Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Do Children Learn to Read Silently?

Date:
February 14, 2012
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Researchers uses eye-tracking technology to chart oral-to-silent reading transition.

When a beginning reader reads aloud, her progress is apparent: Hunched over a book, little index finger blazing the way, she moves intently from sound to sound, word to word.

Related Articles


I do not like green eggs and ham!

I do not like them, Sam-I-am!

But when that same child reads silently, it's much harder to measure how much she is reading -- or understanding. Yet as she advances through school, teachers will expect her to learn increasingly through silent rather than oral reading.

Researchers at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) at Florida State University will tackle that paradox over the next four years. Funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, a team headed by FCRR researcher Young-Suk Kim will examine a poorly understood area of literacy: the relationship between oral and silent reading, and how those skills, in turn, relate to reading comprehension.

"One of the reasons why silent reading has not been paid attention to sufficiently is that it is difficult to measure," said Kim, also an assistant professor in Florida State's College of Education. "The other piece is, people may just assume that, if you read well orally, then you'll also read well silently."

However, studies show that's not the case for all students, said Kim. Some may pretend to read, read inefficiently, or struggle over the bridge from oral to silent reading. That crucial transition will be the focus of the new project.

Kim and her team will follow 400 Leon County (Fla.) students from first to third grade, testing them three times a year to measure when and how they develop accurate oral reading and advance from oral to fluent silent reading.

"Initially, kids sound out each letter, then put all the sounds together, and then make a word," explained Kim, a former classroom teacher. "As their reading develops further, they will be able to do that in their minds. But initially, it's not going to be as efficient or fast."

Beginning silent readers often sound words out in their heads, a cumbersome process called subvocalization.

"What we ultimately want is instantaneous recognition without subvocalization because that's faster," Kim said. "But we don't know how that process happens."

Until recently, measuring silent reading was difficult: After all, you can't hear the child's progress. But researchers can now see this progress, with the help of advanced eye-tracking technologies that follow students' eye movements as they read text on a computer screen.

"It's very fascinating how precisely we can measure this," Kim said. "We can even determine exactly which letter a student is focusing on."

Kim and her team will also examine instructional strategies for promoting reading fluency, and hope that this new grant will be followed by a second one in which they will test these approaches. The ultimate goal is to help students read faster and better, a skill critical to their success throughout their years in school.

"Because children read faster in silent mode, we want to really promote that," Kim said. "But because we don't know how children transition there, it's still one big question."

Several other Florida State faculty members have key roles on the project. Yaacov Petscher, FCRR research associate, is co-principal investigator. Working as co-investigators are Carol Connor, FCRR researcher and associate professor in the Department of Psychology; Christian Vorstius, FCRR research associate; and Richard Wagner, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Psychology and associate director at the FCRR.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "How Do Children Learn to Read Silently?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214121726.htm>.
Florida State University. (2012, February 14). How Do Children Learn to Read Silently?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214121726.htm
Florida State University. "How Do Children Learn to Read Silently?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120214121726.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins