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This chapter aims to unravel the contribution of the neuroscience of reading to the study of literacy development across languages and writing systems. The development of early literacy can be adversely impacted by neurodevelopmental disorders and socioeconomic disparities that have lasting effects on child and adolescent cognition. The goal of this chapter is to address the continuum of literacy development in two critical stages, birth-to-six and six-to-ten years old, and their respective language and brain milestones: the hardwired brain networks for speech, and the adaptation of brain regions for reading. The discussion attempts to disambiguate neurodevelopmental disorders and socioeconomic factors that influence early literacy, and the associated effects on brain function and structure. It is concluded that there is emerging evidence for a near-universal brain system that develops with learning to read across writing systems and the chapter addresses the dynamic relations among brain networks for reading, speech and writing across the two age spans. It is also claimed that the neuroscience of reading has the potential to inform prediction of reading achievement, identification of risk for reading difficulties, and possibly, choice of intervention and of the age ranges that are more amenable to treatment.
Organized under the auspices of the Language Learning Roundtable Conference Grant (2012), this seminar aimed to provide an interactive forum for a group of second language acquisition (SLA) researchers with particular interests in cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics to discuss key theoretical and methodological issues in the roles of key human memory systems (in particular, working memory) in various aspects of SLA. The seminar consisted of a tutorial workshop (Michael Ullman), three keynotes (Michael Ullman, Peter Skehan, and Cem Alptekin), and other invited speeches addressing the more specific relationships between working memory (WM) and various aspects of SLA (e.g. vocabulary, grammar, reading, speaking, writing, and interpreting).
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