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[Xmca-l] Can symbols help people learning to read?



I am forwarding this message from a good friend who has a question about literacy education. If you know of research on this question, perhaps you could cc Mike B. in your reply.
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My sister is in the education field and she is looking for theory and research to refute an influential paper which claims introducing symbols to non-readers actually hampers their ability to develop literacy skills. The little I have read on AT and semiotics seems to at least indicate that under certain conditions, symbols can aid literacy. But I am looking for something specific and/or definite.
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Andy
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*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/