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ERIC Number: ED170689
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Psycholinguistic Basis of Cognitive Clarity.
Downing, John
The "cognitive clarity theory of reading" represents a resolution of the controversies about the relation between speech, writing, and reading. The work of M.A.K. Halliday suggests that learning to read and write is a natural extension of the "mathetic" speech functions, which consist of speech related to children's attempts to understand themselves and the world. These mathetic functions seem to be the foundation of I.G. Mattingly's concept of "linguistic awareness." The mathetic functions of language and linguistic awareness were the psycholinguistic foundations for the thinking that led to the invention of writing, which rests on both functional and featural concepts. Learning to read involves comprehension of the intended significance of the symbols that code an author's communication. M.D. Vernon's research has pointed to cognitive confusion as the fundamental characteristic of reading failure; other research has shown that a state of cognitive confusion about reading is normal for most beginning readers and has indicated that teachers should be more concerned about the development of metalinguistic concepts than about visual perception. These studies have led to the proposal of the cognitive clarity theory of reading, which may be summarized in eight postulates concerning written language, the process of learning to read, and children's initial cognitive confusion and increasing development of cognitive clarity about language. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (28th, St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, November 30-December 2, 1978)