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Download Applied Developmental Psychology. Volume 1 by Frederick J Morrison, Catherine Lord and Daniel P. Keating PDF

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By Frederick J Morrison, Catherine Lord and Daniel P. Keating (Eds.)

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5. PRESEGMENT LATENCIES Figure 5 shows the mean presegment latencies during sight and sound spelling in the three age groups. In all three groups, the latencies are shorter during sight spelling. The effect is especially strong in 7 year olds, who re­ quire more than 1100 msec, on the average, to get segments during sound spelling, as compared to 900 msec during sight spelling. This effect is con­ sistent with a large literature showing that aural processing inefficiency is associated with developmental immaturity (Vellutino, 1979).

The processes of recognition . . are in the case of the slower readers so difficult that they . . make demands on the attention which would otherwise be directed to the meanings conveyed by the words (p. 306). The ability to get the [meaning] is in large measure made possible by making certain elements of the process automatic and mechanical. The skill of the teacher will be taxed chiefly in providing a maximum of drill without at the same time making the activity such a formal exercise that the drill becomes the end, instead of the means, of increased ability to acquire meanings.

What do they do inside their heads when they read? Not until those questions are answered will it be possible to design appropriate methods of assessing skill. Research is moving "back to the basics" of school tasks themselves. As forthcoming examples from our own laboratory will illustrate, informationprocessing psychology now offers methods for tracing high-speed mental processes involved in school tasks. We can, for example, detect particular letter combinations that spellers assemble as units, or the amount of time it takes a third grader to process a conditional clause.

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