March celebrates National Reading Month. Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. The field of visual word recognition studies how people read individual words. A key technique in studying how individuals read text is eye tracking.
Research findings outlined in a recent report of the National Early Literacy Panel, highlight the fact that literacy skills begin to develop at birth. Literacy is the ability to use the symbols of a writing system, interpret what the information symbols represent, and to be able to re-create those same symbols so that others can derive the same meaning. Illiteracy is not having the ability to derive meaning from the symbols used in a writing system. Dyslexia refers to a cognitive difficulty with reading and writing. It is defined as a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read.
Get some good reads into your daily schedule. For more information on reading programs, check out www.nea.org. In the meantime, take your reading up a notch during National Reading Month!