Subtypes Based on Nature of Word Recognition Deficits
Another body of research suggests that individual differences specific to word recognition abilities may be a useful way to classify poor readers. There are two routes for word recognition. One is the visual route in which words are recognized directly on the basis of their spelling or orthographic patterns. The other is the phonological route in which words are recognized indirectly by using sound-letter correspondence rules to decode the word. Much attention has been devoted to individual differences in children's abilities to use these word recognition routes.
A popular view in "folk psychology" and education is that children can be divided into two distinct subgroups based on whether they learn to read more easily by the visual route or phonological route (Carbo, 1987, 1992; Dunn, 1990). Carbo (1992), for example, divides children into global learners and analytic learners. Global learners or readers are argued to learn to recognize words best through a sight-word approach that makes use of the visual route. Analytic readers, on the other hand, learn to read best by a phonics method that takes advantage of the phonological route. Many in early education also refer to these groups as visual and auditory learners and believe that teachers should identify a child's learning style and teach to that style.
Despite the widespread appeal of reading/learning styles, the evidence is not very compelling that children can be divided into homogeneous subgroups on the basis of their reading strengths (or preferences), or that teaching to these strengths is an effective strategy for improving reading ability (Kavale, Forness, & Bender, 1987; Stahl, 1988; Stahl & Kuhn, 1995; Turner & Dawson, 1978). Relatively few studies have actually addressed this issue. Those studies that have offered some support for reading style subgroups and instruction (Holt & O'Tuel, 1990; Thomasson, 1990) have typically been reported outside the peer-review process. As a result, this work has not had the level of scrutiny and evaluation that is needed in order to effectively guide educational practice. This view is also contrary to most current theories of reading development. Most research suggests the importance of both the visual and the phonological routes in learning to read (Share, 1995; Share & Stanovich, 1995). Children need to have good phonological decoding skills to break the alphabetic code (i.e., self-teach) as well as good orthographic skills to develop accurate and automatic word recognition.
© ______ 2005, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Social Cognitive Theory
- The Homework Debate
- GED Math Practice Test 1