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  • Writer's pictureM. Kovack

Recent Books that Explain the Reseach and Research into Practice CHASM

This book by Mark Seidenberg (2017) explains every detail about language and literacy learning, and why so little has changed over the past few decades, despite gobs of research from cognitive science, neurobiology, and linguistics. I ran out of two highlighters reading this book as it was so thorough and crammed with details that filled in some gaps in my knowledge. When this first came out two years ago, I could not understand why it was not received with more enthusiasm than it was (which didn't surprise me, but saddened me). However, miraculously, in 2019, there has now been a major shift in the acceptance of the science, and teachers are calling me, wanting to know more.

This book edited by Kilpatrick, Joshi, & Wagner (2019) makes my Virgo brain happy as it leaves no stone unturned in piecing together the most recent research about beginning reading instruction including all of the regular, plus things like orthographic mapping (which is just the best explanation of how we make all words sight words), assessing reading with ELL students, and behaviour-genetic, and neurobiological aspects of reading. I am using this book for the basis of course I am developing for teachers. It would also make a terrific book club type of study book for teachers.

This book was first published in 2003 and is a very easy-to-read, yet comprehensive look at what is happening in the brain when it comes to learning to read. This March 2020 second edition reviews the latest research, and outlines interventions that are making significant impact in the way the brain functions when reading.


Kilpatrick, D. A., Joshi, R. M., & Wagner, R. K. (2019). Reading development and difficulties : Bridging the gap between research and practice. Cham: Springer International Publishing AG. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-26550-2

Seidenberg, M. (2017). Language at the Speed of Sight: How we Read, Why so Many Can't, and What can be Done about it. New York: Basic Books.

Shaywitz, S., and Shaywitz, J. (2020). Overcoming Dyslexia. Second Edition. Penguin Random House. Retrieved from

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