Despite the accumulation of substantial cognitive science research relevant to education, there remains confusion and controversy in the application of research to educational practice. In support of a more systematic approach, we describe the Knowledge-Learning-Instruction (KLI) framework. KLI promotes the emergence of instructional principles of high potential for generality, while explicitly identifying constraints of and opportunities for detailed analysis of the knowledge students may acquire in courses. Drawing on research across domains of science, math, and language learning, we illustrate the (...) analyses of knowledge, learning, and instructional events that the KLI framework affords. We present a set of three coordinated taxonomies of knowledge, learning, and instruction. For example, we identify three broad classes of learning events (LEs): (a) memory and fluency processes, (b) induction and refinement processes, and (c) understanding and sense-making processes, and we show how these can lead to different knowledge changes and constraints on optimal instructional choices. (shrink)
Different writing systems in the world select different units of spoken language for mapping. Do these writing system differences influence how first language (L1) literacy experiences affect cognitive processes in learning to read a second language (L2)? Two groups of college students who were learning to read English as a second language (ESL) were examined for their relative reliance on phonological and orthographic processing in English word identification: Korean students with an alphabetic L1 literacy background, and Chinese students with a (...) nonalphabetic L1 literacy background. In a semantic category judgment task, Korean ESL learners made more false positive errors in judging stimuli that were homophones to category exemplars than they did in judging spelling controls. However, there were no significant differences in responses to stimuli in these two conditions for Chinese ESL learners. Chinese ESL learners, on the other hand, made more accurate responses to stimuli that were less similar in spelling to category exemplars than those that were more similar. Chinese ESL learners may rely less on phonological information and more on orthographic information in identifying English words than their Korean counterparts. Further evidence supporting this argument came from a phoneme deletion task in which Chinese subjects performed more poorly overall than their Korean counterparts and made more errors that were phonologically incorrect but orthographically acceptable. We suggest that cross-writing system differences in L1s and L1 reading skills transfer could be responsible for these ESL performance differences. (shrink)
Languages may get the writing system they deserve or merely a writing system they can live with – adaption without optimization. A universal theory of reading reflects the general dependence of writing on language and the adaptations required by the demands of specific languages and their written forms. The theory also can be informed by research that addresses a specific language and orthography, gaining universality through demonstrating adaptations to language and writing input.