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The Learning Success Blog

Learning Difficulties: 16 Terms Explained for Parents & Teachers

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 25, 2019 at 5:31 PM

Peter Barnes

If you have a child with language challenges, reading problems or learning difficulties, and you have sought help from their teacher, speech pathologist or other learning professional, you may have heard some unfamiliar terms.

Words like phonemic awareness, auditory processing, listening comprehension and working memory.

Listen to Episode 96 of The Learning Capacity Podcast for explanations of 16 common terms used in discussions about learning difficulties. Once you understand these, you should be able to have more productive discussions with your child's teacher or therapists.

  

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Reading, Fast ForWord, Listening Skills, Reading Difficulties

One Book a Day Means Almost 300,000 More Words Before Kindergarten

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 7, 2019 at 3:21 PM

Peter Barnes

How would you like your child to hear almost 300,000 more words before they start kindy?

They could, if you read them just one book a day.    

That’s the finding from new research published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

Researchers at Ohio State University estimated the number of words a child would hear from various amounts of being read to, up until the age of 5.

Here's how many words kids would hear by the time they are 5 years old:

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Topics: Reading, Reading Difficulties

Remedial Reading on Steroids - A Learning Support Teacher's Story

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 28, 2018 at 10:52 AM

Peter Barnes

Learning support teacher, Moya Gibb-Smith has used most of the well-known remedial reading programs to help her  students who were struggling to learn to read.

While she said they all had merit, there was one program that stood out for her.  "It was like doing it on steroids. It was just so much quicker, so much more effective".

Moya described her journey from a young "reluctant teacher" to a passionate remedial reading teacher in an episode on The Learning Capacity Podcast. Listen to the podcast, or read the transcript of her story, which includes how her husband  was "going a bit blue-mouldy" on the way.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Reading, Fast ForWord, Podcasts, Reading Difficulties

Read Aloud to Remember More 

Posted by Peter Barnes on January 15, 2018 at 12:38 PM

Peter Barnes

A new Canadian study shows people who read aloud are able to remember more.

This finding has implications both for older people and for students.

According to Medical News Today researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada put 95 people into four groups who:

  1.  Read silently
  2.  Listened to someone else read
  3.  Listened to a recording of themselves reading
  4.  Read out loud in real time.

The people in the group which read out loud had the best recall.  Those who read silently remembered the least. 

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Topics: Memory, Reading, Reading Assistant

How Learning Music Helps Develop Reading Skills: Dr Nina Kraus

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 15, 2017 at 7:16 AM

Peter Barnes

Playing a musical instrument (not just listening to music) improves reading, according to Dr Nina Kraus, in a presentation at Scientific Learning Corporation’s 2017 Visionary Conference.

Dr Kraus is the Director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.

We are indebted to Dr Kraus for the following notes about the connections between music, rhythm and reading. 

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Topics: Reading, Music, Reading Difficulties

Double " teaching as usual" reading gain - 146 NSW primary students

Posted by Peter Barnes on December 5, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Peter Barnes

Here is how a primary school achieved double the reading gain one would normally expect.

Picture this:  Following a half day professional development session, "Glasses for the Ears" where the teachers discovered how their students could become better learners by using neuroscience, students of all abilities from Grades 2 to 6 were enrolled in the Fast ForWord neuroscience-based program.

The teachers who volunteered to implement the program received more detailed ongoing training and support.

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Topics: Reading, Fast ForWord, For Principals

EAL Teacher Justine Lam Shares Success Stories With Reading Assistant

Posted by Colin Klupiec on July 28, 2016 at 5:46 PM

Colin Klupiec


English as an additional language teacher, Justine Lam, at Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne has been using the online reading tutor program, Reading Assistant, for two years. 

She spoke to the Learning Capacity Podcast about how successful it has been, not only for English Language Learners, but also for students struggling with reading. In this podcast episode Justine describes how pleased the teachers, students and their parents have been with Reading Assistant. And also how teachers play a very important role; it's not just the computer alone.

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: English Language Learners, Reading, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts, Reading Assistant, English Language Learning Challenges

Dawson Now Loves to Read, Thanks to 6 Weeks of Fast ForWord

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 23, 2016 at 2:13 PM

Peter Barnes

This is a personal story.  It’s about my grandson Dawson.

He’s in grade 4 at school.   Dawson is a bright boy. Intelligence testing has put him in the 90th percentile in overall cognitive ability. But his language skills were tested as relatively weak.

He had no trouble learning to read, and he was able to understand what he read. But he wasn’t a big reader.  He would read reluctantly and did not seem to get a lot of enjoyment from it.

Earlier this year his teacher reported that Dawson was reading at a level between year 3 and year 4.

So I decided, with his parents’ agreement, that Dawson should do the Fast ForWord Language program.  After all, I’ve been involved in providing Fast ForWord to thousands of students via schools, learning centres and in homes. And I’ve seen the remarkable improvements this brain training has made for those students. So why not have my grandson benefit as well?

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Topics: Reading, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Reading Difficulties

10 Ways to Develop Your Child's Brain for Reading Success

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 1, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Peter Barnes

Many children struggle with reading, but there are ways parents can help prevent reading difficulties.

Reading researcher, Dr Jennifer Buckingham estimates that as many as 1 million children in Australia are at risk of reading failure.

We know from scientific research that the ability to read is one of the most complex skills we can learn.

According to reading research organisations in Australia and overseas, including The Centre for Independent Studies in Australia, the National Reading Panel (USA), and the USA National Institute for Literacy, there are some critical skills for learning to read.  

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Topics: Attention, Memory, Reading, Learning

Should teachers be readers? A light hearted look with two teachers

Posted by Colin Klupiec on May 26, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Colin Klupiec

Effective teaching of reading is a serious issue that deserves attention. But what happens after you’ve learned to read? How much should you read?

Given that schools are such book intensive places, would you expect teachers to be readers? I explored this topic on the Learning Capacity Podcast with music educators Brad Fuller and Peter Orenstein. They both teach at Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney.

It was a light hearted chat about the serious business of reading.

Listen to the podcast.


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Topics: Reading, Podcasts

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