Can you do word recognition? When you see a word you have seen before can you simply recognize it, or do you need to decode it. Dyslexia Awareness Week is here, so its time to think differently about our struggling children and adults. #dyslexiaawarenessweek
It is accepted that for fluent reading you need to be able to recognize words, rather than having to decode them over and over again; this is called rapid automatic naming or word recognition. If you are having to decode many words then you simply lose the sense of what you are trying to read.
So why don’t teach children explicitly how to do this, at the same time as we are teaching phonics? Children will progress more quickly and enjoy the whole experience. The reason is that few people understand that word recognition is a visual skill, based on having mental images of words, and the UK government guidelines says that the only way to teach reading is through phonics, which is an auditory skill.
Changing our strategy in primary school to being both auditory and visual would reduce childrens’ anxiety, save special needs effort and dramatically reduce parental stress.
If you want to know more about the vital role of mental imagery take a look at Empowering Learning (www.empoweringlearning.co.uk) #empoweringlearning or signup at www.visualkids.co.uk for more information. #visualkids