Landmark Study Finds Better Path to Reading, proves what exemplary teachers have been doing correctly for years!
In a landmark study two Canadian researchers in developmental psychology, Gene Ouellette and Monique Sénéchal (2017), have mapped the powerful beginning reading-writing connection, moved us closer to being successful teachers of reading in first grade, and cleared up decades of confusion. It’s important because reading scores in first grade have flatlined for decades—especially in the United States. This study can move us forward.
As far back as 1982 Marie Clay, the late world-renowned expert in developmental and clinical child psychology who founded Reading Recovery, issued a call for educators to find the writing connection in learning to read (Clay, 1982). Could teachers and parents capitalize on the potential for beginning writing to complement learning to read? Should we be encouraging pencil and paper activity from the very beginning?
Ouellette and Sénéchal have mapped out the way. Counterintuitively, it turns out that allowing and encouraging children’s early “invented spelling”—a much maligned and controversial practice in some quarters—is the key.
What is Invented Spelling? Click here to read the Psychology Today article.