Obstructions to Reading 2

"Obstructions to Reading 2

"Obstructions to Reading 2"

By Jeremiah Cameron, Ph.D. (October 1, 2001)

In a previous article I noted that a well-meaning public needs to do more about the stunted reading skills of children—especially the poor ones coming from homes and communities where "good English" is seldom spoken—than throwing money resources at problems that need more clinical attention. Linguistically trained reading specialist and neurologists who study language development in the brain need to be brought in to re-train teachers in language matters and suggest measures for all the 13 years of schooling. Ages 1–5 are even more crucial, because of the rapid growth of nerves.

The critical years for brain development of reading skills are years 1–10: Let me provide some sentences which indicate vocabulary; idiomatic; grammatical; pronunciation; and syntax differences between "bad English" and "good English"—differences that cause problems for many black children, and poor whites and Mexicans.

(a) What the child says: "Jo is one mo' sassy chile."

(b) What the book says: "Jo is one more saucy child."

When the black child sees (b) he has to transpose it to what he says (a).

(c) Black speech: "I'm goin_ over Sam house.

(d) What the book says: "I am (or I'm) going over to Sam's house."

The idiom to be translated is "over to." The non-standard speaker must DECODE (d) back into his (c) to understand it.

(e) Black speech: "He done gone and stole it hisself.

(f) In the book: "He had gone and stolen it himself.

It is the eye that must send the written matter as electro-chemical stimuli to the occipital lobe in the brain. The ANGULAR GYRUS and the PARIETAL LOBE assimilate the stimuli and arrange them so that they can be transferred to areas for hearing in Wernicke's Center and in the TEMPORAL LOBE where are to be found the nerve cells and interconnections necessary for understanding the "good grammar': the accepted temporal-sequencing of subject, verb, phrases; clauses; etc.

Comprehension is a function of the left hemisphere, whether it is reading, writing, naming, and spelling. Thinking and reasoning are language-related phenomena, and with out early development in the nerve system of the left hemisphere, children are going to find it difficult to not only transpose written language into their system of speaking but to analyze and for verbal concepts.

Structures of Black speech which make reading difficult:

(g) "Ah ain't never got no back talk by this boy."

(h) In the book: "I have never got (or gotten) back talk from this boy."

  1. Broca's Area
  2. Visual Cortex
  3. Wernicke's Area
  4. Motor Cortex
  5. Cerebral Cortex
  6. Auditory Cortex
  7. Angular Gyrus

After puberty it will become more and more difficult for the children's brains to transpose from (h) to (g)—spend all the money you want; let the state and the judge order and take over all they want: Nature controls the reading process—not the overseers of schools.

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