- English has an added layer of "messiness". Aural language changes, written language takes time to adjust.
- Great vowel shift in the Middle Ages - English is an old language so these changes are more noticeable.
- Children learning English take longer than in more "transparent" language such as Finnsh.
- Sound (phonological) awareness key predictor of success in alphabetic languages.
- Think about reading direction (left to right vs. right to left).
Models of Reading
- No pre-programmed module in the brain for the acquisition of written language.
- Logographic stage - recognises some words as pictures or logos.
- Alphabetic stage - child needs to be aware words can be divided into smaller parts called phonemes. Also they need to understand how oral language links to written language.
- Autographic stage - have direct access to the word without relying on phonological route. Comes with repetition.
- Child has to establish millions of new connections in the brain to learn to read, especially between the visual and auditory areas.
- Fluent reader nearly always uses direct path. Experience!
Importance of Automatisation
- Two parts - speed and accuracy
- Dyslexic readers don't have this automaticity so a lot of more work.
- Fluent readers do not use the context to identify a word because the process of word recognition is too quick.
- Only poor readers rely on context.
- Rapid automatising test - dyslexic people are slower than others
- The child with dyslexia is spending so much brainpower on putting letters into sounds that he/she has little left over to think about the meaning.
- Very few studies relating bilingualism and dyslexia.
- Many different variables.
- Diversity of pairs of languages put together.
- Some mistakes result from the contrasts between the languages while other relate to generalisations and simplifications specific to second language.
- Eg "L" and "R" sounds difficult for Japanese speakers.
- Difficulties where one language alphabetical and one not eg English and Chinese. Where both languages are alphabetical, children seem to be able to transfer knowledge.
- Bilingual adults and children activate both languages even when they don't need to.
- "In the bilingual reader, words that look similar in both languages interfere with each even when the person is trying to work mostly in one language. There is cross-interference from the other language. The brain is trying to work out which word or meaning is intended. So the response is slowed down."
- Dyslexia in biligualism - makes language learning difficult, memorisation difficult.
- Dyslexic or not, some children find oral language acquisition easier than others.
- When acquiring the writing system for a second language dyslexic learner have to learn a new set of grapheme/phoneme correspondences, some which may conflict with native language.
- English is the most opaque language in the world.
- If one of the languages of the dyslexic learner is transparent, then there can be benefits for the less transparent learner.