• Dr. Weston Johnson

The Reading Brain (Part 2): The Phonological Path

Updated: 3 days ago

Students decode a word using the phonological path until the word enters their sight word vocabulary.

This is an intentional decoding of the word that is slower and uses more mental capacity.

  1. Students identify specific letters in a word.

  2. Students convert those visual images into sounds and blend those sounds together into a word.

  3. 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).

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