Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Early Readers

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: Early Readers

Title: “A Longitudinal Literacy Profile of Greek Precocious Readers.” Eufimia Tafa and George Manolitsis. Reading Research Quarterly (April/May/June 2008), 165-185. A publication of the International Reading Association.

Comment: This study is about reading in the Greek language and would appear not to have much application to learning to read in English. The conclusion, however, suggests something worth thinking about. RayS.

Quote/Summary: “Although the Greek precocious readers had an advantage in phonological tasks up to the first grade and an advantage in reading comprehension and spelling tasks up to the second grade, these advantages did not remain stable through the fourth grade. By grade 4, the precocious readers were superior to their nonprecocious peers only in reading speed.” p. 182.

Comment: I’m assuming that precocious readers were children who learned to read early, but that intelligence was not a factor. The precocious readers gained an early advantage in phonological tasks, reading comprehension, spelling and speed through the second grade. The nonprecocious readers caught up to them by the fourth grade in everything but speed. Could this study point up the need for emphasizing fluency in reading instruction for most children during and after the fourth grade? Just a thought. RayS.

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