Research on reading has tried, and failed, to account for wide disparities in reading skill even among children taught by the same method. Why do some children learn to read easily and quickly while others, in the same classroom and taught by the same teacher, don't learn to read at all? In Language Development and Learning to Read, Diane McGuinness examines scientific research that might explain these disparities. She focuses on reading predictors, analyzing the effect individual differences in specific perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive skills may have on a child's ability to read. Because of the serious methodological problems she finds in the existing research on reading, many of the studies McGuinness cites come from other fields—developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, and the speech and hearing sciences—and provide a new perspective on which language functions matter most for reading and academic success.
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