chapter  16
Teaching children with severe learning difficulties: routes to word recognition using logographic symbols
Pages 15

Teaching word recognition to children with severe learning difficulties (formerly referred to as ‘mental retardation’) is a controversial topic. Practitioners and educational researchers promote the use of pictorial and logographic symbols as part of a facilitative pedagogy for teaching word recognition. However there also exists an established body of psychological research to indicate that these approaches are no more effective than the presentation of words alone, and may hinder learning. This chapter begins by critically considering the use of symbols in this context and then discusses a new pedagogical approach based on the characteristics of logographic reading, the handle technique. This has some empirical support and is based on the local feature hypothesis of early word recognition.