Working Group 2

Developmental aspects of reading

Today’s children are steeped in digitally dominated media; this digital exposure is likely to affect deep reading. Deep reading is a complex process that builds on the efficiency of lower level linguistic skills, such as orthographic, phonological, semantic, morphological and syntactic knowledge, to decode and comprehend text (Wolf, 2007; Wolf et al, 2009), as well as on higher level skills such as inference and analysis, allowing readers to fuse their own knowledge with the text to think thoughts that go beyond the author’s words. Thus, deep reading requires motivation, cognitive effort, and time. The absence of a genetic blueprint for reading, however, means that there is no guarantee that these deep reading skills will develop. The plasticity of the brain’s reading circuit means that it will adapt itself to what is being asked—by the characteristics of the writing system (e.g. English alphabet vs. Chinese logosyllabary) (Tan, et al, 2005); by the formation process (how much, how well the child is taught) (Sandak, et. al, 2004); and by the medium (print; digital).

For additional information about Developmental aspects of reading please contact Mirit Barzillai.


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