The NYU reading-speed study, which has come up a couple of times on ktm, found a "triple dissociation" amongst three contributors to reading speed:
- Decoding by phonics (62% of reading speed)
- Whole-word recognition (16% of reading speed)
- Word-prediction via knowledge of grammar and context (22%)
Surprisingly, the effects of the knockouts on reading rate reveal a triple dissociation. Each reading process always contributes the same number of words per minute, regardless of whether the other processes are operating.I've just this moment realized the implications of the triple dissociation they found:
- If students don't know phonics, they can never read quickly enough to do college-level reading, which requires at least 200 wpm.
- Students who don't know the grammar of written English well, will be significantly slower readers than students who do. ("Know" in the procedural sense of being able instantly to comprehend grammatical structures such as appositives and relative clauses and anaphora and the like.)
- Until you have substantial background knowledge in a subject, you will be a slow(ish) reader in that content area.
Parts, Wholes, and Context in Reading: A Triple Dissociation by Denis G. Pelli mail, Katharine A. Tillman