Seminar SCALab 06/04/2023scalab Manifestations scientifiques Séminaire
Kate Nation, Oxford University
Becoming a Reader
Reading is a complex skill and learning to read takes time and effort. Much is known about the factors that predict individual differences in reading and its development. Critically however, we know relatively little about how children become expert. How do children move from the laborious process of ‘sounding-out” individual words to the sense of effortlessness that we, as skilled readers, experience as we read? Broadly, the answer to this question is practice: reading is a skill and like all skills, practice is needed for expertise to emerge. For reading, practice may be important in two distinct ways: not only does it allow basic skills to be honed and fine-tuned, reading experience itself provides the substrate by which the statistical properties of the writing system become embodied in the child’s own reading system. This talk will consider evidence from experiments and large-scale corpus analyses to ask how reading experience shapes learning, such that children become expert and written words become familiar.