Routledge

HOW WE LEARN TO READ

 

The model developed by Uta Frith describes the process of learning to read as a person progresses through three strategies:

 

1. The Logographic Strategy

To begin with you are learning to link the sound of the word with the way it looks. That is, learning to read by recognition of the whole word.

 

cat     mum     a    top    the     dad

 

Such words are often given on flash cards.

 

Most beginner readers move on from this stage fairly rapidly. If they don't, it may be because they cannot distinguish letter sounds easily. This could be due to hearing problems. When a person has dyslexia, it is because the brain processing cannot clearly distinguish between the sounds. This information is fuzzy. Reading difficulties start to become apparent.

 

2. Alphabetic Strategy

As the words you encounter get longer, you have to develop an additional strategy to cope. You start to pay attention to the letters in the word and sound them out. You then put the sounds together to make the whole word.

h-o-l-i-d-a-y                t-e-l-e-v-i-s-i-o-n

 

In order to be able to decode the word, you must be able to:

    - keep the letters in the right order

    - know what the letters sounds like

 

So this strategy helps you:

    - to pronounce the word

    - to read new words

 

With luck, you will have heard the word before, so you can make a good attempt at it.

 

Those who can't do this will have some reading difficulties.

 

3.  Orthographic Strategy

Now, you develop the ability to recognise the sound of groups of letters or chunks of words. Using this strategy makes reading faster and more efficient.

 

br-ight    fr-ight   m-ight-y    psy-chology   psy-chic

 

 

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