In complex cognitive acts, such as reading comprehension, attention cannot simultaneously be focused in an unlimited number of ways. Proficient, goal-directed readers search, select, and extract relevant information from text, further evaluate what they read for relevance to their goals, and use relevance to monitor their attention while reading. These include knowledge of alphabetics (phonemic and phonological awareness), English spelling patterns, vocabulary and etymology (word origins), morphological structures, syntax and sentence structures, and text and discourse structures. Third, close study of the linguistic structures of textbooks and related texts appears to enhance students’ understanding of the content (e.g., Schleppegrell and Achugar, 2003; Schleppegrell, Achugar, and Oteíza, 2004). Thus, the first principle below is supported by findings that argue against this type of decontextualized intervention for reading and writing difficulties. Yet, more than 90 million U.S. adults lack adequate literacy. A strong understanding of spoken language is critical to the development of basic reading and writing skills. reading selections, working with and keeping records of spelling words and vocabulary words, using exemplars as guides to writing lessons, and editing written work for punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. Early findings on the brain pathways (neurocircuits) for reading and reading disorders came primarily from studies of acquired dyslexia associated with brain injury (Damasio and Damasio, 1983; Dejerine, 1891; Geschwind, 1965; Warrington and Shallice, 1980) or postmortem histological studies of individuals with a history of reading disability (Galaburda, 2005; Galaburda et al., 2006). Self-reported motivation to perform certain reading tasks in the classroom predicts moderately well students’ performance on the reading tasks and reading achievement scores (Guthrie and Wigfield, 2005; Guthrie, Taboada, and Coddington, 2007; Schiefele, Krapp, and Winteler, 1992). Adults bring varied life experiences, knowledge, education levels, skills, and motivations to learning that need attention in instructional design. The ability to construct the meaning of spoken language, or language comprehension, requires a complex mix of different abilities, each somewhat dependent on the other. For those adults who need to develop their word-reading skills, it may be important to teach “word attack” strategies with particular attention to challenges posed by multisyllabic words and variable vowel pronunciations. With age, people usually experience decreases in memory for text (Johnson, 2003; Radvansky et al., 2001; Stine-Morrow and Shake, 2009; Zelinski and Gilewski, 1988), perhaps beginning as early as midlife (ages 40-45) (Ferstl, 2006; Van der Linden et al., 1999). Such knowledge can enhance text comprehension through a number of routes (Ackerman, 2008; Ackerman and Beier, 2006; Ackerman et al., 2001; Barnett and Ceci, 2002; Beier and Ackerman, 2001, 2005; Charness, 2006; Ericsson. These issues should be addressed in future research with adult and adolescent populations. More knowledge about gene-brain-behavior relationships will be critical for understanding changes in plasticity that may affect learning to read and write in adulthood. Generalizing specific writing skills to tasks and contexts beyond those in which they were taught is not an all-or-none phenomenon, and transfer often appears to generalize to some degree (Graham, 2006a; Graham and Harris, 2003). Syntax constitutes the rules of language that specify how to combine different classes of words (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives) to form sentences. Fluency at each of these levels has been found to contribute to growth in reading comprehension for fifth graders (Klauda and Guthrie, 2008; see also Kuhn and Stahl, 2003; Young and Bowers, 1995). People may develop and use forms of literacy that differ from those needed for new purposes (Alvermann and Xu, 2003; Cowan, 2004; Hicks, 2004; Hull and Schultz, 2001; Leander and Lovvorn, 2006; Mahiri and Sablo, 1996; Moje, 2000a, 2008b; Moll, 1994; Noll, 1998; Reder, 2008). This ability is based upon two equally important competencies. As a result, more needs to be known about how reading and writing processes change across the life span to determine how to make instruction effective for learners of different ages. For example, digital and online media are used to communicate with diverse others and to produce, find, evaluate, and synthesize knowledge in innovative and creative ways to meet the varied demands of education and work. principles of instruction related to developing each of these components. •  Struggling learners benefit from more intense instruction, more explicit instruction, and even more opportunities to practice. Comprehension of complex constructions may require more controlled/executive processing with age (Wingfield and Grossman, 2006). •  Sentence-combining instruction (instruction in combining short sentences into more complex sentences, usually including exercises and application to real writing). Guided repeated reading has generally led to moderate increases in fluency, accuracy, and sometimes comprehension for both good and poor readers (Kuhn and Stahl, 2003; Kuhn et al., 2006; Vadasy and Sanders, 2008). with young children show that fluency instruction can lead to significant gains in both fluency and comprehension (Chard, Vaughn, and Tyler, 2002; Klauda and Guthrie, 2008; Kuhn and Stahl, 2003; Therrien, 2004; Therrien and Hughes, 2008). Effective instructors tend to have an informed mental map of where they want their students to end up that they use to guide instructional practices every day. Again, the specifics of how best to provide this instruction to adolescents and adults requires further research, but the dependence of literacy on knowledge of the structure of written language is clear. Effective readers keep working to better understand text until certain requirements are met. •  Strategy instruction for planning, revising, and/or editing compositions. Findings that show no effect for vocabulary instruction have tended to look at more impoverished forms of instruction. Improving Adult Literacy Instruction synthesizes the research on literacy and learning to improve literacy instruction in the United States and to recommend a more systemic approach to research, practice, and policy. cally examine how various social, cultural, and contextual forces interact with neurocognitive processes to facilitate or constrain the development of literacy. The emphasis of instruction within and across reading components will vary depending on each person’s need for skill development, but skill needs to be attained in all the components. In a similar fashion, one must be consciously able to recognize and manipulate the units of the spoken word–the phonemes that underlie each word. The relation between fluency and comprehension is not fully understood, however, and it is more complex and bidirectional than previously thought (Meyer and Felton, 1999; Wolf and Katzir-Cohen, 2001). In this view, the only route to successful reading comprehension is through success at both language comprehension and decoding. In E.Z. context of reading instruction and reading practice (Fletcher et al., 2007; Morris et al., 2010; Torgesen et al., 2001). Attitudes toward writing predict writing achievement (Knudson, 1995; see also Graham, Berninger, and Fan, 2007), and poor writers have less positive attitudes about writing than good writers (Graham, Schwartz, and MacArthur, 1993). Differentiated instruction is the term used for teaching that meets individual and small group needs by providing learning activities and supports for the development of skills that have not yet been acquired but that are necessary to move through an instructional sequence. For example, some will require comprehensive decoding instruction; others may need less or no decoding instruction. This includes vocabulary understanding as well as writing conventions. It is something that in most cases must be taught in order to be learned. The stages suggest that children begin by collecting sensory and motor information, and then gradually organize that information into first symbolic thoughts and then abstract ones. Studies have demonstrated that there are different dimensions of reading fluency (at the level of words, phrases, sentences, and passages), and all should be considered in measuring or facilitating reading fluency. (2019). Targeted interventions also improve the performance of struggling writers. The field of cognitive neuroscience is opening windows on the brain mechanisms that underlie skilled reading and writing and related difficulties. Although some who experience difficulties with writing have other difficulties with learning (Graham and Harris, 2005) or language processing (Dockrell, Lindsay, and Connelly, 2009; Smith-Lock, Nickels, and Mortensen, 2008), not all aspects of writing are necessarily affected (see, e.g., Mortensen, Smith-Lock, and Nickels, 2008). NEUROBIOLOGY OF READING AND WRITING For example, a typical late adolescent or adult must traverse, on a regular basis, workplaces; vocational and postsecondary education; societal, civic, or political contexts; home and family; and new media. A teacher of reading is able to understand how each of these systems work together and use this knowledge to assist struggling readers and writers. In another recent meta-analysis, the process approach was not effective for students who were weaker writers (Sandmel and Graham, in press). Strategy instruction depends heavily on opportunities to draw from existing knowledge and build new knowledge (Alexander and Judy, 1989; McKeown, Beck, and Blake, 2009; Moje and Speyer, 2008; Moje et al., 2010). Both of these are complex abilities themselves, each based on other abilities, as shown in the graphic. 3. Further research is needed to clarify the forms of explicit instruction that effectively develop component skills for adolescents and adults. Although this information does not directly or completely test the effectiveness of instructional approaches, such knowledge of brain processes will be important for validating theories of reading and writing and skill acquisition. Knowledge of these relationships is known as cipher knowledge. This ability is based upon two equally important competencies. We also review a small body of research on cognitive aging that compares the reading and writing skills of younger and older adults. Use of dictation to eliminate handwriting and spelling also has a positive impact on writing performance for children and adults, especially on the amount of text produced (De La Paz and Graham, 1995), although functional writing capability in everyday life probably needs to include the ability to write via other means than dictation. While establishment of this LH circuitry for fluent decoding is necessary, the goal of reading is comprehension. A complete understanding of reading and writing development requires knowledge of the learner (the learners’ knowledge, skills, literacy practices, motivations, and neurocognitive processes) and features of the instructional context (types of text, literacy tools, literacy activities, instructor knowledge, beliefs, and skills) that scaffold or impede learning.

cognitive foundations of reading and writing

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