The acquisition of print-to-meaning links in reading: an investigation using novel writing systems

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Psychology

Abstract

Reading is one of the most remarkable of our cognitive abilities. In a short space of time, most children go from painstakingly sounding out the individual symbols that make up words, to the rapid and seemingly automatic access to meaning from these symbols that skilled readers experience. Literacy has a profound impact on individuals, society, and the economy: amongst other things, it decreases dependency on state benefits and improves participation in the democratic process. Yet, unlike many other of our fundamental capacities (e.g. walking, talking), explicit instruction and practice are necessary in learning to read.

To comprehend text, young children learning alphabetic languages start by translating printed words into their spoken forms, and then they use their knowledge of spoken language to recover meaning. This print-to-sound-to-meaning mapping is often referred to as a sub-word process because words are broken down into letters that systematically correspond to sounds before meaning is accessed. Recent advances in the teaching of reading have shown that phonics instruction helps children to develop these sub-word reading skills. Most children then progress to using a more efficient whole-word process whereby meaning is accessed directly from print. However, we know that around 20% of 15-year-old children in the European Union fail to make this transition, and thus find it difficult to use reading to learn.

To date it has proven difficult to investigate which factors influence the development of sub-word (print-to-sound-to-meaning) and whole-word (print-to-meaning) reading strategies. This is partly because it is often difficult to diagnose which strategies people are using when they read, and partly because it is very challenging experimentally to vary aspects of a child's learning environment without introducing scientific confounds or ethical issues. To overcome these challenges we have developed a laboratory model of reading acquisition in which we study the processes by which adults learn to read new words written in unfamiliar symbols (i.e. an artificial orthography). This method enables us to manipulate exactly what is learned and how it is learned with perfect experimental control, and to observe changes in performance at regular time points using techniques at the leading edge of cognitive neuroscience. For these reasons, we believe that this new approach can contribute to our understanding of the factors that contribute to reading acquisition.

We will conduct three experiments in which adults learn to read artificial orthographies intensely over a period of two weeks. In Experiment 1, we will compare learning to read words written in an alphabetic script in which there is a systematic relationship between individual symbols and sounds with learning to read words written in a logographic script in which there is no systematic relationship between individual symbols and sounds. In Experiment 2, adults will learn to read words written in alphabetic scripts, but for one set of words they will concentrate on learning to read them aloud, whereas for another set of words they will concentrate on learning their meanings. In Experiment 3, we will examine the effect of spelling-to-sound irregularity on these learning processes. Before, early, and at the end of training, we will use behavioural and brain imaging techniques to diagnose the extent to which learners engage sub-word versus whole-word processes to accomplish the reading tasks.

Our results will provide vital knowledge about how a person's language skills, the writing system they are learning, and the way they are taught affect the development of sub-word and whole-word reading pathways. Thus, we anticipate that our findings will be of benefit in the middle to longer term in helping researchers to design evidence-based reading interventions and in informing literacy education and policy more generally.

Planned Impact

The development of education methods that help children to become skilled readers is critically important, as literacy is at the heart of achievement, economic growth, culture, and well-being in our society. Recent years have seen great advances in how we help children to discover the relationship between letters and their associated sounds through phonics instruction, thus allowing them to use a print-to-sound-to-meaning pathway to understand printed words. However, we know that around 20% of 15-year-old children in the European Union do not progress beyond this to develop the rapid whole-word reading skills linking print directly to meaning, which underpin the crucial transition from 'learning to read' to 'reading to learn' (OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, 2009).

In order to deliver evidence-based classroom methods for fostering reading development we need to understand the acquisition process fully. Our research is designed to meet this aim. While we do not envisage any immediate user impacts as a result of our findings, we will gain vital knowledge about how a person's language skills, the writing system they are learning, and the way they are taught affect the development of sub-word (print-to-sound-to-meaning) and whole-word (print-to-meaning) reading skills. Our findings will thus be of great relevance for the design of specific reading interventions and the teaching of reading more generally. We therefore believe that our work will benefit particular groups of users in the middle- to longer-term, in particular professionals involved in literacy education and policy, e.g., teachers, head teachers, SENCOs, speech and language therapists, literacy coordinators, and officials in local authorities and in the Department of Education.

In order to reach these user groups, we have planned a number of specific and more general activities. First, we will present our work at conferences such as the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, which attract the professionals that we are seeking to reach. Second, we will host a workshop at Royal Holloway that brings together professionals from the South East region involved in literacy education and policy. We will discuss our findings from the proposed research with these professionals, and will seek to learn from their unique experiences how we can use our research most effectively to promote positive change. Third, we will regularly discuss how our findings might be exploited to serve the needs of users through our established links with literacy organizations and charities (e.g., Dyslexia Action, National Literacy Trust), with specialist language and literacy groups with which we are involved (e.g. the Forum for Research in Language and Literacy), and with policy groups that we work with (e.g. Dr. Davis is a member of the Ministerial Steering Group for Languages in the Department of Education). Finally, we will continue our significant efforts to raise awareness of literacy issues in the general public, through social media and public science events. Our artificial orthography learning method for investigating reading acquisition has already featured on a BBC documentary on dyslexia ("Growing Children"), and Dr. Davis and Dr. Taylor are currently running a project at the Science Museum in London in which members of the public can learn about and participate in language research. We are committed to initiating and taking part in similar outreach events, such as presenting at the RHUL annual Science Open Day, participating in RHUL holiday science 'camps' designed for school children, giving seminars on reading to school teachers, and we will continue to expand these practices during the project.

Publications

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Castles A (2018) Ending the Reading Wars: Reading Acquisition From Novice to Expert. in Psychological science in the public interest : a journal of the American Psychological Society

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Crepaldi D (2016) Masked suffix priming and morpheme positional constraints. in Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)

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Dawson N (2018) Morphological effects in visual word recognition: Children, adolescents, and adults. in Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition

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Hawkins E (2015) Semantic advantage for learning new phonological form representations. in Journal of cognitive neuroscience

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Hawkins EA (2016) How does the provision of semantic information influence the lexicalization of new spoken words? in Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)

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Ktori M (2018) Cues to stress assignment in reading aloud. in Journal of experimental psychology. General

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Mousikou P (2015) The locus of serial processing in reading aloud: orthography-to-phonology computation or speech planning? in Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition

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Mousikou P (2015) Masked primes activate feature representations in reading aloud. in Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition

 
Description This project investigated the factors that underpin reading acquisition - specifically, how we learn to associate sounds and meanings with the visual symbols that make up words. This question has been challenging to address, partly because it is difficult to diagnose which strategies people are using when they read, and partly because it is difficult to vary aspects of a child's learning environment without introducing scientific confounds or serious ethical issues.


* The key achievement of this project was to overcome these challenges by developing a laboratory model of reading acquisition in which adults learn to read new words written in unfamiliar symbols (an artificial orthography) over an extended period of time. This method allows us to manipulate precisely what is learned and how it is learned with precise experimental control. By combining this method with fMRI, we are able to study how particular interventions impact not only on behavioural performance but also neural underpinnings.


* Using this method, we showed conclusively that reading instruction that focuses on letter-sound (phonic) knowledge is more effective than instruction that focuses on learning the meanings of individual written words. This effectiveness is expressed both in reading performance during learning and in neural effort during reading tasks at the end of learning.


* We took these methods further to produce new knowledge characterising the development of reading expertise in the brain. Skilled reading requires stored knowledge of visual forms that can be retrieved irrespective of the font, size, case, or retinal position of the word. Skilled readers also show some insensitivity to letter position, and thus, find it difficult to detect misspellings such as JUGDE. Yet, we have little understanding of how these kinds of abstraction are achieved, or how they are encoded in the brain. We taught adults words in an artificial orthography, and then applied newly developed, advanced fMRI methods to investigate the emerging representations of these words. Our analyses revealed a gradient of increasing levels of abstraction within areas of the brain that represent visual objects and words.


* The wealth of data acquired during this project has allowed us to forge two new collaborations. These capitalise on new neuroscience and computational methods to more fully understand reading acquisition. The first collaboration with the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Centre, Israel, has shown that variation in reading skill relates to properties of the connections (white matter) between different brain areas in the reading network. In the second collaboration with Lancaster University, computational modelling has revealed how oral language ability modulates the impact of phonics instruction in early reading. Finally, we formed an important collaboration with reading researchers from Macquarie University and Oxford University that allowed us to generate wide non-academic impact from this work.


In summary, this project has provided vital knowledge about how a person's language skills, the words they are learning, and the way they are taught affect reading development. Our findings are relevant to psychology and neuroscience researchers, and also to those wishing to design evidence-based reading interventions and to literacy education and policy more generally.
Exploitation Route This work has had important academic impacts and is contributing to the knowledge base that underpins evidence-based educational methods. In terms of academic impact, we are already aware of several research groups that are conducting secondary analyses on our data, or using our laboratory methods to answer related questions. In terms of non-academic impact, our findings regarding reading instruction have received wide exposure in policy documents, websites of literacy charities and advocacy groups, educational leadership foundations and think tanks, school curriculum plans, and educational media channels. This exposure has in turn led to new opportunities to engage with practitioners and policymakers in the area of reading instruction. We will continue to pursue these and existing contacts to make sure that practice and policy in the area of reading instruction is informed by the evidence gathered during this project.
Sectors Education

URL http://www.rastlelab.com
 
Description The work undertaken in this project has contributed significantly to public debate and public policy around the nature of reading instruction. Our findings concerning the impact of instruction on reading behaviour and its underpinning neural representation have generated substantial press coverage in specialist education fora including Times Education Supplement (https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/phonics-leads-easier-more-accurate-reading-new-research-finds), Nursery World (http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1160984/study-re-ignites-debate-about-use-of-phonics), Schools Week (http://schoolsweek.co.uk/phonics-boosts-reading-accuracy-study-finds/), SEN Magazine (https://senmagazine.co.uk/home/articles/senarticles-2/in-support-of-phonics), Nomanis (https://www.nomanis.com.au/single-post/2018/01/09/Issue-4-December-2017) and other outlets. This coverage has been supplemented by multiple presentations to groups of teaching professionals and video content (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDrvYeOrCf8) and it has led to further international invitations to address large groups of teaching professionals involved in literacy and language instruction, including the major DSF conference on language, literacy and learning in Perth (https://literacylanguageconf.com/) and a meeting in Paris on 'Cognitive Science in the Classroom' organised jointly by UNESCO and the French Ministry of Education. This work also contributed to a major public policy output distilling the science of reading to the general public, policymakers, and education professionals (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1529100618772271). This work has been downloaded over 120,000 times and has an Altmetric attention score placing it in the top-40 of the 276,000 publications of its age. It has also led to appearances in the major education media (e.g. https://www.tes.com/news/tes-magazine/tes-magazine/ceasefire-reading-wars) and to a debate on methods of reading instruction televised in Australia. This work has appeared in policy documents around the world; on websites of literacy charities, advocacy groups, and educational leadership organisations; in school curriculum plans and national literacy guidance. Overall, the work in this project has raised awareness amongst education professionals and the general public about how the science of reading can contribute to educational policy and practice.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Impact on Clinical Practice
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018) is cited on websites of clinical and educational service providers. Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring (leading provider of assessments for UK schools) http://www.cem.org/blog/10-essential-reads-to-improve-reading-comprehension/ English Clinic (Australia) https://www.english.clinic/more-on-reading-and-spelling
 
Description Impact on Education Policy
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact Our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" has been cited in multiple policy documents (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018). These are cited below. Ending Learning Poverty (World Bank) https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/32553/142659.pdf?sequence=7 Inquiry into the status of the teaching profession (Australia) https://www.readkong.com/page/dyslexia-victoria-support-8068265 Secondary Literacy Guidance (Educational Endowment Foundation, UK) https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Literacy/EEF_KS3_KS4_LITERACY_GUIDANCE.pdf Literacy Unlocks Reading (Report by APPG on Literacy, UK) https://cdn.literacytrust.org.uk/media/documents/Language_unlocks_reading.pdf Scottish Parliament Inquiry on Reading Instruction (UK) https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Education/Meeting%20Papers/20191030PublicPapersAmended.pdf Early Years Foundation Stage Reform Consultation (UK; submitted in evidence by UK Literacy Association) https://ukla.org/downloads/EYFS_Reforms_Consultation_-_UKLA_Response_Final.pdf
 
Description Impact on Educational Leadership Organisations
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Several educational leadership organisations have cited or blogged about our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" on their websites. The purpose of these citations is to lift knowledge among their stakeholders, and to transform literacy policy and practice around the world such that it allies with the science of reading, as articulated in our article. Some of these educational leadership organisations are below. The Reading League (USA; quotes us on their home page, says it is "why we exist") https://www.thereadingleague.org/ English & Media Centre (UK; calls our work "the most significant metaresearch on reading" https://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/blog/response-to-ofsted-curriculum-workshop Deans for Impact (USA) https://deansforimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/The_Science_of_Early_Learning.pdf Lit (USA) - our research featured on their homepage https://theliteracygroup.org/lit-library Collaborative Classroom (USA) https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/MKT4419_The-Settled-Science-of-Teaching-Reading_whitepaper_final_REV.pdf Thomas B. Fordham Institute (USA) https://fordhaminstitute.org/ohio/commentary/how-can-children-become-good-readers ASCD (USA and global; 113,000 members from 129 countries) http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb20/vol77/num05/Cracking-the-Reading-Code.aspx Little Learners Love Literacy (Australia) https://events.littlelearnersloveliteracy.com.au/why-phonics/ Thinking Reading (UK) https://thinkingreadingwritings.wordpress.com/2020/01/05/the-researched-guide-to-literacy/ Research ED (UK) https://researched.org.uk/sessions/megan-dixon/
 
Description Impact on Public Understanding
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018) has been a major source for the deeply influential reporting of education journalist Emily Hanford, who has exposed the shocking gap between what is known about the science of reading and practice in the USA. APM Reports (USA) https://www.apmreports.org/story/2018/09/10/hard-words-why-american-kids-arent-being-taught-to-read
 
Description Impact on School Curriculum Plans
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018) is cited in the long-term curriculum plans of two primary schools in the UK. St Gabriel's CofE Primary School (UK) https://stgabrielshuyton.net/reading/ Eastfield Primary School (UK) https://eastfieldprimary.org.uk/reading/
 
Description Impact on Teachers and Parents
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Parents and teachers have blogged about our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018) demonstrating their enhanced understanding of how the science of reading applies to policy and practice. Miss North's Resource Room (USA) https://missnorthsresourceroom.home.blog/2019/05/10/the-5-big-ideas-of-reading/ Spelfabet (Australia) https://www.spelfabet.com.au/2018/06/nobody-advocates-phonics-only-literacy-instruction/ John Bald (UK) https://johnbald.typepad.com/language/2018/06/ending-the-reading-wars-reading-acquisition-from-novice-to-expert-a-note-on-the-first-part-of-the-pa.html Pedro de Bruyckere (Netherlands) https://theeconomyofmeaning.com/2018/06/13/so-glad-this-review-is-open-access-ending-the-reading-wars-reading-acquisition-from-novice-to-expert/ Sarah Peden (Canada) https://www.sarapeden.com/teachers-convention-cctca-resource
 
Description Impacts on Understanding of Poor Reading and Dyslexia
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Multiple literacy charities and advocacy groups have cited or blogged about our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" on their websites. The purpose of these citations / blogs is to lift knowledge among stakeholders as to the science of reading as articulated in our article (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018), and to protect stakeholders from interventions for poor literacy that are not evidence based. Some citations are included in the URLs below. RIF (Reading is Fundamental; USA) https://www.rif.org/sites/default/files/theresearchbehindrfs.pdf Decoding Dyslexia (USA) https://www.decodingdyslexiamd.org/research.html Mom's Rising https://www.momsrising.org/blog/thank-you-dyslexia-moms-now-can-we-get-some-back-up Learning Difficulties Australia (Australia; featured on cover page "must read for all" http://test.ldaustralia.org/ Dyslexia Victoria Support (Australia) https://dyslexiavictoriasupport.com/the-science-of-reading/ International Dyslexia Association (UK) https://dyslexiaida.org/where-does-having-a-heart-for-dyslexia-intervention-advocacy-start/ Specific Learning Difficulties South Australia https://speld-sa.org.au/news/41-choosing-the-right-books-for-beginning-readers.html
 
Description Influence on Practice
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Several educational publishers have cited or blogged about our "Ending the Reading Wars" paper (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018) on their websites. The purpose of these citations / blogs is to show how their materials are linking to the science of reading, as articulated in our paper. The URLs of these publishers are below. Lexia Learning (USA) https://www.lexialearning.com/blog/got-literacy-if-not-then-turn-science-help https://www.lexialearning.com/resources/white-papers/trust-science-reading-inform-instruction Reading Rockets (USA) https://www.readingrockets.org/research-by-topic/what-research-tells-us-about-reading-instruction ABOUND (multimedia publisher; USA) https://aboundparenting.com/letters-sounds/ Speech Sounds Pics (Australia) https://www.speechsoundpics.com/science-of-reading Piper Books (UK) https://piperbooks.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/ending-the-reading-wars-the-importance-and-limitations-of-decodable-readers/ Pearson (UK) https://community.pearsoninternationalschools.com/news/classroom/277/277-Is-phonics-the-only-way-Different-approaches-to-teaching-reading
 
Description Influence on literacy policy around the world
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Ending Learning Poverty (World Bank) https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/32553/142659.pdf?sequence=7 Our work on "Ending the Reading Wars" influenced the development of the World Bank's target to halve illiteracy by 2030. Rastle is working with the Bank to operationalise that target.
 
Description Influence on policy
Geographic Reach Australia 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact The work on "Ending the Reading Wars" achieved through this project has been cited as evidence for the introduction of a phonics screen check in Australia. The announcement is here https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/literacy-and-numeracy/phonics-screening-check#How1 and our work is cited in the "notes" here https://soundcloud.com/user-770146497/in-conversation-with-anne-castles-systematic-and-explicit-phonics-instruction. This notes section cites our article in Psychological Science in the Public Interest (Castles, Rastle & Nation, 2018) and links to a talk that I gave at the University of Edinburgh.
 
Description Computational Modelling - Phonics 
Organisation Lancaster University
Department Department of Psychology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We supplied data investigating how skilled adult readers learn to read a new orthography over a period of 2-3 weeks. These data were from an experiment testing how reading performance is affected by method of reading instruction, comparing a method that emphasised phonic knowledge with a method that emphasised meaning of individual words.
Collaborator Contribution The partners developed a computational model of reading acquisition, which they used to model our findings. These simulations yielded an additional novel finding showing that underlying oral language ability determines the effectiveness of phonics-based reading instruction. Phonics-based instruction is most effective when oral language ability is strong. These findings will be published in July 2017.
Impact Chang, YN, Taylor, JSH, Rastle, K. & Monaghan P. (2017). Exploring the relations between oral language and reading instruction in a computational model of reading. To appear in Proceedings of Cognitive Science Society.
Start Year 2016
 
Description DTI 
Organisation Bar-Ilan University
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research award allowed us to initiate new collaboration with Bar Ilan University, Israel. Experts in DTI imaging technique in Bar Ilan analyzed data that we collected at Royal Holloway. Has led to conference presentations and an article is in preparation.
Collaborator Contribution They analysed DTI data collected at Royal Holloway
Impact Yablonski, M, Rastle, K., Taylor, JSH, & Ben-Shachar, M (2016). White matter pathways associated with morphological processing. Poster presented at Society for Neurobiology of Language, London.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Reading Wars 
Organisation Macquarie University
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The work in this project led to an ongoing collaboration with Macquarie University and the University of Oxford on public policy issues associated with learning to read.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborated on a major public policy article.
Impact Castles, A., Rastle, K. & Nation, K. (2018). Ending the "Reading Wars": Reading acquisition from novice to expert. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19, 5-51.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Reading Wars 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The work in this project led to an ongoing collaboration with Macquarie University and the University of Oxford on public policy issues associated with learning to read.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborated on a major public policy article.
Impact Castles, A., Rastle, K. & Nation, K. (2018). Ending the "Reading Wars": Reading acquisition from novice to expert. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19, 5-51.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Association of University Language Centres (UK/Ireland) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Two talks for general audience by MH Davis:
"Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Learning"
"Language Learning and the Brain"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Cambridge English 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk at Cambridge English event in Salamanca Spain
"Multilingual education: policy, practice & reality"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Learning: Implications for Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Multilingual education: policy, practice and reality forum, Salamanca, Spain
Sparked discussion

n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Learning: Implications for Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Paper and discussion presented to Nick Gibb (MP) & Ministerial Steering Group, Department for Education, Whitehall, UK, 21st Feb 2012

Department for Education, Nick Gibb (MP and Minister for Education) and Ministerial Steering Group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Consultation with World Bank on reducing global illiteracy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Rastle has been consulting with colleagues from The World Bank about how the science of reading can be applied to reducing global illiteracy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Department for Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to policymakers on "Learning to Read" at the Department for Education
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Interview on BBC Radio 4 "Word of Mouth" with Michael Rosen on Skilled Reading 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Participated in national radio broadcast on BBC Radio 4 "Word of Mouth" with Michael Rosen on the subject of Skilled Reading. Main outcomes were to enhance knowledge in the general public of mechanisms underlying reading.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07x2zdb
 
Description Media Coverage of Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Substantial media coverage for Taylor, Davis & Rastle (2017, JEP:GEN), in which our experiments using artificial orthographies favour use of phonics.
Coverage in the Times Education Supplement https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/phonics-leads-easier-more-accurate-reading-new-research-finds
Schools Week http://schoolsweek.co.uk/phonics-boosts-reading-accuracy-study-finds/
Nursery World http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1160984/study-re-ignites-debate-about-use-of-phonics
and other sources
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Parliamentary Seminar on Measuring Literacy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Contributed to parliamentary seminar on measuring literacy; attended by MPs and chaired by a member of the Education Select Committee (Suella Fernandes MP); developed connections with key literacy organisations in UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Participation in local radio broadcasts for the BBC Love to Read campaign 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interviews about skilled reading on BBC Radio Berkshire, Cumbria, Cornwall, Poole, Hereford, Devon.
Main impact was to raise awareness of how we read.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation at Department for Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr Jo Taylor attended the Department for Education to present findings published in
Taylor, JSH, Davis, MH., & Rastle, K (2017). Journal of Experimental Psychology : General.

The findings in this artlce show that reading instruction that focuses on phonic knowledge is more effective than reading instruction that focuses on whole-word meanings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Press coverage regarding Taylor, Davis & Rastle (2017), Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Substantial press coverage discussing the implications of Taylor, Davis & Rastle (2017) for reading instruction in specialist education outlets. These included TES (https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/phonics-leads-easier-more-accurate-reading-new-research-finds), Nursery World (http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/nursery-world/news/1160984/study-re-ignites-debate-about-use-of-phonics), Schools Week (http://schoolsweek.co.uk/phonics-boosts-reading-accuracy-study-finds/), SEN Magazine (https://senmagazine.co.uk/home/articles/senarticles-2/in-support-of-phonics), Nomanis (http://www.multilit.com/wp-content/uploads/NOMANIS04_DEC17_RASTLE_F.pdf) and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description ResearchED 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at ResearchED, a national network of professionals involved in education.
Title of presentation: "How the brain solves the problem of reading"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Royal Holloway Schools Day 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Presented poster on how we study reading through brain imaging and the use of artificial language learning in adults; talked to A-Level school children about possible careers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015