Be A Parent

How a child learns to read: A different learning rhythm

Continuation of the interview of Franck Ramus, CNRS researcher, Laboratory of Cognitive Sciences and Psycholinguistics (UMR 8554).

When should we start worrying?

Franck Ramus: In the middle of the CP, a child who has not learned the basics of decoding should be given specific pedagogical support by the teacher (or teacher) or a teacher specialist - without prejudging any diagnosis. If such support for a few months does not allow the child to catch up, it is prudent to refer to the school doctor for a balance sheet.

Can we nevertheless consider stimulating the brain to facilitate learning to read?

FR: The main stimulations recommended to facilitate learning to read are those of the main cognitive pre-requisites: it is therefore a question of developing the vocabulary of the child and of training his phonological awareness. This is precisely the program of the kindergarten section since 2002. Nothing indicates that it is useful to do more or sooner, except for children who have particular difficulties in this area.

Some children learn to read without help, others have difficulties, is it a question of intelligence?

FR: Few children learn to read without any help (hyperlexia). More children are struggling. Intellectual disabilities explain only a small part of the difficulties in reading. Another part can be explained by socio-cultural disadvantages, inducing a weak vocabulary and globally a low level of oral language and a low exposure to writing. Finally, a third part is attributable to a specific disorder of the acquisition of written language, dyslexia, which is not a problem of general intelligence and can be found in children, whatever their level of intelligence.

Does dyslexia have an origin related to brain development?

EN: Dyslexia concerns some children who seem to encounter unexpected or unexplained difficulties in terms of learning to read. They seem to have a specific difficulty in identifying written words.
There is obviously a cerebral basis, reflected by structural functional disturbances. This cerebral base is influenced both by genetic factors, biological factors influencing the development of the brain, and social and educational factors influencing the learning of the child and thus the reorganization of his brain.

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