Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pre-school age exercises can prevent dyslexia

22.08.2008
Atypical characteristics of children’s linguistic development are early signs of the risk of developing reading and writing disabilities, or dyslexia. New research points to preventive exercises as an effective means to tackle the challenges children face when learning to read.

The results achieved at the Centre of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research were presented at the Academy of Finland’s science breakfast on 21 August.

Headed by Professor Heikki Lyytinen at the University of Jyväskylä, the research has dug deep into how to predict and prevent difficulties in learning to read and write. The study involved a comparison between 107 children whose either parent is dyslexic and a control group of children without a hereditary predisposition to dyslexia. The researchers followed intensively the development of the predisposed children, from their birth through to school age.

“Half of the children whose parents had difficulties in reading and writing found learning to read more challenging than children in the control group. The atypical characteristics of these children’s linguistic development indicated the risk at a very early stage, and we were also able to draw a clearer picture of the typical progression of a development that indicates reading and writing difficulties,” says Lyytinen.

According to Lyytinen, the predictors of reading and writing difficulties are evident primarily in two contexts: on the one hand as a delayed ability to perceive and mentally process the subtleties of a person’s voice, on the other hand as a sluggishness in naming familiar, visually presented objects. When approaching the age when they acquire the ability to read, the children seem to have more difficulties than expected to store in their memory the names and corresponding sounds of letters.

“Acquiring the ability to read demands much more practice from these children than from their peers. The automatisation of reading poses an additional challenge. Also, a fluent ability to read is a prerequisite to be able to understand a demanding piece of text,” says Lyytinen. “A slow reader isn’t able to grasp a given text as a whole, and therefore has a hard time following the storyline. This is why we should pay special attention not only to the accuracy of reading and writing but also to the comprehension of texts even with quite long sentences.”

Computer game to aid learning

The difficulties children experience when learning to read can be significantly reduced through training – “and in a way that children find amusing, even if they do have difficulties in learning to read,” Lyytinen points out.

The CoE in Learning and Motivation Research has developed computer game-like learning environments to aid preventive training, and made them available on the internet free of charge. They are especially recommended for children with a perceived risk of developing reading and writing disabilities or who have had a hard time learning to read already in first grade.

“The best time to start these exercises is the latter part of the pre-school age, but it’s not too late even after the children have started school. The learning result, of course, improves with repeated training: more than once a day and in short sessions. The optimal time for a single playing session is however long the children find it enjoyable.”

Researchers at the CoE in Learning and Motivation Research have made good use of a wide range of scientific disciplines in creating the learning environment. Apart from psychology, the exercises include elements from phonetics, mathematics and information technology. This has allowed the researchers to make the learning environment more effective than traditional educational games.

With funding from the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with researchers of the Niilo Mäki Institute, the researchers at the CoE are also working to create constantly-developing, game-like exercises as well as tools with which to identify risks and detect learning disabilities. The exercises and tools are all available at the same address www.lukimat.fi.

To access the learning environment, go to www.lukimat.fi.

Anita Westerback | alfa
Further information:
http://www.aka.fi/eng
http://www.lukimat.fi

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting eruptions using satellites and math

28.06.2017 | Earth Sciences

Extremely fine measurements of motion in orbiting supermassive black holes

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>