(PRWEB) October 07, 2011
Speech-to-print instruction for early reading is not a new idea in the world of teaching children. Maria Montessori was using this approach many years ago. But it took neuroscience to prove her right.
Enter Jeannine Herron, Ph.D.
In her new book, Making Speech Visible: How Constructing Words Can Help Children Organize Their Brains for Skillful Reading, research neuropsychologist Dr. Herron offers a simple solution that may help the two-thirds of American fourth graders who cannot read proficiently.
In her book, Dr. Herron explains that children first need to construct their own words before reading words someone else has constructed. Using the latest in brain-imaging research, case studies and simple tips, Dr. Herron leads educators and parents alike to a more effective way of starting children on the path to skilled reading.
According to G. Reid Lyon, Ph.D., former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). “Jeannine is one of the few scientists who can translate complex research findings into effective instructional solutions for kids.”
“Struggling readers,” according to Herron, “activate their right brains to read, but skilled readers use the left brain. Speech-to-print instruction directs early reading to the left brain."
“Children learn to identify the sounds their mouths make when they say a word,” she explains, “and then assemble letter tiles (included in the book) to construct the word. By speaking the word first and sounding it out, the child activates the left brain, where new crucial links to visual words need to take place.”
Making Speech Visible is available at http://www.talkingfingers.com, and also at Amazon.com for $18.
About Jeannine Herron:
Jeannine Herron has been trying to teach the world to read for over 50 years. She is a research neuropsychologist who became interested in reading-related research in 1965 when she was co-founder and program director of the first Head-Start program in the country—the Child Development Group of Mississippi, serving 5,000 children. She received her PhD. from Tulane Medical School, and went on to do extensive neuroscience research in brain organization and dyslexia at the University of California San Francisco. She edited a book-- Neuropsychology of Lefthandedness--and has published peer-reviewed papers in Science, Brain and Language, Journal of Electro-encephalography, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Neuropsychologia, Int. Journal of Neuroscience, and a feature article in Psychology Today. She has been a contributing editor for Science and Brain and Language, has lectured widely and has given many in-service workshops for teachers. She founded California Neuropsychology Services (a non-profit for research in education) in 1982, and Talking Fingers, Inc., (a for-profit for the development of educational products) in 1994, and continues to direct both organizations.
In 1970, Jeannine and her family sailed a 30-foot sloop from New Orleans and spent a year voyaging down the west coast of Africa. Our Big Blue Schoolhouse, a book about educating her two children during the 18 month voyage was published this year as 13-year-old Matthew’s log of the journey.
More recently Jeannine has designed, developed, and researched early reading and spelling software (Read, Write & Type! and Wordy Qwerty) with three grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Voice-over help in many languages makes it an easily accessed online product for learning English literacy. Another grant from NICHD funded a collaboration on a product called SmartCycle, licensed to Fisher-Price, which became their "Toy of the Year" in 2008. The Talking Shapes letter tiles, featured in Making Speech Visible, will be part of a product accompanied by seven booklets and a video, planned to become applications for iPad and other mobile media.
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