Posts Tagged ‘fluency’

TED Talk on the Linguistic Genius of Babies

February 17, 2011

In this great 10-minute lecture, Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, shares her findings about how babies learn one language over another — by listening to the humans around them and “taking statistics” on the sounds they need to know.

Experiments and brain imaging show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world. Dr. Kuhl’s work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the brain. It has implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for developmental disabilities involving language, and for research on computer understanding of speech.

Children of the Code

September 29, 2010

Reading is such an incredibly complex task that it’s not notable that some students struggle with reading, but rather miraculous that any of us can read at all. The Children of the Code project calls attention to the problems that we face when our children do not learn to read:

We don’t look at reading difficulties through the lens of how to improve the ‘teaching’ of reading, instead through the lens of ‘understanding the challenges involved in learning to read’ –  from the learner’s perspective.

The Children of the Code web site teems with information about reading challenges from experts in the field, including Sally Shawitz, who has used neuro-imaging to understand the basic nature of reading and reading difficulties, and  Paula Tallal, whose foundational research into the link between oral and written language led to the development of Fast ForWord.

At Be Amazing Learning, we are committed to offering individualized, validated solutions for students who are struggling with reading. We are intrigued with depth and breadth of interviews on the Children of the Code site from experts in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, linguistics, instructional design, literacy, and teaching. If you have an interest in reading difficulties you should take a look at this great site.

Building reading fluency with repeated reading

September 28, 2010

From the Report of the National Reading Panel: Teaching Children to Read:

Fluent readers are able to read orally with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. Fluency is one of several critical factors necessary for reading comprehension. Despite its importance as a component of skilled reading, fluency is often neglected in the classroom. This is unfortunate. If text is read in a laborious and inefficient manner, it will be difficult for the child to remember what has been read and to relate the ideas expressed in the text to his or her background knowledge. Recent research on the efficacy of certain approaches to teaching fluency has led to increased recognition of its importance in the classroom and to changes in instructional practices.

So how do we move students from decoding to reading fluency?

One excellent for developing reading fluency is called repeated reading. Repeated reading allows a student to get practice with expression, speed, and accuracy. Repeated reading allows the student to become comfortable by reading the same text more than once, while synthesizing all of the components of reading fluency.

Be Amazing Learning offers programs to help students practice reading fluency at home in a systematic way. Reading Assistant, from Scientific Learning, uses the strategy of repeated reading to help children and teens become fluent readers.

With Reading Assistant, students preview text and read it silently. Then they listen to a model reading of the text.  Voice recognition software records their multiple readings of the text, calculating rate and words correct per minute. Along the way, students answer guided reading questions that check for passage comprehension. Reading Assistant even helps when the student is unfamiliar with vocabulary.

Be Amazing Learning offers Reading Assistant, typically in concert with the Fast ForWord programs, which build foundational cognitive and language skills and promote brain processing efficiency. Our comprehensive approach can help students gain reading fluency and maximize their potential.

For more information, visit our Web site at or call (800) 792-4809

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