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Amazing Effect of Vocal Reading on Pronunciation


Did You Know?

      Writing is only about 5,500 years old, unlike human speech estimated to be from 50,000 years to 2 million years old.  In contrast to speech, the human brain did not naturally evolve to read.  Thus, the brain adapts to the challenge of reading.

       The Amazing Effect of Accurate Vocal Reading on Accurate English Pronunciation Article 13

     English speech intelligibility increases sharply for North American children when they learn to read.  For adult nonnative-born individuals who want acquisition of clear English, reading words, phrases and sentences is an ideal vehicle for helping to learn accurate English pronunciation.

      It is in reading words that the speakers learns that there are different meanings for “hit” and “hid,” or “hot” and “hat,” “bottle” and “battle,”  “kin” and kind,”  “beach” and “b*tch” which rhymes with “witch”.

       And in oral reading or reading with your voice, the human being learns that the spelling of the English word most frequently corresponds to the accurate pronunciation.

       The process of reading involves most of the brain, especially an interconnection between visual areas and language areas.  And importantly reading also involves neural systems related to action, emotion, decision making and memory.

        Big alert!  The sensorimotor cortex of the brain is the most active region of the brain during reading.  A seminal MRI study in 2014 involving adults and children, where bodily movement was restricted, demonstrated strong evidence revealing that this region may be correlated with automatic word processing and decoding.  Specifically, this area of the brain was highly active in persons new to the English language, as well as those children learning to read, and those children struggling to read (dyslexia). 

                                            Brain Regions Used for Reading?

      Here is the description from Wikipedia (Reading):

      The occipital and parietal lobes are involved for orthographic processing of visual words

       The two major regions of the brain associated with phonological skills (speech sounds) are the temporal-parietal region and the Perisylvian Region (in  MRI study, 2001).

     The Perisylvian Region, which is the region of the brain believed to connect Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, is another region highly active during phonological activities when participants are asked to verbalize known and unknown words.

     The inferior frontal region is active in several reading related activities associated with comprehension and processing skills such as spelling and working memory.

     In addition to regions on the cortex considered gray matter on MRIs, several white matter fasciculus are active during different reading activities.  These three white matter regions connect the three respected cortex regions as the brain reads thus these regions are responsible for the brain’s cross-model integration involved in reading.  These are the left arcuate faciculus, the left inferior longitudinal faciculus, and the superior longitudinal fasciculus.

      The cerebellum, which is not part of the cerebral cortex, is also believed to play an important role in reading.  The role of  automatization, word accuracy, and reading speed is associated with the cerebellum.

        Have you wondered why learning to speak clear English feels so hard?   A principal reason is that your brain is working hard to access and coordinate a good number of separate brain regions!

Article 13, Blog, copyright 2023 Clear Talk Mastery, Inc

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