Sunday, October 25, 2020

Humans Are Born With Brains ‘Prewired’ to See Words

I googled ‘Reading is unnatural’ and there are about 12,200,000 results (0.50 seconds).

I have said several times on my blog that the problem with research reports is that when one ‘researcher’ says one thing the others jump on the band wagon and repeat what the researcher had said, without thinking at all.


Let us first see what our educators have said and refused to respond to my comments.

Pamela Snow in 2018:

‘Did you know that learning to read is not “biologically natural”? It’s actually a recent innovation in terms of human civilisation (only about 6,000 years old) and humans must adapt language and visual systems in the brain to accommodate this culturally, socially, academically, and economically important contrivance.’

My comment on her blog post in September 2018 which was ignored.

I have read similar sentences many times. My question would then be; Is reading in Malay, Tamil and Chinese natural? I am asking this question as almost all my students can read in languages other than English. After having observed my students, who I teach on a one on one basis, and having 'interviewed' them, over more than 14 years even after they have left my tuition, I now know the reason why they cannot read in English and are wrongly classified as dyslexic.

There was no response from Pamela Snow and recently when I asked her for a response she said; 'Dear Luqman, I am not your on-call response service.' You may read my post on this here


Kathryn Garford in her recent podcast on 'Reading with your kids' said the following:


Reading is rocket science and the huge thing that parents are often not told enough is that reading is not a natural process. Reading does not occur in one area. The written word has only been around for a couple of thousands of years and different languages take different approaches to reading so there hasn’t been one centralized area dedicated to reading. As children learn to read they have to learn to connect 3 different areas of their brains to become a fluent confident reader.


Our Journalist turned education expert Emily Hanford who ignored my 2017 emails to her, said:

In September 2018: Why aren't kids being taught to read? | Hard Words | APM ...

The basic assumption that underlies typical reading instruction in many schools is that learning to read is a natural process, much like learning to talk. But decades of scientific research have revealed that reading doesn't come naturally. The human brain isn't wired to read. Kids must be explicitly taught how to connect sounds with letters — phonics.


January 2019: Why Millions Of Kids Can't Read And What Better Teaching Can Do About It

One big takeaway from all that research is that reading is not natural; we are not wired to read from birth.


Sally Shaywitz: Our brain scientist said in the Houston Chronicle:


    They don’t know why dyslexics struggle. Shaywitz explains that while speaking is natural for the human brain, reading is artificial. Our brains have only been doing it around 5,000 years. Decoding visual images into sounds takes time to learn. While 80 percent of the population does this automatically, dyslexics do it manually, in part because they rely more heavily on a less-efficient part of the brain. They use up more attention reading and get tired quicker than strong readers.


Dr.G.Reid Lyon


    Number one, we know that reading is complex. And most people give it short shrift as I did when I was a third grade teacher. I just took it for granted. It’s one of the most complex, unnatural cognitive interactions that brain and environment have to coalesce together to produce. (G. Reid Lyon, Past- Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health)


Dr.Zvia Breznitz said:


    Let me say that the human brain has existed about 60,000 years as such. Yes, but no system was devoted alongside the evolution of language to reading.


Anne Cunningham, Director, Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education with the Graduate School of Education at the University of California-Berkeley has said:


    Reading is an unnatural act that we have to lead young children through in a very detailed and systematic way. As one colleague said, why would we leave a little seven year old to discover what took us thousands of years to discover as a human being?


James Wendorf, Executive Director, National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Reading is not natural.

It is obvious from the above that educators say things as if they had personally experienced something. Things are repeated often until one believes what one is saying.

Yesterday, 23.10.2020, I read in an article published by the Ohio State University.

Humans are born with a part of the brain that is prewired to be receptive to seeing words and letters, setting the stage at birth for people to learn how to read, a new study suggests.

Note: The above is on an article published on  ( 

We do not know for sure how accurate the report is. Let us wait for further development and meanwhile take it with a pinch of salt. However, I believe scientists will now study this aspect and soon will confirm that the brain is wired to learn whatever there is that needs to be learned.


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