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The Seeds of Literacy
Learning to read differs markedly from learning to speak; unlike speaking, reading requires explicit instruction. Yet, there is evidence that common acoustic bases may underlie speech perception in infancy and literacy skills in childhood.
In the ‘Seeds of Literacy’ project, two groups of infants – with and without a family history of dyslexia -- will be followed from 6 months to 5 years with tests every 3 to 6 months to record the development of their speech and auditory perception, as well as their verbal interaction with a parent. Later, as the children get older, tests of early language skills such as speech production and vocabulary, and pre-literacy skills will be added. The study will allow us to correlate early speech perception and production with later language and pre-literacy skills, and to determine, to some extent, early precursors of later reading and associated skills – the seeds of literacy.
Parents and their children who participate in the study will become members of the ‘Seeds Club’ and will receive remuneration for travel, regular Seeds newsletters and small gifts throughout the project.
Researcher: Denis Burnham
Support: Australian Research Council (DP110105123)