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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Le

Speech to Print

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

We learn to speak before we learn to read. Why not leverage that fact to help your student learn effective reading skills?

To turn a word a child can already say into a word that they can read and spell with letters requires their brain’s speech center to separate every sound in the word and then link that sound to a letter. It is simply the reverse of speaking. Reading words pairs a visual symbol (letters) to a speech sound.

With lots of practice, this two-way highway for reading and spelling builds super neural freeways that speed up processing for word recognition and skilled reading and writing.

However, when children are told what a word is without allowing them to sound it for themselves, or are told how to spell a word by handing them the letters, they are deprived of this essential practice. Basically we learn best when we are given the opportunity to both read and spell so that our brains can practice pulling the sounds from the letters and writing the sounds down for others to read. (Weiser & Mathes, 2011; Weiser, 2012).

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