How the Brain Learns to Read

Lauren Marple, ECED 321


Sousa’s article looks at the science and psychology behind learning to read. Areas and functions of the brain are discussed, as well as cultural and gender differences.


This was a great article to read at the beginning of the course because of the in-depth conversation about early exposure to language and literacy. Sousa comments on the importance of talking to babies even in utero, and what a difference early engagement can make. Right off the bat, Sousa tells us how intrinsic spoken language is to learning to read. After I graduate, I will be able to teach very young children with expansive ranges of abilities and family backgrounds. Currently I am an au pair for a family that has a two year old and an eight month old. I make it a point to talk to both of them about anything and everything in the environment that we are in, even if it means that I appear to be talking to myself in Walmart. After reading Sousa's article and combining it with discussions from this semester, I deeply understand the importance of early language and literacy exposure. I feel very confident that I will be able to do this both in my classroom and in my own home.
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Vocabulary is very present in this article. Sousa says that reading will be much easier to learn for a child who has a larger vocabulary range and a stronger grasp of basic grammatical rules.
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Sousa, D. (2005). How the brain learns to read. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.