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Game-based learning for dyslexic children

Game-based learning for dyslexic children

Psychologists have developed a new computer game to aid learning in children with dyslexia. The game is based on the coordination of shapes and sounds and is suitable for children between the ages of 4-7 years under adult supervision. The computer game developed by Finnish psychologists exposes the child to sounds of varying intensity, pitch and frequency. The sounds are correlated with rectangles that move up and down with the pattern of sounds. The child has to recognise the pattern of sounds and the corresponding shape with it. Correct matching is rewarded. The game also includes identification of the pattern of sounds and recognising the end of a particular sequence. The 24 children exposed to the game over a period of time reportedly showed an increase in the ability to read and the speed of reading. Monitoring of brain activity in these children also showed an increased ability of the brain to process auditory input. Dyslexia is a biological condition which is characterised by an inability to read and write due to abnormality in the region of the brain associated with language. The study showed that the problem with language in dyslexic children is not so much due to their inability to “read” words, as in their inability to discern the “sounds” of words. This is especially true for English speaking children since similar words can be pronounced in different ways in the language, the traditional example being the difference in the pronunciation of “to” and “go”. Dyslexic children are unable to grasp these subtle nuances of language and thus may have trouble in reading. Educators have for long maintained that the brain of dyslexics are different and they may have many other capabilities which need to be recognised and worked upon. Problems associated with dyslexia can be overcome to a large extent if it is identified early and these children can be easily integrated into mainstream society. Such games may not only make learning fun, but may also help boost the confidence of dyslexic children.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2001
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