Dial Up Speed vs High Speed Internet and Reading

 

Below is an excerpt from testimony given by Dr. Paula Tallal at the Science, Space, and Technology Committee Hearing for H.R. 3033, The READ Act:

There is ample research that demonstrates that the factors that cause reading failure begin well before the child enters formal education. This research has shown that even in infancy, the precursors to reading failure can be identified reliably in the form of slow and inconsistent auditory processing. This auditory processing constraint cascades over the early years of life, disrupting the development of distinct phonological representations in the brain, oral language, and ultimately reading.

Processing the individual sounds or phonemes inside of words is the fastest thing the human brain has to do. In order to learn to read, a child must become aware that words are made of individual phonemes and it is these sounds that the letters represent. This process is called phonological awareness. Decades of research has demonstrated that failure to become phonologically aware is at the heart of reading failure. Put simply, when it comes to auditory processing, children with language learning problems are operating on the equivalent of dial up speed, while good language and reading skills require a child to operate on the equivalent of high speed internet.

Traditional tools for teaching reading, regardlessly of how expertly or how often they are applied, will not work for most struggling readers until these more foundational skills are remediated.  (approximately the 1:33:40 – 1:35:00 hour:minute marks)

“Children with language learning problems are operating on the equivalent of dial up speed, while good language and reading skills require a child to operate on the equivalent of high speed internet.” ~ Dr. Paula Tallal