Online reading & comprehension software.
- Self paced programs, with teacher support.
- Up to 2 years of gain in just a few months.
Cognitive Skills Training
Building A Foundation To Improve Reading
Reading is a language skill. In an fMRI of the brain reading and an fMRI of the the brain listening, there is a 98% overlap. Reading requires mastery of language, and a mastery of the memory, sequencing and processing skills required to understand language.
The Cognitive Skills Opportunity
Even though studies show that about 90% of reading issues stem from an underlying cognitive issue, most often weak phonological awareness related to auditory processing delays, schools typically do not address cognitive skills in children.
While this is understandable -- a child's cognitive health is a big undertaking, and the schools are already overloaded with curriculum pressures -- it also reflects a failure to take advantage of new science which confirms that the brain is plastic -- cognitive skills can be improved.
Why cognitive brain training works
And so, children progress through the grades, grappling with reading without developing a secure cognitive foundation. Not surprisingly, they struggle to keep up as the text gets progressively harder, and they learn to dislike reading.
Our Cognitive Goal
About a quarter of kindergarten age children go to school and just read. They can do this because they were born with a sound cognitive skills. They learn the language by listening and then transition to reading with ease. Our first goal for every new student is to use cognitive skills training to build the foundation needed for reading success, reading fluency in early grades, and reading comprehension later on.
Fast ForWord reading program summaries
Cognitive Skills for Reading
Most struggling readers have weak auditory processing skills. This cognitive skill delay may not be evident in spoken language where the requirement is only that words be understood as whole sounds. But reading requires another big step up in processing accuracy, being able to break words into component sounds.
Stored spoken language (word memory) is how we learn and think. And so it is our reference point when we read. We read text and match the words up with our word memory to get meaning. These reading matches require the brain to be able to pull apart and store in word memory every sound in every word. It needs to hear that "cat" has three sounds "c-a-t" and to store it that way. If the word "sneaker" was heard as "s-n-ee-ga" that word can not be read fluently, without requiring some concentration.
Early on, auditory processing related reading problems occur because word memory muddiness makes sounding out difficult. In later grades, if decoding is not automatic, it siphons off concentration needed for reading comprehension. Plus it makes reading exhausting and not enjoyable.
Reading also requires the ability to absorb and retain information while reading. This is the key to reading comprehension, and to critical thinking. If this cognitive skill is not developed properly, grade level reading comprehension will be a challenge starting in 4th or 5th grade.
Working memory definition
Sound reading comprehension requires focused attention. This is a learned cognitive skill, often under-developed when reading is a struggle.
One of the least understood cognitive skills is sequencing. It is a high level processing skill, required for decoding, spelling and extracting meaning from text. This tends to be a weakness in children with auditory processing delays, mainly because it is a cognitive skill not practiced.
How We Improve Cognitive Skills
Gemm Learning provides cognitive skills training using the Fast ForWord program. It strengthens processing, working memory, attention and sequencing.
Fast ForWord finds each student's starting level. It then adds speed and complexity in tiny increments. Every student will respond to this kind of exercise -- as with any physical exercise that uses repetition in this way -- and most are capable of processing at 40 sounds a second if they are given a pathway to that goal.
Fast ForWord can take a student's processing speed all the way to 40 sounds a second! At that speed every word can be pulled apart accurately.
Reading skills helped by our programs
In some cases, particularly where there is evidence of cognitive impediments to reading not related to auditory processing -- such as visual processing, attention issues related to sensory integration issues, longer term retention issues -- Gemm Learning will add BrainWare Safari into a student's cognitive skills training protocol.
More about BrainWare Safari