So many muches! Grammar errors and what they tell us about language development

When kids first begin talking, typically at around 12 months of age, they of course stick to the basics— very short phrases that convey basic wants, needs, and social routines.  Mama.  More.  Up.  Hi!  All-done.  Milk.  Doggy.  Bye-bye.  Oops!  These are mostly one-word phrases and are not pronounced perfectly.  Then, typically when children are betweenContinue reading “So many muches! Grammar errors and what they tell us about language development”

Orthographic Mapping: how we learn to read so fast!

Once we know how to read, we read fast, recognizing a word in a fraction of a second.  In fact, for most people, reading is not just easy, it’s automatic. You can’t stop yourself from reading words that you see; they just jump off of the page and into your brain (and out of yourContinue reading “Orthographic Mapping: how we learn to read so fast!”

Looking for the Helpers

Are you feeling pretty overwhelmed these days?  Me too.  Amidst all the confusion and grief of the past several weeks, many people have quoted the late, great Mr. Rogers, who once shared his mother’s wise words: Besides the unwavering energy of my own two little kids, another thing that keeps me going these days isContinue reading “Looking for the Helpers”

How Babies Learn Words

These are rough times.  If you’re like me, you’re spending too much time reading the news and fretting about the uncertainty of the months ahead.  That, and trying to keep the kids from seriously wounding each other.  Kind of like our collective reaction to the coronavirus, my kids’ disputes tend to escalate rather quickly. So,Continue reading “How Babies Learn Words”

How We Read- Keep it Simple

For decades, especially leading up to the 2000s, educators and researchers have debated how exactly the process of reading works in our brains, and how children should be taught to read.  The debate has been at times intense and impassioned, which is understandable given what is at stake.  After all, we live in the ageContinue reading “How We Read- Keep it Simple”

And I have an ice cream truck at my house.

One of my favourite things about preschoolers’ language development is the emergence of decontextualized language.  This is when kids start to talk about ideas outside of the present moment, or ideas beyond the “here-and-now.”   This could mean talking about past events, such as “kitty scratch me” or future events, like “We go to the park?”Continue reading “And I have an ice cream truck at my house.”

Dyslexia: Q & A

What is dyslexia? People with dyslexia have difficulty with reading and spelling, unrelated to overall intellectual ability.  Dyslexia refers specifically to difficulties with decoding words (or “sounding out”), spelling words, and accurately and quickly recognizing words. It cannot be due to hearing or vision problems or lack of appropriate instruction.  Is dyslexia the same thingContinue reading “Dyslexia: Q & A”

Profanity at family game night — a case study in coarticulation

(This post contains a touch of profanity and potty humour… FYI.) When we pronounce words, the individual sounds are not actually produced in isolation. Speech sounds, or phonemes, run together and can influence each other significantly.  For example, the a in cat versus can.  The a takes on a nasal sound when it precedes theContinue reading “Profanity at family game night — a case study in coarticulation”

Decodable Readers & Levelled Readers

As mentioned in an earlier post, kids in the beginning stages of reading, as well as older readers experiencing difficulty, benefit from decodable texts. These are books or passages that use almost only sounds and letters that have already been learned. Children rely on sounding out, or decoding, the words. There are usually pictures, butContinue reading “Decodable Readers & Levelled Readers”