The Reading Brain (Part 2): The Phonological Path
Updated: Aug 10, 2022
Students decode a word using the phonological path until the word enters their sight word vocabulary.
This is the intentional decoding of a word, and it is slower and uses more mental capacity than sight recognition.
Students identify specific letters in a word.
Students convert those visual images into sounds and blend those sounds together into a word.
Students need to connect the word to meaning.
For the word bat, students (1) see the letters B, A, T, (2) convert the letters to sounds (/b/, /a/, /t/) and blend them together, and (3) connect the word bat to its correct meaning based on language comprehension (i.e., either a baseball bat or an animal bat).
The following figure is a simplified version of the reading brain using the phonological path (based on the work of Dehaene, 2009 and Strom, 2022).
Text and image from aLEARNcoach LLC (www.alearncoach.com).