Based on Research on How the Brain Learns
research has found that there is a potent combination of elements
that lead to efficient learning of new tasks and concepts:
Motivation and attention
the brain to build and strengthen the pathways needed to lean a new
skill, the student must be repeatedly exposed to the material. Daily
practice of a particular skill can bring about true accomplishment.
Learning to read is no exception; studies have shown that the more
a person reads, the better that person will be reading at any age
and at any level of reading proficiency.
a new skill requires concentrated practice. Intense focus on a new
skill allows the learner to build neural support for that skill in
a short amount of time. When you train for anything half-heatedly,
you are never able to receive the full effects of acquiring that skill.
Reading skills are similar; the student must focus on the foundational
skills critical to reading in order to become a proficient reader.
students on a wide range of skills reinforces the students overall
comprehension. Just as good nutrition requires many different types
of foods at each meal, accomplished reading requires that the student
be simultaneously proficient in many different skills.
is a special feature of specialized reading instruction. It involves
instruction that adapts to the student's incoming reading level. It
is vital that the teacher understands each individual's reading level,
in order to adapt the training material to meet their specific needs.
This flexible approach ensures that the student is challenged but
not frustrated, which in turn ensures that the student continues to
pay attention, as well as continues to learn and progress.
keeps students interested in paying attention to the material and
maintaining frequency of training. Instructional programs that offer
several different motivational strategies keep students interested,
and motivation to continue is reinforced.
Ross is a reading specialist in Salt Lake City, Utah.