How the brain changes when we learn to read

Originally published on The Conversation (May 11, 2017). Right now, you are reading these words without much thought or conscious effort. In lightning-fast bursts, your eyes are darting from left to right across your screen, somehow making meaning from what would otherwise be a series of black squiggles. Reading for you is not just easy – … More How the brain changes when we learn to read

Book review: ‘Proust and the Squid’ by Maryanne Wolf

Early next month, Professor Maryanne Wolf will be coming to Australia to present a few seminars. I will be attending one of these, and am planning to bring along my dog-eared, highlighted, bookmark-filled copy of her 2008 book, ‘Proust and the Squid’, in the fangirl-ish hope that she might sign it.  [1] I bought the … More Book review: ‘Proust and the Squid’ by Maryanne Wolf

Neuroplasticity (Part 2.)

The previous post on this topic examined ‘neuroplasticity’ as it naturally occurs over the lifespan, especially during childhood. Today I want to focus more on the therapy approaches that claim to capitalise on that neuroplasticity. Principles of neuroplasticity are relevant to speechies and other clinicians/educators who provide intervention for children with developmental disorders. Much of the time, … More Neuroplasticity (Part 2.)

Neuroplasticity (Part 1.)

Turns out neuroplasticity is not just a trendy buzzword of the past decade or so; it’s also quite an interesting research topic. Understanding the cognitive neurophysiology behind how we learn, especially during childhood, can help to solidify the sometimes dry-ish theoretical content (in as much as that’s possible, when you’re talking about a spongey lump … More Neuroplasticity (Part 1.)

Reading development in children with hearing loss

If you’ve been paying attention these past few weeks, you’re going to be familiar with my continual references to something called ‘phonological processing’. For the sake of brevity, I’ve defined the term as ‘the processing of speech sounds’, which, now that I think about it, is extraordinarily vague and leaves it kind of open to … More Reading development in children with hearing loss

Skilled word reading

Phonological processing, or the ability to process speech sounds, plays an especially important role in early reading development. A couple of posts ago, I talked about how beginning readers apply phonological awareness skills to segmenting words into decodable letter-sound chunks. With practice, word recognition becomes a lot more efficient and, ultimately, automatic. Hence, the role … More Skilled word reading