5. New School Phonology: Reading

Print and speech processing are related to the same underlying cognitive-linguistic processes.  Phonology is an aspect of both.  Speech provides the foundation for reading, and reading supports the growth of speech.  A  child learns to say hafta and later learns it is spelled have to.

A child with an “articulation problem” can benefit from reading instruction, and a child with a reading problem can benefit from speech training.

Weak syllable deletion is central to speech and print improvement.  A weak syllable can be a function word, a word ending, a word syllable and a sound sequence.  Teachers focus on word endings in language arts, teaching children how to manage stressed and unstressed syllables for sentence construction.  Samples of early writing show weak syllable deletions.

Many reading-impaired children suffer from inadequate speech and language foundations.  Phonological proccess instruction for reading improvement feeds directly into speech.  Accurate perception of syllables is achieved.

Although school SLPs are speech specialists, and teachers are reading specialists, there is no boundary in the learner’s mind.  We have signs of over-specialization with little or no collaboration.  Spelling practice helps with sound articulation.

Preschool intervention with rich linguistic experiences can help the at-risk child read and speak without special education placement.  One expects generalizations in both directions.   Speech therapy generalizes to reading growth, and vice versa.

A principle of Universal Design of Learning is cognitive processing for all types of children across the spectrum of ability.

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