DeLTA Center Roundtable - Anne Castles
Becoming expert: The time course of word learning in developing readers
The scientific study of reading has taught us much about its early foundations, with clear evidence that the gateway to reading opens when children are able to phonologically decode written words. Similarly, there is a large evidence base on the cognitive processes that characterize skilled word recognition in adults. However, less well understood is how children develop word reading expertise: once basic reading skills are in place, what factors are critical for children to move from novice to expert? In this talk I will outline a series of studies addressing this question, in which we use experimental learning paradigms to track the journey of a word from unfamiliar to familiar, and explore the conditions that support this transition. The results are used to build a detailed account of the phases of lexical acquisition, which may inform reading instruction and interventions for struggling readers.