LearnFast logo with no background.png


Delivering the world’s best evidence based solutions for learning

AU 1300 203 104  |  NZ 0800 451 959

The Learning Success Blog

Phonics Instruction Activates Brain Area Best Wired for Reading

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 12, 2016 at 3:23 PM

mccandliss.jpgResearch from Stanford University, USA, has shown that phonics instruction activates the left hemisphere of the brain. This is where visual and language regions are located.

The researchers showed that an alternative reading instruction method, known as whole-word or whole-language activates the right side of the brain.

Prof Bruce McCandliss, a co-author of the research noted that left hemisphere activation is characteristic of skilled readers, and is lacking in individuals who struggle with reading.

Study which was published in the Brain and Language journal provides evidence that different strategies for teaching reading have different impacts on a student’s brain.






This is an example of how educational neuroscience can help teachers select instructional methods to best support brain changes important for learning.

It is further evidence that should finally put to rest the debate over whether phonics instruction or the whole-language method is the best way to teach reading.

"The results of the study underscore that the way a learner focusses their attention during learning has a profound impact on what is learned, " said Professor McCandliss. "It also highlights the importance of skilled teachers in helping children focus their attention on precisely the most useful information."

There are many other studies that have shown that the Fast ForWord programs develop students' fundamental phonemic and phonological awareness skills. These programs help develop students's brains to be more ready for reading instruction at school.

See All Skills Strengthened by Fast ForWord

Related Posts

How Your Brain Learns to Read: Professor Stanislaus Dehaene

How Technology Can Help Early Primary Students Improve Reading Skills

How Well are School Reading Programs Teaching our Students to Read?

250 Research Studies Published on Fast ForWord & Reading Assistant

Brain Wave Research: Fast ForWord Aids Language-Based Learning Problems

Topics: Latest Research, Reading, Educational Neuroscience

      Subscribe to Email Updates

      Recent Posts

      LearnFast Blog

      All about Neuroscience & Learning

      Are you interested in trends in learning, learning technology, education, neuroscience, or treatments for learning difficulties – including auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, attention, autism and others?

      Do you have children or students you want to help achieve more from their education?

      Does literacy enhancement or English as a Second Language interest you?

      Find out what’s happening on these and other topics related to neuroscience and learning, read comments on the latest research, and join the discussions.