how initial teaching and learning experiences affect reading:


http://www.rrf.org.uk/archive.php?n_ID=102&n_issueNumber=50

Quote:
RRF Newsletter 50

READING PUZZLES EXPLAINED: Old Research Supplies Missing Pieces

New Research That Re-visits the Old



Quote:
The Old Research

Research by Oskar Messmer (Germany, 1903), described by E.B, Huey in The PSYCHOLOGY and PEDAGOGY of READING, (U.S.,1908), replicated by Myrtle Sholty (Chicago, 1912) and by Geraldine Rodgers (1978) in four languages, showed that there are two different types of readers (as well as various mixtures of those types, according to Rodgers). The types appear to result from whether a child is FIRST taught to process print by memorizing whole words or by decoding syllables via their letter-sound connections. Whatever is learned FIRST appears to form a habit, or reflex, that interferes with use of the other, much as learning to drive on the right-hand side of the road interferes with attempts to drive on the left.


Quote:
The Miller Word Identification Assessment (MWIA) is a new tool that measures the degree to which a person is a subjective or objective reader. It consists of two lists of words, one drawn from the 220 high-frequency words that children are given as a "basic sight vocabulary" (letter-sound keys not explained) in early basal readers, and books such as "THE CAT IN THE HAT" and "GREEN EGGS and HAM." These 220 high-frequency words were identified by research in the 1920s as comprising half of all English running text. Dr. Seuss has stated that "THE CAT IN THE HAT" was written under contract to an educational publisher who supplied the 220 words. (Blumenfeld Education Letter, August, 1993)

The second list consists of one-syllable, phonetically-regular words (first grade stuff!), with no silent letters, nor unusual or irregular pronunciations. Comparing speed and errors on the two lists reveals the person's "reflex," or how his brain has been conditioned to process print. A phonetic (objective) reader handles both lists equally, sometimes the second list faster because its words are inherently easier. A subjective (whole-word) reader, however, may fly through the first list with few (or no) errors, but slows down and makes more errors on the second list. And the differences can be major: Slow-downs of 10 to over 50 percent, and error counts 10 times as high!

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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bruce McCandliss study:


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0093934X15000772
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susan Godsland flagged up this research on the Reading Reform Foundation message forum:


Quote:
And there's research (2002) indicating that ''a deficit in functional brain organization underlying dyslexia can be reversed after sufficiently intense intervention lasting as little as 2 months''

Two linguistic phonics intervention programmes were used in the research.

Simos, P. et al (2002). Dyslexia-specific brain activation profile becomes normal following successful remedial training. Neurology, 58, 1203-1212.


Quote:
Objectives: To examine changes in the spatiotemporal brain activation profiles associated with successful completion of an intensive intervention program in individual dyslexic children.

Methods: The authors obtained magnetic source imaging scans during a pseudoword reading task from eight children (7 to 17 years old) before and after 80 hours of intensive remedial instruction. All children were initially diagnosed with dyslexia, marked by severe difficulties in word recognition and phonologic processing. Eight children who never experienced reading problems were also tested on two occasions separated by a 2-month interval.

Results: Before intervention, all children with dyslexia showed distinctly aberrant activation profiles featuring little or no activation of the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus (STGp), an area normally involved in phonologic processing, and increased activation of the corresponding right hemisphere area. After intervention that produced significant improvement in reading skills, activity in the left STGp increased by several orders of magnitude in every participant. No systematic changes were obtained in the activation profiles of the children without dyslexia as a function of time.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the deficit in functional brain organization underlying dyslexia can be reversed after sufficiently intense intervention lasting as little as 2 months, and are consistent with current proposals that reading difficulties in many children represent a variation of normal development that can be altered by intense intervention.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See the link below in 'Medical Daily' for a comment about the Candliss study. It has been long since clear that Andrew Davis's view of phonics teaching and application is very limited, however, as he talks about children being able to read 'simple words' through phonics. Does he not realise that they can also read words of very complex structures, and at an early age - and not just the 'simple words'?

Clearly his appreciation of what is involved with rigorous and comprehensive phonics teaching is very limited, or he would not be so critical of phonics teaching which he frequently describes as an 'imposition'.


http://www.medicaldaily.com/getting-hooked-phonics-activates-parts-brain-used-skilled-readers-336034

Quote:
Getting Hooked On Phonics Activates Parts Of Brain Used By Skilled Readers


Quote:
Some educators are still a bit wary of these conclusions, however, including Dr. Andrew Davis, a former teacher and research fellow in Durham University’s School of Education. Davis, in a 2013 paper, criticized the rigorous adoption of the Synthetic Phonics (SP) technique in UK primary (grade) schools. "Studies allegedly showing that intensive discrete SP lessons improve reading achievement in comparison with control groups of similar pupils, rarely if ever indicate the exact nature of the lessons concerned," Davis wrote. He further explains that attempting to quantify the influence of any specific teaching style is much unlike performing the clinical trial of a new drug. How teachers respond in real time to the differing needs and abilities of their children during a lesson cannot be simply graphed, and by overwhelming focus on any one method, you risk neglecting students’ capabilities, Davis wrote. Which isn’t to say that he disapproves entirely of teaching phonics.

"This does not mean that children should not be taught conventional letter-sound associations, nor does it imply that teachers should never encourage pupils, for instance, to 'sound out' simple words," he wrote. "It is rather that I seek to oppose the universal imposition of text decoding outside ‘real’ reading contexts."

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