Friday, July 25, 2014

Writing by hand helps learning to read

Research suggests handwriting skills help children to read by “writing down” what they are learning in terms of spelling and sentence construction, similar to note-taking in other subject areas. It is “learning by doing” to an extent not possible with phones and tablets that auto-complete and auto-correct on behalf of the user. From a typographic perspective, handwriting provides us with the ability to see letters as shapes with form, weight, texture and space and this facilitates ease of reading by being able to form and identify letters that are clearly distinguishable from each other.

US psychologist Karin James at Indiana University found that the “doing” part of drawing letters by hand increases activity in three areas of a child’s brain that adults use when they read and write. Handwriting enables children to generate more words and more ideas.

Since children also need to know how to use technology, handwriting shouldn’t be seen as an either/or situation but both are needed equally for children to develop.

For the full study see:

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.


Anny Cook said...

I absolutely agree. I also believe memory is enhanced by 'writing' it down physically in a way that electronics does not.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Yes. When my kids were little they had to read/write/hide/say/check/ when they were learning new words at school. It definitely worked.