Why is reading delightful for some people and a hated chore for others?
How much does this depend on the amount of effort it takes for a person to read?
This puzzling question turned me into one of those people who start listening to a radio story and not leave the room until it finishes because it’s so interesting. (A second benefit was a kitchen which was much cleaner after the time the story was over.) Thanks, Morning Edition on NPR.
The Test That Can Look into a Child’s Reading Future
Here’s a few paragraphs from Cory Turner’s article:
“Neurobiologist Nina Kraus believes she and her team at Northwestern University have found a way — a half-hour test — to predict kids’ literacy skill long before they’re old enough to begin reading…
Kraus herself says the test is nothing short of “a biological looking glass into a child’s literacy potential.”
To understand how the test works, she says, you need to understand that reading begins not with our eyes but with our ears, as we hear and catalog speech sounds. It’s hard work. Everything we hear, our brains have to process, separating the stuff that’s meaningful from pure noise. And they do it in microseconds.
“This is arguably some of the most complex computation that we ask our brain to do,” says Kraus.
Every sound creates a kind of electric reflection in the brain. Brain waves even look like the sound waves they’re reacting to. And it’s loads of information packed into these brain waves that, Kraus says, can tell her if a child who can’t yet read may have trouble reading down the road…
When asked what Kraus would like to see in her looking glass, she’s ambitious:
“My vision for this is to have every child tested at birth.”
Because, Kraus says, this science fiction idea is based on something researchers have known for decades:
When it comes to helping kids with literacy challenges, earlier is better.