Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
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Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers

Louisa Moats

Dr. Louisa Moats is the author of numerous books, including Straight Talk About Reading. She is the former director of the Early Interventions Project at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
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An Interview With Louisa Moats

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Reading is complex...
I think for many years we really underestimated the complexity of the reading process, what goes on in the mind of someone who reads. And as cognitive science has explicated all of these dimensions of reading, it's become more and more obvious that reading is rocket science, that teaching reading is rocket science, that it is as complex as any other area of scientific endeavor.
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The most insidious myth...
The most prevalent myth is that learning to read should occur naturally and easily if you have a "literature-rich environment." That is the most insidious myth and still promoted by a lot of people in the field. Of course it's very important to surround children with books, but they don't learn to read just from having a lot of books. We need to do both. We need to teach them deliberately how to read and then we need to make sure they have access to a great variety of wonderful reading material. So it's not an either/or proposition.
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Reading is not easy to understand...
Reading is not easy to understand, it's not self-evident. We can't figure it out from just watching ourselves read or watching somebody else read. So it's taken a long time to do the research that's enabled us to understand about reading and then it always takes a long time for people in the field in practice to apply what we've learned from research.
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