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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

What Does 'Science of Reading' Mean For Parents?

We have been talking a lot about ‘the science of reading’ because following certain patterns and strategies can make reading more enjoyable and effective for kids. But, what does it actually mean, and what parents can do differently to make the most of this concept?


Often, you worry that your child is not reading much or that what they are doing is ineffective. Understanding these basic facts of the science of reading for parents will give you confidence that can overcome your worry. As you understand these basics, you’ll be better equipped to help your child succeed.


What is the Science of Reading?


It refers to the research examining what leads to skilled reading, and how to assess and effectively teach reading to early learners. The study is constantly being added to by a host of experts from multiple disciplines including literacy, cognitive neuroscience, education, linguistics, and others.


The goal of the collective focus is to develop evidence-based best practices for teaching and learning foundational literacy skills.


According to the science of reading, for students to succeed, they need explicit instruction with a systematic way of teaching, focusing on the following main components of reading:

·       Phonics

·       Phonemic Awareness

·       Fluency

·       Vocabulary

·       Reading comprehension


From the perspective of neuroscience, the science of reading helps us understand the cognitive processes early readers need for skilled reading, such as attention, auditory and visual processing, working memory, and others.


A few key points of the science of reading that parents need to know:


  1. Reading skills may not be natural, but can be acquired.

  2. Reading aloud to your child prepares him for learning to read.

  3. Background knowledge is vital to a child’s understanding of what she reads.

  4. Instruction in reading needs to be explicit which is necessary for most children.

  5. Reading problems will not correct themselves.

  6. Ensuring that your child reads every day for at least 20 minutes is the best thing you can do to help him succeed in school and life.

  7. The Simple View of Reading- Decoding (D) x Language Comprehension (LC) = Reading Comprehension (RC) shows that a student's reading comprehension (RC) score can be predicted if we know their decoding skills and language comprehension abilities. Successful decoding and comprehension of written text result in true reading comprehension results.

  8. Phonemic and Phonological Awareness- Phonemic awareness is a pre-reading skill, which focuses on understanding how sounds work in spoken language and syllable segmentation.


Stay Tuned for more insights on how you as a parent can use the science of reading for your child. 

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