Language development and reading disabilities
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New York : Routledge
InMcGill-Franzen, A.; Allington, R.L. (ed.), Handbook of reading disability research, pp. 36-44
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McGill-Franzen, A.; Allington, R.L. (ed.), Handbook of reading disability research
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
This chapter deals with the relationship between language development and reading disabilities. When describing the language development in children, we assume that there is continuity between the development of speech and writing skills. In the first years of life, the emphasis is on the development of spoken language skills in the context of the here-and-now. Gradually, children learn to use language not only in interactive situations in which the context is given, but also in situations in which this context is lacking, as is the case in storybook reading. Moreover, children spontaneously learn to pay attention to the formal aspects of language. They gradually develop a metalinguistic awareness in which implicit knowledge of both the functions and structure of language is made explicit. Objectification of language enables children to discover written language as a new modality. In the present chapter, we will start out with a focus on the continuities between language and literacy. In addition, we go into the processes of early language and literacy development, and the linguistic precursors of word decoding, on the one hand, and reading comprehension, on the other hand. Individual differences in language an literacy will also be discussed. Finally, a perspective on educational practice is given.
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