Dual Route reading model

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chew8
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Post by chew8 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:22 pm

Yes, I've seen a lot of this, too. The weaker Year 3 children I work with have a small stock of 'sight'-words and trot these out almost indiscriminately. It's as if they come to a word in reading which they know is one of their 'sight'-words and think that it doesn't matter which one they go for.

Jenny C.

Hugo
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dual route reading model

Post by Hugo » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:47 am

There seem to me, looming through the mists, to be two issues in respect of which I may have an opinion you don’t entirely share and so which may be worth writing down.

The first issue relates to the validity, or otherwise, of ‘flash card’ whole word learning (the Gough trials, for example, seemed to show rather extreme invalidity!). I have used flash cards with adults for the first 100 keywords (not all at once!), assuming that rapid visual reading of these words would much enable. I have to say that my opinion was mixed and I don’t do it any more. There was some learning, without doubt, but I am not sure it generalised very well (from card to text). So maybe my trials agreed more with Gough’s findings than with my initial intuition about this technique.

Having said that, I have latterly used, and still do, a technique I call “real world flash” (I teach adults, remember) which has been successful far beyond my expectation. I have taken hundreds of photos of signage in the real world, often including some context (so “push” or “pull” or “automatic door” for example, will include a good deal of door as well as sign). If I show these to a group, they will typically be quite slow on the first few, which I make deliberately simple, but by the end of, say, 50 pictures they are singing out stuff like “no unauthorised personnel beyond this point” very quickly. There are, though, many things beyond straight literacy or cognition going on here I think – not least affective response and confidence. Students really enjoy the break and the entertainment. Many students, though, and this is what I am after perhaps, spontaneously report that out there in the real world they a) look far more at signs in general and b) read them far quicker and better. “What’s all that about?” I ask myself and the answer may have much more to do with confidence than reading.

The second issue relates to the finding in practice, with which I concur, that early literacy students do not appropriately see letters or patterns – Jenny & Judy in particular have noted this effect. They do not notice the right things about text. They are not looking for, or at, the most appropriate aspects of the signal. It seems to me that we have to be circumspect as to exactly how we interpret this sort of behaviour, though. To me, it is not that they are not accessing the sounds of the letters or patterns and that they should be, it is more that they are not looking at, or for, the right things at all. As adult students a considerable proportion of the strange mix is affect – they seek to get out of the awkwardness they find themselves in asap and are too willing to grasp such straws as they can see, or can bring themselves to imagine they see. Leaving that aside, though, I believe what I see (guessing, too heavy reliance on context, or imagined context, plunging after initial letters etc etc) is not so much a phonological problem (although all early readers, by definition, have a degree of phonological awareness ‘deficit’) as an alphabetic principle issue. This is something I see clearer at some times than at others but it definitely seems to me that the issue is broader and deeper than simply a matter of phonics – there is a considerable issue of letter knowledge as well, and this is partly what successful ‘phonics’ teaches. Students are always learning many different things, at different levels and in different domains, some affective, some cognitive, some social etc etc. Some research reports that letter knowledge, orthographic awareness, is as good, if not better, than phonological awareness at predicting literacy success, and I am sure they may be right. How one can reliably distinguish the one from the other seems to me to be more problematic, however. They seem to me to be so intimately intertwined that this inherently unlikely. Which chimes with my view that maybe their association is so close precisely because they are but different aspects of the same overall skill, or activity, and should not, at least practically, be separated at all. Both ‘skills’ are essential, both should be taught, at least implicitly.

Jenny, one point: you write about letter order. Obviously this must, at least in the early stages of unravelling the literacy web, be one of the keys. I wonder when it becomes less critical? You will have seen that famous email written in what I call ‘jumble’ (It makes almost no difference to a fluent reader what order the letters are in, so long as the first and last remain in place – this effect works in all sorts of different languages, incidentally). I cannot well interpret it myself, but it dramatically demonstrates that at least fluent readers are not reading letter order (or even pattern) nor are we reading sound. My problem is that I can’t see what it is we might be reading! Are we back to predicting? Seems equally unlikely. The whole thing is disturbing – the ground underfoot seems suddenly slippery and uncertain.
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chew8
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Post by chew8 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:48 pm

Re. Hugo's point about early literacy students not appropriately seeing letters or patterns: I should make it clear that I don't think this is a universal phenomenon - I think one sees it among children taught by a predominantly 'sight'-word approach but probably not (or not nearly so much) among children taught to sound out and blend as their first reading strategy. When I notice the problem among the 7-to-8-year-olds with whom I work voluntarily, it's almost invariably in children who can't sound out and blend when I suggest it.

One great thing about teaching beginners to rely heavily on sounding out and blending is that it forces them to process all the letters in words in the right order. Whole-word methods don't force them into this mindset to nearly the same extent, and I suspect that this is why we see so many children confusing similar-looking words. If children start off by realising that the only way they can read 'cat', 'dog', 'sit', 'run', 'get', 'frog', 'stand' etc. is by looking at each letter from left to right, saying a sound for it and blending the sounds, then detailed attention to all letters and their order is likely to be second nature even after they leave the overt sounding-out stage behind. The detailed attention to letters and their order probably also helps with irregular words.

Re. Hugo's point about the 'jumble' e-mail: proficient readers may be able to read it, but I don't think they read it as quickly and easily as they can read the unjumbled version. On the whole, we notice a single typo in a word, even if it just involves reversing two letters - I quite often type 'langauge' for 'language', perhaps because 'au' occurs much more frequently than 'ua', but I usually notice it when I'm re-reading what I've written. The more the jumble goes beyond this, the more difficult the word is to read - not impossible, but not nearly as 'instant' as if all the letters are present and correct in the right order.

Jenny C.

kenm
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Re: dual route reading model

Post by kenm » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:09 pm

Hugo wrote:[...]You will have seen that famous email written in what I call ‘jumble’ (It makes almost no difference to a fluent reader what order the letters are in, so long as the first and last remain in place – this effect works in all sorts of different languages, incidentally). I cannot well interpret it myself, but it dramatically demonstrates that at least fluent readers are not reading letter order (or even pattern) nor are we reading sound. My problem is that I can’t see what it is we might be reading! Are we back to predicting? Seems equally unlikely. The whole thing is disturbing – the ground underfoot seems suddenly slippery and uncertain.
To me, it demonstrates nothing convincingly. My tentative preference is for the idea that some people are good at anagrams. Moreover, I suspect that the jumbled words were weeded to avoid any that would have made the process difficult.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

Hugo
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dual route reading theory

Post by Hugo » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:12 pm

www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/~mattd/Cmabrigde/

website for discussion about ‘jumble’ if anyone is interested.
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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:21 pm

The 'jumbled letters' paragraph is sometimes presented in an attempt to dismiss the importance of phonics:

http://www.illinoisloop.org/phonicsfraud.html

Hugo
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dual route reading theory

Post by Hugo » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:31 pm

Kenm writes "some people are good at anagrams" as a possible explanation as to how we can read 'jumble'. However, I can read 'jumble' fluently and fast, as we all can I think, but I am genuinely absolutely hopeless at anagrams. (And loathe them - is this cause or effect? I think that's an interesting and important question for educators!) The ease with which we can read jumble is, I think, to do with our ability to flexibly find and choose among a plethora of related data of all kinds and levels of elaboration in relation to any one stimulus. I am amazed how clever we all are, again. I am reminded of the silly ditty about Stegosaurus, which had a brain fore and aft (there was an enlarged space in the neural system about the pelvic area). So "he could think, without congestion, upon both sides of every question".
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maizie
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Post by maizie » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:03 pm

I tend to agree with Ken that anagrams is the most likely answer. Also, that because we are skilled readers we are able to'predict' what the words might be.

I am very familiar with the link you posted, Hugo, as I have posted it myself on many an occasion. I note that the writer says that the more complex a 'scrambled 'word becomes, the more difficult it is to read. The jumbling only really works with simple words. But, as has been said before, I can't see that evidence of what a proficient and experienced reader is able to do has any relevance to the teaching or remediating of reading.

I would note that when this spurious 'research' was publicised in The Guardian a few years ago, one of the words they had jumbled in the passage completely defeated me; it bore no resemblence to any word I knew, nor was it an anagram.

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:51 pm

Text that is less decodable requires the children to use prediction or context to figure out words. Much research has evaluated the effectiveness of prediction as a strategy for word recognition. Though prediction is valuable in comprehension for predicting the next event or predicting an outcome, the research indicates that it is not useful in word recognition. The following passage is a sample of authentic text (from Jack London). The parts of the text that are omitted are the parts that a child was unable to decode accurately. The child was able to decode approximately 80% of the text. If prediction is a useful strategy, a good reader should be able to read this easily with understanding:


He had never seen dogs fight as these w__ish c___ f___t, and his first ex_______ t_____t him an unf______able l____n. It is true, it was a vi____ ex_______, else he would not have lived to pr_____it by it. Curly was the v_______. They were camped near the log store, where she, in her friend__ way, made ad______ to a husky dog the size of a full-______ wolf, th____ not half so large as _he. __ere was no w____ing, only a leap in like a flash, a met____ clip of teeth, a leap out equal__ swift, and Curly's face was ripped open from eye to jaw.
It was the wolf manner of fight___, to st___ and leap away; but there was more to it than this. Th__ or forty huskies ran _o the spot and not com_____d that s_____t circle. But did not com_____d that s______t in_______, not the e___ way with which they were licking their chops. Curly rushed her ant________, who struck again and leaped aside. He met her next rush with his chest, in a p_______ fash___ that tum__ed her off her feet. She never re_____ed them. This was __at the on_______ing huskies had w______ for.
The use of predictable text, rather than this authentic text, might allow children to use prediction to figure out a passage. However, this strategy would not transfer to real reading, as the above passage demonstrates. Predictable text gives children false success. While this false success may be motivating for many children, ultimately they will not be successful readers if they rely on text predictability to read.
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FEtutor
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Re: dual route reading model

Post by FEtutor » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:04 pm

Hugo wrote:
The second issue relates to the finding in practice, with which I concur, that early literacy students do not appropriately see letters or patterns – Jenny & Judy in particular have noted this effect. They do not notice the right things about text. They are not looking for, or at, the most appropriate aspects of the signal. It seems to me that we have to be circumspect as to exactly how we interpret this sort of behaviour, though. To me, it is not that they are not accessing the sounds of the letters or patterns and that they should be, it is more that they are not looking at, or for, the right things at all. As adult students a considerable proportion of the strange mix is affect – they seek to get out of the awkwardness they find themselves in asap and are too willing to grasp such straws as they can see, or can bring themselves to imagine they see. Leaving that aside, though, I believe what I see (guessing, too heavy reliance on context, or imagined context, plunging after initial letters etc etc) is not so much a phonological problem (although all early readers, by definition, have a degree of phonological awareness ‘deficit’) as an alphabetic principle issue. This is something I see clearer at some times than at others but it definitely seems to me that the issue is broader and deeper than simply a matter of phonics – there is a considerable issue of letter knowledge as well, and this is partly what successful ‘phonics’ teaches.
To me, Hugo, you have just talked yourself into endorsing synthetic phonics, which has the correspondences of Alphabetic Code at its heart, together with the skills to process it. In my experience with adult students they will continue to guess at whole or part words when reading until they have absorbed the necessary code - and know that the listening tutor expects them to "work a word out" rather than to have to "know" it.

I've had to explain to more than one student who has been diagnosed as dyslexic and having "phonological problems" at school that, had they been given the teaching they needed at the right age, their problems would not have escalated into dyslexic-type difficulties with all the associated emotional problems. I am still not aware of any research that shows that adults need to be taught in a different way to any other beginner or struggling readers and spellers - but I do know that, with many students, I have to teach relaxation techniques as well as the Alphabetic Code.

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Post by JIM CURRAN » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:17 am

"It makes almost no difference to a fluent reader what order the letters are in, so long as the first and last remain in place – this effect works in all sorts of different languages, incidentally). I cannot well interpret it myself, but it dramatically demonstrates that at least fluent readers are not reading letter order (or even pattern) nor are we reading sound. My problem is that I can’t see what it is we might be reading! Are we back to predicting? Seems equally unlikely. The whole thing is disturbing – the ground underfoot seems suddenly slippery and uncertain."

Try to read the following piece of text, which a friend sent me. It follows the rules of the Cambridge University piece.

1.each word in the distorted passage begins and ends with the letter the actual word begins and ends with.

2. the letters between the first and last letter of the words in the distorted passage can appear in any order.





Try and read this 30 word passage within a minute.


Annoye who is a ponfiricet docdeer sluhod be clapabe of cornscutting
pegasass that sorpupt this poonehmenn. Unisg salimir pinprelics
uncle-dadboe peassags can be concretstud as well. This “peenhoonmn” is haswogh.

Hugo
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dual route reading theory

Post by Hugo » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:12 am

FEtutor correctly claims that I accept the value of synthetic phonics. Maybe we are making progress on this thread after all! My entire case rests on the assertion that we need phonics (analytic, synthetic, you name it) but in its place. My only problem is with those - and nobody has yet admitted that they do exist - who a) claim that children must be taught exclusively by synthetic phonics, for example, and by absolutely no other method and who b) seem to have government's ear (or was that just Ruth Kelly's ear?).

Another point I have sought to make is that teaching phonics in a more normal manner is also teaching the alphabetic principle and it has been demonstrated that orthographic awareness matters about as much as phonological awareness does. I think your post demonstrates this in action - I think you are teaching far more than just phonic appreciation and attack.

Your statement that you have had to teach relaxation techniques to adults is interesting - in my view affect is of very major importance. I teach meta-affect for exactly this reason.
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Hugo
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dual route reading theory

Post by Hugo » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:38 pm

Jim’s example of ‘jumble’ is deliberately misleading (and the ‘Cmabridge’ example probably veers in the other direction in similar fashion).

Annoye who is a ponfiricet docdeer sluhod be clapabe of cornscutting
pegasass that sorpupt this poonehmenn. Unisg salimir pinprelics
uncle-dadboe peassags can be concretstud as well. This “peenhoonmn” is haswogh.

The jumble is made much worse for the reader by the manipulation of letters such as either to create real words and real morphemes or produce letter patterns which look like new words or morphemes (annoye, docdeer, clapabe, cornscutting, pegassass, sorpupt, unisg, salimir, pinprelics, uncle-dadhoe, peassags, concretstud etc etc). Almost every word in the passage has been rearranged to do this. If we complain about one form of manipulation of the experimental stimulus we must protest others too!
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Post by JAC » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:42 pm

.....orthographic awareness matters about as much as phonological awareness does......
Yes, it's all in the the correspondences.

FEtutor
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Post by FEtutor » Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:41 pm

JAC wrote:
.....orthographic awareness matters about as much as phonological awareness does......
Yes, it's all in the the correspondences.

I'm sure you would enjoy a training course, Hugo!

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