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Language at the Speed of Sight
How We Read, Why So Many Can't, and What Can Be Done About It
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"In Language at the Speed of Sight, [Seidenberg] develops a careful argument, backed by decades of research, to show that the only responsible way to teach children to read well is to build up their abilities to connect reading with speech and then to amplify these connections through practice, developing skillful behavioral patterns hand in hand with the neurological networks that undergird them...Every teacher of young children as well as those who train them should read this book." -Michael S. Roth, Wall Street Journal "Seidenberg reviews the latest science on reading and makes an impassioned plea for putting this knowledge to use." -Scientific American "[An] important and alarming new book...Seidenberg makes a strong case for how brain science can help the teaching profession" -David Kipen, New York Times "Cognitive neuroscientist Seidenberg digs deep into the science of reading to reveal the ways human beings learn how to read and process language...Seidenberg's analysis is backed up by numerous studies and table of data. His approach is pragmatic, myth-destroying and rooted in science-and his writing makes for powerful reading." -Publishers Weekly "The neuroscience underlying [Seidenberg's] findings is complex, of course, but [he] does not often fall into thickets of technicality...his discussions are clear and accessible... A worthy primer on the science of comprehending language." -Kirkus "Few works of science ever achieve Italo Calvino' six qualities of our best writing: Lightness, exactitude, visibility, quickness, and consistency. Mark Seidenberg's new book on the science of reading and its profound implications for educational practice achieves just that. With both wit and rigor, he pulls no punches as he lays bare both the egregious errors that persist in the teaching of reading, and their antidote in knowledge of the reading brain. If every educator, parent, and policy-maker would read and heed the content of this book, the rates of functional illiteracy, with all their destructive sequelae for children and society, would be significantly reduced." -Maryanne Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid "Language At The Speed of Sight is an incisive tour through the fascinating science of reading-how brains and their owners succeed and fail to master this uniquely human and irreplaceable skill. From cuneiform to phonics to dyslexia to the future of literacy, Seidenberg is a master guide: a world expert on reading who-lucky for us-is as gifted a writer as he is a scientist." -Benjamin Bergen, author of What the F "A world-renowned expert explains the science of reading with clarity and wit-anyone who loves to read will be fascinated, and teachers will absolutely devour this book." - Daniel Willingham, author of Why Don't Students Like School? "Have you picked up the idea that reading is something that kids 'just pick up' and shouldn't be rushed into it, or that learning to read is something different from mastering something separate called 'comprehension,' or that a whole book about reading would be dull? Language at the Speed of Sight will disabuse you of all three notions and more-pick it up and marvel at how hard it will be to put it down." -John McWhorter, author of Word on the Move and Talking Back, Talking Black "No technologically advanced society exists without reading. This is the remarkable story of why, and how it all works. From David Letterman's irony to posited Sumerian patent trolls, the writing is lively, informative, and supremely entertaining." -Daniel J. Levitin, best-selling author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind
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Mark Seidenberg is the Vilas Research Professor and Donald O. Hebb Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a cognitive neuroscientist who has studied language, reading, and dyslexia for over three decades. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.