Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can't, and What Can be Done About it
By: Mark Seidenberg (author)Hardback
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In 2011, when an international survey reported that students in Shanghai were dramatically outperforming American students in reading, President Obama declared it a "Sputnik moment" and called the nation to action. But in the years that followed, Americans utterly failed to catch up to other nations--not only in reading, but in math and science as well. Now, as they have for years, over half of our children are reading below the levels required for higher-level jobs and many other necessities of modern life, creating discrepancies early in life that lead to inextricable inequalities later on. Why does the world's largest economy have so many poor readers? In Language at the Speed of Sight, acclaimed psycholinguist Mark Seidenberg proposes that the way we teach our children to read is a major factor. Since educational policy is rarely informed by science, many of the most common teaching methods actually run contrary to what we now know about how children learn. Because of these outdated practices, many children who could be good readers--especially those born into poverty--instead get left behind or grow disinterested.
Drawing insights from decades of research, Seidenberg reveals the cognitive processes that control reading, what happens if they go wrong, and the ways in which educators and legislators can use this knowledge to help readers reach their full potential. At once an expertly researched survey of the psychology and neuroscience of the written word and a rousing call to action, Language at the Speed of Sight is essential for parents, teachers, voters, and anyone who wants to understand how we read--and how we can capitalize on this knowledge.
Mark Seidenberg is Hilldale Professor and Donald O. Hebb Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Wisconsin. He is a cognitive neuroscientist who has studied reading and dyslexia for over three decades. He received a Ph.D. and three other degrees from Columbia University. He has published over a hundred scientific articles and was recently honored as one of the 250 most-cited researchers in the areas of psychology and psychiatry.
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