I just finished listening to the Brain Science podcast #24 which covers reading development. This podcast is an hour-long review of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.
I found this especially interesting, because I recently returned from living in Japan where I taught 4 years as a first grade teacher in an immersion program. Most of these students came to me without any English abilities, which has given me some experience with emergent language development. This podcast spends a good deal of time discussion emergent reading development.
Parental reading to young children is vitally important, but the point is made that this will also associate parental love with the reading experience. Just image being able to tap into feelings of love and security simply through the act of reading! Sounds great, does it not!? I’m not saying this would influence all children, but it’s certainly worth thinking about.
Reading fluently activates parts of their brain that process emotion. I read with emotion and interest, but now I wonder if deliberately discussing the emotional impact of a story can help children become more fluent readers. Modeling how to key into a story’s emotional tone could be an important way for helping students to understand and remember.