From Real Clear Education
By Daniel Willingham
April 29, 2014
Do children learn to read by translating letters into sound, or by perceiving the spelling of the word? The answer has an indirect bearing on teaching; it would presumably be best to instruct kids in a way consonant with how most perform the task.
The last 15 years has seen an increasing consensus among researchers: children initially learn via the letter-sound translation mechanism. As they gain reading practice, they acquire the spelling mechanism as well, although the letter-sound translation method continues to make a contribution to reading.
Now a new study of 284 French children in grades 1 through 5 offers support to this model (Ziegler et al, 2014)....
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Daniel Willingham is a columnist for RealClearEducation and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. He also writes the (excellent and highly recommended!) Daniel Willingham science and education blog.