The research behind Reading Planet

The latest evidence-based research into literacy development.

Coventry University has one of the largest literacy research departments in the UK and we are thrilled to be working closely with them to embed the new techniques and pedagogies that have come out of their research into our literacy resources. 

The department's research team looks at the theory that underpins learning to read and write, working alongside teachers to develop a range of practical interventions across a number of different areas including:

  • Dyslexia

  • Oral language impairments or hearing impairments;

  • The role of motivation and self-esteem in reading progress;

  • The links between spoken language skills and literacy development. 

Here at Rising Stars we were particularly interested in the research being conducted into the links between spoken language skills and literacy development.

Research has already shown that the understanding of the sounds, rhythms and structures of spoken language (speech rhythm sensitivity) is fundamental to a child’s reading development, and that children who struggle with reading frequently lack this sensitivity.

However the latest research from Coventry University has shown that speech rhythm sensitivity can be trained and enhanced with simple activities to help all children become confident independent readers. It is these simple activities have been embedded into our Reading Planet resources.

Prof. Clare Wood, Prof of Psychology in Education at Coventry University

“ We know that children’s sensitivity to rhythm, and to the rhythm of speech, is linked to their reading ability. What we are now seeing is evidence that not only is sensitivity to speech rhythm trainable in young children, but that such training benefits their early progress with word reading.”

Emily Harrison, PhD researcher Coventry University

The results were fantastic – in both the beginning readers, and the older struggling readers, the speech rhythm intervention resulted in significantly greater gains in reading […] This means that speech rhythm training is effective both at the beginning of reading tuition and once children have already received some formal training.” You can read more about Emily's research here.

Find out more from Clare and Emily in the video below:

Speech rhythm sensitivity and Reading Planet from Rising Stars on Vimeo.

For some examples of various speech rhythm activities see video below:

Reading Planet Speech Rhythm Activities from Rising Stars on Vimeo.


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