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Categorizing sounds and learning to read—a causal connection


Children who are backward in reading are strikingly insensitive to rhyme and alliteration1. They are at a disadvantage when categorizing words on the basis of common sounds even in comparison with younger children who read no better than they do. Categorizing words in this way involves attending to their constituent sounds, and so does learning to use the alphabet in reading and spelling. Thus the experiences which a child has with rhyme before he goes to school might have a considerable effect on his success later on in learning to read and to write. We now report the results of a large scale project which support this hypothesis.

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Bradley, L., Bryant, P. Categorizing sounds and learning to read—a causal connection. Nature 301, 419–421 (1983).

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