Language and the Reading Puzzle. Virginia A. Mann Dept. Of Cognitive Sciences University of California, Irvine email@example.com brainconnection.com. What makes them err? in decoding in comprehension What can be done?. Why are poor readers, poor readers ?. ERRORS IN WRITING.
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Virginia A. Mann
Dept. Of Cognitive Sciences
University of California, Irvine
What can be done?
Why are poor readers, poor readers?
Recovering the spoken words that written words ‘stand for’
A limit on fluency
Temporarily retaining an ordered series of words, syllables, etc.
Basics:in both reading and listening
a bottleneck on comprehension
Smith, Mann and Shankweiler 1986
Readers start as
speakers and hearers
if spoken language is weak
Weak language can have both
genetic and environmental origins
Cumulative Effects of Language Experience
Effects of Low Language Development on Reading
45 Million Words
High Oral Language in Kindergarten
5.2 years difference
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Reading Age Level
26 Million Words
Estimated Cumulative Words
Low Oral Language in Kindergarten
13 Million Words
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
12 24 36 48
Age of Child (In Months)
The Real OC:
Santa Ana, CA
High school dropout
Speakers of Spanish
Less income:37 cents per dollar
A shorter life:dying 9 years earlier
1% decrease in the dropout rate:
100,000 fewer crimes
400 fewer murders
$1.4 million annual savings
LA Times 1/29/06
Improve the schools?
Work before school starts?
help parents fulfill their role
as their children’s first teachers
Building Language Acquisition
1. Coach parents to
Be more responsive, positive and engaged
exercise children’s spoken language skills
Use complex language
Ask and listen
2. Coach parents to
enrich the home literacy environment
use dialogic reading
A Spanish language program:
two years of home visits (92 visits)
Increases verbal interaction between parents and 2-4 yr old children
Easily-learned, developmentally appropriate methods of play
Books and toys that stay in the home
(Levenstein et al, 2002)
1 year of HABLA: $1500
1 year of preschool: $6000
An extra year of school: $6000
Each year of Special Education: $12,000
Cumulative loss of social capital: PRICELESS
Mann et al, 2007
F.A.S.T. Power learning formula:
Frequency & intensity, Adaptivity,
Simultaneous development, Timely motivation
A scope and sequence of materials that build foundational cognitive and language skills progressively
A series of products
that targets all levels
But what are phonemes?
…12-13 in the South…
“Are you here as a teacher?”
What has a different first sound?
bag baby cat ball
Say ‘brake’ without the first sound
Production and Perception of Speech
Exposure to literacy activities (verse and word play, the ABC’s, shared reading)
Mann and Foy, 2001-2007
Learning the ABC’s
especially letter sounds
Matching or Sorting words
Reading Ability 6 months later
Shah and Mann, 2000
Intervention and training must be:
lengthy, explicit and intensive
Builds Phoneme Awareness:
to, too, or two?
there, their or they’re?
it’s or its?
The Cloze Task:
She is very _______
active activate activation activize
lorialize lorial lorify lorialism
Singson, Mahony & Mann, 2000
Poor 3rd 4th 5th 6th Avg.
Adult grade Adult
To understand sentences with
Nouns separated from their verbs
pronouns separated from antecedents
To unify paragraphs
Problems with comprehension:
multiple choice tests
For written material this is exaggerated by slow labored decoding
Builds Working Memory:
All language use
The alphabet and decoding
Phonemes and Morphemes
Use science and technology to build products for the schools
Bill Jenkins, Ph.D.
Professor Michael Merzenich, Ph.D.
Steve Miller, Ph.D.
Paula Tallal, Ph.D.
Logan De Ley, M.S.
Rebecca Buffum, M.S.
Barbara Calhoun, Ph.D.
Andrew Ostarello, M.S.
Gretchen Donehower, Ph.D.
UC - Berkeley
Marty Burns, Ph.D.
Virginia Mann, Ph.D.
UC - Irvine