Visual coding is one of the main components of reading skill. It contributes to the establishment of firm associations between the spoken and written counterparts of printed words and facilitates word recognition. Moreover, it favors the acquisition of “orthographic awareness” that is one of the leading prerequisites of reading skills. Visual coding is a complex skill, which is mediated by visual analysis and mental imagery. Visual analysis is an analytic process that helps memory by facilitating attention to visual detail and detection of visual patterns. Mental imagery is a more complex process, which concerns the generation, inspection, and manipulation of mental images. Read in alphabetic orthography requires the ability to analyze and recognize specific attributes of visual stimuli, and generate, reactivate, and use mental images of letters and words. The overall goal of the present study was to investigate the contribution of visual analysis and mental imagery on reading comprehension, reading accuracy, and reading speed at the first stages of reading development. Participants were 90 children who attended two primary schools of a large town in Italy. Reading, visual analysis, and mental imagery skills were assessed. Several separate hierarchical regression analyses were performed to investigate how visual analysis and ability to generate and inspect mental images influenced the different dimensions of reading. The results found that the ability to recognize and analyze visual patterns and generate, reactivate, and inspect mental representations of visual patterns, composed of simple and joint features, such the letters are, influenced not only the ability to read correctly and fluently but also the ability to understand written texts. In particular, the results highlighted how the abilities to recognize, codify, reproduce and inspect visual patterns are a fundamental prerequisite of understanding the meaning of a written text at the early stages of reading acquisition, during which children employ a very great amount of cognitive resources in decode of the written signs. The issues of the present study could have several interesting practical and educational applications. The early assessment of mental imagery, followed by training on visual analysis and mental imagery, might contribute to reducing the appearance of reading difficulties when children begin primary school. The focus on visual skills and mental imagery in first grade could favor the development of new strategies of intervention in children at risk of developing learning difficulties. Keywords: visual analysis, mental imagery, reading

LEARN TO READ: HOW VISUAL ANALYSIS AND MENTAL IMAGERY INFLUENCE READING COMPREHENSION, READING ACCURACY AND READING SPEED AT THE FIRST STAGE OF READING ACQUISITION

Elena Commodari;
2018

Abstract

Visual coding is one of the main components of reading skill. It contributes to the establishment of firm associations between the spoken and written counterparts of printed words and facilitates word recognition. Moreover, it favors the acquisition of “orthographic awareness” that is one of the leading prerequisites of reading skills. Visual coding is a complex skill, which is mediated by visual analysis and mental imagery. Visual analysis is an analytic process that helps memory by facilitating attention to visual detail and detection of visual patterns. Mental imagery is a more complex process, which concerns the generation, inspection, and manipulation of mental images. Read in alphabetic orthography requires the ability to analyze and recognize specific attributes of visual stimuli, and generate, reactivate, and use mental images of letters and words. The overall goal of the present study was to investigate the contribution of visual analysis and mental imagery on reading comprehension, reading accuracy, and reading speed at the first stages of reading development. Participants were 90 children who attended two primary schools of a large town in Italy. Reading, visual analysis, and mental imagery skills were assessed. Several separate hierarchical regression analyses were performed to investigate how visual analysis and ability to generate and inspect mental images influenced the different dimensions of reading. The results found that the ability to recognize and analyze visual patterns and generate, reactivate, and inspect mental representations of visual patterns, composed of simple and joint features, such the letters are, influenced not only the ability to read correctly and fluently but also the ability to understand written texts. In particular, the results highlighted how the abilities to recognize, codify, reproduce and inspect visual patterns are a fundamental prerequisite of understanding the meaning of a written text at the early stages of reading acquisition, during which children employ a very great amount of cognitive resources in decode of the written signs. The issues of the present study could have several interesting practical and educational applications. The early assessment of mental imagery, followed by training on visual analysis and mental imagery, might contribute to reducing the appearance of reading difficulties when children begin primary school. The focus on visual skills and mental imagery in first grade could favor the development of new strategies of intervention in children at risk of developing learning difficulties. Keywords: visual analysis, mental imagery, reading
978-84-09-02709-5
visual analysis, mental imagery, reading.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/360764
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