E-mails and comments welcome from teachers and learners of all ages.  
September 02, 2004
Different languages going wrong in different parts of the brain

New light on dyslexia, from Yahoo!:

Westerners shudder at the idea of reading even the most basic street signs and instructions in Chinese, a language with 6,000 characters to memorize to be considered fluent.

A new set of brain images shows why: Reading English-style alphabets and Chinese characters use very different parts of the brain.

The results also suggest that Chinese schoolchildren with reading problems misfire in a different brain region than the one used in reading alphabet-based languages like English. This demonstrates that the learning disorder dyslexia is not the same in every culture and does not have a universal biological cause, researchers said.

Interesting.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 07:48 PM
Category: How the human mind worksLanguages
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Comments

Thanks for that. I'll have to save it. I love languages and anything about them, and have often wondered why it's harder for adults to learn a new language than a child.

Also, it's always nice to find another education-inclined blog out there. Consider yourself linked.

Amy

Comment by: Amy on September 3, 2004 07:41 PM

My wife's doing research into (amongst other things) predicted reading abilities in deaf children with and without cochlea implants. She's a Speech Pathologist (I think that's what they're called in N Amer) and she's shown me many of the tests that she uses to check how 'her' children are developing.

The ability to spot rhyme, for instance: does it happen in your mind when you see the shape of the word? Or is it when your 'hear' the sound in your head?

Do you notice rhyme when you see hat - cat because the words are similary shaped -- they end in the same letterforms? Are you slower to spot the rhyme in peck - cheque than you are in mouse - house? What about longer words -- whose beginnings you're having to hold in your mind while you 'read' the end of the word -- which have rhymes at the end?

What about nonsense words -- where you have never seen the word before? How does the brain perceive the rhyme in plork - vawk?

Yes, it's interesting indeed.

Comment by: blj on September 3, 2004 07:43 PM

Many thanks for both these comments. They are the kind of thing that makes doing this worth all the bother and more.

Comment by: Brian Micklethwait on September 4, 2004 12:12 AM
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