Learning to read: an unnatural act

  title={Learning to read: an unnatural act},
  author={Philip B. Gough and Michael L. Hillinger},
  journal={Bulletin of the Orton Society},
The six-year-old's sight is as good as the adult's (Amigo 1972), and his hearing is nearly so (Elliott and Katz 1980). The child has an excellent memory (Mandler, in press), and his learning ability is remarkable. Even a conservative estimate of the size of his vocabulary will show that he must have learned, on average, more than four new words every day since his first birthday (Carey 1978). He has already learned to speak and understand his native language with remarkable fluency. The average… Expand
Introduction to the special issue on cognitive science of text
Text is a cultural invention most likely introduced around four thousand years ago (Man, 2000). In view of this, it is perhaps not surprising that variability in reading and writing skills is farExpand
How children learn to read and why they fail
  • P. Gough
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Annals of dyslexia
  • 1996
It is argued that the comprehension aspect of reading depends on those same—natural—forces that govern acquisition of spoken language, whereas decoding depends on explicit tutelage, with little evidence that children will induce the cipher from simple exposure to written words and their pronunciations. Expand
How does orthographic learning happen
Word recognition develops with such remarkable speed that, by the end of eighth grade, we expect children learning to read English to know and recognize over 80,000 words (Adams, 1990). At a basicExpand
The Role of Decoding in Learning to Read.
c5_red_part_roleofdecod.pdf As anyone knows who has both read to young children and watched them begin learning to read, there is a great difference in the sophistication of their abilities in theExpand
Development of the ability to read words: Update.
Although written English displays three types of units that make contact with readers’ knowledge of language, letters, words, and sentences, readers’ eyes come to favor words as the units that areExpand
Two Paradoxes of Phonics.
There is a good deal of evidence to show that phonics should play an im portant role in early reading instruc tion. A number of recent reviews conclude that early, explicit phonics teaching leads toExpand
The connection between phonological, syntactic and semantic skills and children’s reading and spelling
In recent years two radically different views have dominated discussions about the way in which children learn to read and write. The first view is that the crucial hurdle in learning to read is theExpand
Procedures for word learning: Making discoveries about words
any first graders appear to make discoveries about words and learn to read without explicit instruction. Being read to, reading and rereading favorite books, inventing spellings, and composing textExpand
Children's use of analogy in reading and spelling
It is concluded that spelling-sound consistency only affects children's use of analogies in reading and that children should be taught to use analogies to read and spell new words. Expand
Young Children Use Letter Names in Learning to Read Words
Most theories of reading development claim that young children are logographic, or prealphabetic, readers, unable to take advantage of the systematic links between spellings and sounds that exist inExpand


The child as word learner
concepts of reference point and polarity, which presuppose concepts of dimension of comparison and zero point. These concepts can be probed nonlinguistically. For example, animals can be taught toExpand
American Children with Reading Problems Can Easily Learn to Read English Represented by Chinese Characters
With 2.5 to 5.5 hours of tutoring, eight second-grade inner-city school children with clear reading disability were taught to read English material written as 30 different Chinese characters, eliminating certain general interpretations of dyslexia. Expand
1. Segmentation of the spoken word and reading acquisition
The purpose of this study was to determine how well children can identify the number of phonemic segments in spoken words and how this compares with their ability to deal similarly with syllables.Expand
Summary. This study is concerned with the development of the ability to make a simple phonetic analysis of the spoken word. It describes the performance of children at different levels of mentalExpand
The acquisition of syntax in children from 5 to 10
This study is concerned with the general question of the extent to which children between the age of 5 and 10 have achieved mastery of their native language, and explores areas of disparity betweenExpand
Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning to Read, Sixth Edition
  • F. Smith
  • Computer Science, Psychology
  • 1971
The sixth edition of the Sixth Edition of The Essence of Reading focuses on reading, writing, and Thinking, and on the importance of knowing the meaning of words. Expand
Effect of Intralist Similarity on Kindergarten Pupils' Rate of Word Acquisition and Transfer
Studies of kindergarten pupils have shown that while low intralist similarity results in more rapid acquisition than high intralist similarity there are also more incorrect identifications and falseExpand
Individual Vocabulary and Semantic Currency: A Preliminary Study
A vocabulary test, whose items are chosen by random sampling of a large dictionary and which can therefore afford estimates of vocabulary on an absolute basis, is described and the data obtained on aExpand
Pre-School Children's Knowledge of English Phonology.
The author suggests that some preschool children have an unconscious knowledge of aspects of the sound system of English; that these children tacitly organize phonetic segments into categoriesExpand
Foetus into Man: Physical Growth from Conception to Maturity
Here is a brief and authoritative account of human physical growth, beautifully written by one of the world's foremost experts. In "Fetus into Man" Professor Tanner tells the story of growth inExpand