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ERIC Number: ED176215
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Learning to Read: A Discontinuous Imposition upon Language Acquisition.
Byrne, Brian
In arguing that language as speech is to be contrasted with language as writing, this paper examines some facts about the evolution of writing systems, draws upon some experimental studies, discusses the difference between speech and writing as being one of status within human cognitive structure, and notes that the difference may help explain why some children are poor readers. In discussing the history of orthography, it points out that as contrasted with pictographic orthography, the development of sound-based orthographies has been slow and laborious. The paper continues by pointing to research using experiments designed to show what kind of storage children use to remember words (meaning or phonetic) that indicates that language acquisition develops with cognitive maturity. The reported research suggests that children who are poor readers have weaker phonetic storage ability than better readers, and that when phonemes have meaning the phonetic memory is even weaker for poor readers. The paper suggests that reflecting upon surface features of language does not come naturally to people and that symbolic systems that tap into language at that level (such as writing and reading) pose greater cognitive demands than may appear superficially. (TJ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (5th, Lund, Sweden, June 1979)