'Other strategies' for word identification

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elsiep
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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by elsiep » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:52 pm

chew8 wrote:What makes Stanovich and West doubly interesting is that they started out believing that skilled readers relied a lot on context but their own research forced them to realise that this assumption had been wrong.

Jenny C.

Please see my discussion of Stanovich & West's findings here http://logicalincrementalism.wordpress. ... g-methods/

Their findings need to be taken in the context of what Lupker says "may have the largest literature in Cognitive Psychology".


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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by maizie » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:16 pm

The problem I have with Snowling is that she is still promoting an 'intervention' that teaches guessing from context & pictures alongside teaching letter/sound correspondences.

If there is something in her book which provides scientific research evidence for this I would be happy to read it.

Does Max Coltheart support guessing strategies?

I am certainly well aware that not all cognitive psychologists agree with his 'dual route' model of the reading process; also that he supports teaching some words as 'wholes'.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by elsiep » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:21 pm

maizie wrote:The problem I have with Snowling is that she is still promoting an 'intervention' that teaches guessing from context & pictures alongside teaching letter/sound correspondences.

If there is something in her book which provides scientific research evidence for this I would be happy to read it.
The book is edited by Snowling and Hulme, not written by them - although they co-author the chapter on learning to read. It's basically a set of review papers providing an overview of where reading research had got to at the start of the new millennium. Whether or not you agree with what interventions Snowling recommends makes no difference to the usefulness of the book as a whole in providing a summary of reading research in general, not just the teaching of reading.

Jenny asked about references involving research into skilled readers' strategies. I'd brought up this point because Dykstra's reference to 'falsehoods about reading' could give the impression that claims for the use of what he calls 'guessing strategies' in reading per se are false. They're not.

The problem isn't that skilled readers use multiple cues (which is what I think Dykstra is referring to) but that the strategies used by skilled readers are ones that only come with skill - novices will struggle if they start with them.
maizie wrote:Does Max Coltheart support guessing strategies?
I doubt it. But he would have references to research showing that skilled readers use multiple cues.
maizie wrote:I am certainly well aware that not all cognitive psychologists agree with his 'dual route' model of the reading process; also that he supports teaching some words as 'wholes'.
I think we might be at cross purposes here. I was talking about strategies used by skilled readers, not about strategies best used for teaching reading.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by maizie » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:05 pm

elsiep wrote:Please see my discussion of Stanovich & West's findings here http://logicalincrementalism.wordpress. ... g-methods/
Is this it?
West and Stanovich report fluent readers’ performance being facilitated by two automated processes; sentence context (essentially semantic priming) and word recognition. According to chapter 3, fluent readers use phonological recoding if automated word recognition fails.
It is funny how two people can read the same words and come to completely different conclusions.

What Stanovich & West actually says is: (p20 Progress in Understanding Reading)
...the present study has led to some important conclusions regarding the operation of automatic recognition processes and interword redundancy in reading. First of all it appears that sentence contexts can automatically facilitate reading performance. However, the performance of more fluent readers seems to be dominated by rapid, probably automatic (in the sense of LaBerge and Samuels 1974), word recognition. These recognition processes occur so fast that effects due to slower acting contextual factors (my emphasis) are reduced.
I cannot draw any conclusion from this other than fluent readers primarily use rapid, automatic word recognition.

I can see that in the congruous sentence prime condition it might be argued that the fluent readers prioritised context over automatised word recognition because it was the less cognitively demanding process but that makes a mockery of the term 'automatic' (as applied to the automatised word recognition process) as it is not automatic if it has to be chosen in preference to another strategy. In fact, surely the act of 'choosing' would slow the process rather than speed it? The same would apply in the incongruous sentence condition; a decision would have to be made as to whether to use the 'automatic' process or the context for identifying the word, once again slowing the process.

The section ends with a strange surmise:
Adults use of context is probably greater when they read more difficult material.
May be this early on in their research career they didn't have a very clear picture of what 'automatised word recognition' might consist; of although earlier in the chapter (p14) they suggest that fluent reades might 'automate letter and word identification...'

I would propose that a truly 'difficult' text for a skilled reader would be one in which there were words unfamiliar in both appearance and meaning. In which case context would be no help whatsoever.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by elsiep » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:20 am

maizie wrote:
elsiep wrote:Please see my discussion of Stanovich & West's findings here http://logicalincrementalism.wordpress. ... g-methods/
Is this it?
West and Stanovich report fluent readers’ performance being facilitated by two automated processes; sentence context (essentially semantic priming) and word recognition. According to chapter 3, fluent readers use phonological recoding if automated word recognition fails.
elsiep wrote:That's the one.
It is funny how two people can read the same words and come to completely different conclusions.

What Stanovich & West actually says is: (p20 Progress in Understanding Reading)
...the present study has led to some important conclusions regarding the operation of automatic recognition processes and interword redundancy in reading. First of all it appears that sentence contexts can automatically facilitate reading performance. However, the performance of more fluent readers seems to be dominated by rapid, probably automatic (in the sense of LaBerge and Samuels 1974), word recognition. These recognition processes occur so fast that effects due to slower acting contextual factors (my emphasis) are reduced.
I cannot draw any conclusion from this other than fluent readers primarily use rapid, automatic word recognition.
Have I disagreed with that?
maizie wrote:I can see that in the congruous sentence prime condition it might be argued that the fluent readers prioritised context over automatised word recognition because it was the less cognitively demanding process but that makes a mockery of the term 'automatic' (as applied to the automatised word recognition process) as it is not automatic if it has to be chosen in preference to another strategy. In fact, surely the act of 'choosing' would slow the process rather than speed it? The same would apply in the incongruous sentence condition; a decision would have to be made as to whether to use the 'automatic' process or the context for identifying the word, once again slowing the process.
Readers do not choose between two automated processes. Both automated processes occur simultaneously. Because they are automated, the readers can't stop them happening. The question is; which process is the faster in any given reader in any given situation?

In skilled readers, in the congruous sentence condition, context speeds up word recognition due to priming. In the incongruous sentence condition context doesn't slow it down because word recognition is faster than the process of switching to the other context.
maizie wrote:The section ends with a strange surmise:
Adults use of context is probably greater when they read more difficult material.
May be this early on in their research career they didn't have a very clear picture of what 'automatised word recognition' might consist; of although earlier in the chapter (p14) they suggest that fluent reades might 'automate letter and word identification...'
I think you've missed what's meant by 'automatised word recognition'. It means word recognition - recognition at the whole word level. On p.38, there is a clear reference to 'three specific abilities' - recognizing words automatically, the ability to recognize words and sub-word units, and the ability to recode print items into phonological form.

There is no question that skilled readers use a number of strategies when reading, including using context, whole word recognition, recognition of sub-word units and phonological recoding. What's important to the reader is which gets there first.

- If the context is congruent, it will facilitate word recognition due to priming.
- If the context is incongruent, but word recognition is faster than activating another neural pathway, word recognition won't be slowed down by context.
- If word recognition fails - ie the reader doesn't automatically recognise an unfamiliar word - then other cues, such as context, sub-word units and phonological decoding will be used.
maizie wrote: I would propose that a truly 'difficult' text for a skilled reader would be one in which there were words unfamiliar in both appearance and meaning. In which case context would be no help whatsoever.
But they're not talking about a 'truly difficult text for a skilled reader'. They are talking about adult readers in general and pointing out that relatively simple words were used in West & Stanovich's study, thus increasing the likelihood of automated word recognition. They were speculating on what would happen if more difficult material were used. This could include words that readers understood but didn't read very often, in which case word recognition wouldn't be automated and there might be increased reliance on context.


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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by volunteer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:55 am

Yes, we must subconsciously have some other strategies. For example, I can read roadsigns at a distance at which I could not read entirely random groups of letters if I am familiar with the places that are likely to be named on the signs. And I read with little difficulty that popular thing where a passage is written with the first and last letter of each word in the correct position but all the other letters jumbled up. But it does require a little bit of "thinking" - but I am not sure what I am doing during that "thinking" time.

Maybe picture clues might be of use to skilled readers on signs which are physically hard to read for some reason e.g. poor weather, poor lighting, distance, poor vision?

I don't think it's possible for us to be entirely aware of how we figure things out when we are reading and skilled readers are not 100% accurate either and we can be deliberately "tricked" ..... Elsiep I am sure you will have a better term than this! For example, if phrases with unnecessarily repeated words in them are printed in a particular way we can be tricked into overlooking the repetition of the word. I have some examples of this in a book of optical illusions.

I had a very "interesting" experience with a relative who had had two strokes earlier this year which affected the thalamus. At first I thought she couldn't read any longer as pretty much every word she read to me had some similarities to the ones on the page but was not the correct word - she read out loud at her usual speed and did not say that she couldn't see the words on the page properly. I then found her reading glasses and every word was correct (except she was unable to find the start of the next line when she finished the end of of one line). Quite what this tells us, I don't know. But it was fascinating.

The point that some of you make that just because a skilled reader does something a particular way doesn't mean it's the best route for a beginner to learn is such a good one. It's one that I have to remember again and again with my own children - and not just with reading. It pretty much applies to everything.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by maizie » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:27 pm

volunteer wrote:And I read with little difficulty that popular thing where a passage is written with the first and last letter of each word in the correct position but all the other letters jumbled up. But it does require a little bit of "thinking" - but I am not sure what I am doing during that "thinking" time.
I've always seen it as trying to read a piece of apallingly spelled text! A facility with anagrams helps, as does the fact that the jumbled words are pretty obvious.

http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/people/mat ... cmabridge/

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by volunteer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:10 pm

Aha - maybe 11 seconds of thinking time for me then! That's a good link Maizie. I always thought the attribution to Cambridge Uni was a little suspect.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by elsiep » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:07 pm

volunteer wrote: The point that some of you make that just because a skilled reader does something a particular way doesn't mean it's the best route for a beginner to learn is such a good one. It's one that I have to remember again and again with my own children - and not just with reading. It pretty much applies to everything.
Exactly.

The point I was making is that the best route for a beginner to learn doesn't mean that skilled readers don't use other strategies.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by chew8 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:59 pm

Various experiences have shown me that although I occasionally misread something, I more usually read exactly what is there, even if there's a misprint. So when Frances wrote '...whether a letter is an "a" oe an "e"' I read 'oe' as long /o/ before realising that it was a typo. I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head, but some may come back to me.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by maizie » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:17 pm

elsiep wrote:The point I was making is that the best route for a beginner to learn doesn't mean that skilled readers don't use other strategies.
I understood that.

I just don't think that skilled readers use all the strategies that you listed, word shapes and pictures seem particularly suspect, and I think both Jenny & I were interested in the evidence for the use of each of them.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by elsiep » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:28 pm

My understanding of the strategies skilled readers use is based on the research literature. It's vast. It's robust. It's been around for a long time. Snowling & Hulme's book is a good place to start exploring it.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by maizie » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:18 pm

I have, believe me, read a great deal of the research literature. Apart from in the Whole Word/Whole Language literature, I have read nothing which has proven by research that skilled readers use word shape and pictures for word recognition. I have seen it asserted many times but not evidenced.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by chew8 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 7:50 pm

I started reading the preview of the Snowling and Hulme book as in the link provided by elsiep - http://is.gd/D5Ksv9

Other things intervened and I didn't finish, but there has been nothing about skilled readers using picture cues in what I've read so far. I'll try and get back to it, but my motivation isn't great because I know that even if there's nothing in the preview it won't mean that there's nothing in sections not included there.

Can you give any brief extracts, elsiep?

Jenny C.

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Re: 'Other strategies' for word identification

Post by elsiep » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:23 pm

maizie wrote:I have, believe me, read a great deal of the research literature. Apart from in the Whole Word/Whole Language literature, I have read nothing which has proven by research that skilled readers use word shape and pictures for word recognition. I have seen it asserted many times but not evidenced.
There's an entire chapter in Dehaene's book "Reading in the Brain" about visual processing in reading. It's clear that the first thing that skilled readers process is the visual features of the written word. The basic features are then chunked up into word units and then associated with the relevant speech sounds and meanings. If readers habituate to identical words in which the upper & lower case forms are visually the same, but don't habituate to identical words in which the upper & lower case forms are different, that suggests that they are using the visual features of the words in word recognition. I don't understand why anyone would think they didn't. How else would people be able to decode the orthography?

Similarly with pictures. Work investigating the semantic priming effects of words and pictures found that the pictures had a stronger effect.

Researchers are not claiming that skilled readers actively choose to use these cues in order to guess words they don't recognise - these are sub-conscious processes used in word recognition that people are unaware of. We only know about them because they can be manipulated experimentally. They happen whether people want them to or not.

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