This is Your Brain on Reading!

This is your brain on reading: Everything you see, hear, taste, touch, or smell must go to your brain for processing.  The brain will send you, via express delivery: that what you see is a ‘dog’; or you just heard a ‘train whistle’; or that sweet taste is ‘candy’; or what you are touching is hot!; or the good aroma you smell is ‘bread baking.’

The same is true for the process of reading.  The reading process uses your eyes, your ears, your lips, your tongue, and your chin [and for sight impaired readers, their fingers for Braille]!    Everything used in the reading process must go to the brain to be processed, and ‘get back to you in a timely fashion’ with an answer.

How many of you knew that?  Let’s take a peek!

Your Brain on Reading

 Auditory Processing: is the ability to hear sounds in words; identify the number of sounds, identify the sequence of the sounds from the beginning of the word to the end, identify same and different sounds, and identifying when sounds change in words and which sounds change.  This is called PHONEME AWARENESS and is THE foundation for becoming a successful reader.  The lips, tongue, chin, and nose help generate the sounds.  Mastery of phonemic awareness is required in order to move on to cracking the ‘alphabetic code’ or ‘decoding/phonics’!!

Visual Processing is 1) acquiring a large sight word base [words that are just known and do not have to be sounded out] and 2) being able to match sounds to letters and letter combinations [symbol imagery] and blending them together to identify the word you see in text.

Language Processing is vocabulary knowledge [acquired through the use of all our senses, [sight/hearing/smell/touch/taste] along with the understanding of the structure of the language, and the conventions of the language [i.e. period, comma, question mark, quotation marks, exclamation point].

Comprehension [the prize to reading] is strong when ALL of the above COMPONENTS are strong, along with the ability to image the words you hear or see in text…make a movie on the screen in your brain [concept imagery].  Albert Einstein once said, “If I can’t see it, I can’t understand it.”

For successful readers, this has been mastered to ‘automaticity’.  For struggling readers, the weak areas need to be strengthened to help them become as successful a reader as possible.  There are more brain processes that contribute to the reading process to discuss at another time.

Resource:  Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes®

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