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

As has already been stated, it depends upon what one means by 'symbol' and
it also depends upon how such symbols are introduced.

For example, the set of graphemes constituting a written word may be
referred to as a symbolic model of the phonemic structure of the word.

With respect to picture-word correspondence, this could feasibly help with
understanding the nature of words as referring to conceptions rather than
the immediacy of things themselves in early development.

When our first child was about 12 months, we used a photo album of everyday
objects from around the house to help distinguish between the words and the
objects referred to.  One day I sat down and requested, in a purposeful
tone, that he put my shoe on the trolley (I didn't use gestures) and was
fairly gobsmacked when he simply set off and did it.  This was at a time
when he wasn't saying any recognisable words, let alone sentence sounds
with predicates in them.  Shoes were not part of his repertoire of toy
objects, and the trolley wasn't being used (at the time) as a thing to
carry other things with.

It would still be difficult to demonstrate a clear link, but where I would
theoretically place it is in relating the word to the conception of the
object (the memory of the perception).  This fits with the nature of my
request, as the trolley was not in sight at the time (but it was one of the
items in the album).


On 11 March 2015 at 05:59, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> 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.
> ***
> 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.
> ***
> Andy
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/