New insights into how young and developing readers make sense of words

August 8, 2014, University of Leicester

Skilled readers are often able to make sense of words suffering from 'typos' and jumbled up letter orders as long as the beginning and end letters of the words are correct.

But a study at the University of Leicester suggests that young developing readers also have a similar understanding of how these outside letters can help make sense of words.

The study found that while developing young readers and skilled adult readers had similar difficulty correctly recognising anagrams that can form another word by switching the order of only the inside letters, both age groups found it equally easy to recognise anagrams when the outside letters also had to be switched around to form another word.

This is because the brain has difficulty keeping track of the position of inside letters when recognising words but assigns special importance to the outside letters.

Dr Kevin Paterson, a senior lecturer from the University of Leicester's School of Psychology, explained: "The fact that developing young readers in the study behaved similarly to skilled adult readers suggests both groups treated the position of inside letters with similar flexibility and are equally sensitive to the special importance of the outside letters when reading words.

"These findings for anagram reading show for the first time that sensitivity to position, and the privileged status of the exterior letters in words, is well established in readers as young as 8 to 10 years old."

The research team consisted of Dr Kevin Paterson, PhD student Victoria McGowan, who recently obtained a 'Future Research Leaders' Postdoctoral Fellowship, undergraduate student Josephine Read from the University of Leicester's School of Psychology and Professor Tim Jordan from the Department of Psychology at Zayed University in Dubai.

The findings are important for understanding the role of letter position in children's , including in dyslexia.

Professor Tim Jordan added: "Our present findings indicate considerable stability rather than developmental change in the use of letter position in word recognition, and further work is now required to see how this this fits in with the general process of reading."

The study entitled 'Children and adults both see 'pirates' in 'parties': letter-position effects for developing readers and skilled adult readers' has been published in the prestigious academic journal Developmental Science and is available at the following link: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/desc.12222/pdf

Explore further: Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th grade, contrary to popular theory

Related Stories

Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th grade, contrary to popular theory

July 21, 2014
Teachers-in-training have long been taught that fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new Dartmouth study in the journal Developmental Science tested the theory by analyzing ...

Hear Jane read: Researcher gives new meaning to semantics

July 15, 2014
For years a key way of diagnosing dyslexia has been how well a person reads aloud. Similarly, the reading skills of adult readers also have been assessed by having them read words aloud. "The idea is that the more you read ...

How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?

March 14, 2013
Researchers in the UK have taken an important step towards understanding how the human brain 'decodes' letters on a page to read a word. The work will help psychologists unravel the subtle thinking mechanisms involved in ...

The secrets of designing a good typeface

June 2, 2014
When we want what we write to be clearly communicated to a reader, we generally try to use a typeface that is clear to read. But few people realise how quickly your choice of typeface affects that process. If we can understand ...

Why older people struggle to read fine print

November 23, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Unique research into eye-movements of young and old people while reading discovers that word recognition patterns change as we grow older

Recommended for you

Intensive behavior therapy no better than conventional support in treating teenagers with antisocial behavior

January 19, 2018
Research led by UCL has found that intensive and costly multisystemic therapy is no better than conventional therapy in treating teenagers with moderate to severe antisocial behaviour.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language

January 18, 2018
Babies are adept at getting what they need - including an education. New research shows that babies organize mothers' verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction, and infant babbling is the key.

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students

January 18, 2018
In recent years, major beer companies have tried to capitalize on the salience of students' university affiliations, unveiling marketing campaigns and products—such as "fan cans," store displays, and billboard ads—that ...

Inherited IQ can increase in early childhood

January 18, 2018
When it comes to intelligence, environment and education matter – more than we think.

Modulating molecules: Study shows oxytocin helps the brain to modulate social signals

January 17, 2018
Between sights, sounds, smells and other senses, the brain is flooded with stimuli on a moment-to-moment basis. How can it sort through the flood of information to decide what is important and what can be relegated to the ...

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

shahinur103
not rated yet Aug 11, 2014
study at the University of Leicester is very good.
http://amaderdoka...pot.com/
http://seotipsbd-...pot.com/

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.