The Problem Looks Like…
A learner is reading along using left to right and top to bottom movement across the text. Suddenly, confusion arises. The reader is unsure where to read or bounces reading back and forth across the crease of the book.
Teach consistent movement across all text including words, sentences, pages and entire stories.
It’s Related to…
In English, all movements proceed from left to right and from the top of a page to the bottom. The left to right movement relates to individual letters, words, sentences, lines of print, pages and the book.
Directional Movement Across Words
Learners easily reverse words in both reading and writing. Reversed words can occur occasionally or frequently when the learner partially understands directionality. Once directionality is firmly established, the learner will notice the mismatch between the printed and spoken word, making a self-correction based on the mismatch.
Directional Movement Across Sentences
Only in the very earliest stages of literacy acquisition, will a learner attempt to read a sentence from right to left. However, understanding left to right across a sentence is different than across words and letters. Learners often remain confused at the letter, word and even page level even though left to right is consistent at the sentence level.
Directional Movement Across Pages
Directionality across pages requires both left to right and top to bottom movement. Additionally, movement applies to individual pages as well as across a two-page spread. In “Turn the Page…It’s Fun: A Concepts of Print Story” by Connie Dickison, directionality is illustrated across a two page spread.
However, consider the following illustration from “That’s Not Santa” by Leonard Kessler.
The learner must have a very strong understanding of directionality to avoid attempts to read across the top of both pages and then down, across both pages again.
Directional Movement across a Book
A directionality concept, which is confused mostly in very early reading, is turning pages of a book. Very early learners will freely turn pages from the back of the book to the front. Most often this occurs before the learner has the ability to read. It is one of the earliest directionality skills. This, along with holding a book with pictures facing right side up is very early indication that a pre-reader is developing directional understanding. In “Turn the Page…It’s Fun: A Concepts of Print Story” by Connie Dickison, labels for front and back cover as well as beginning and end of the story, guide the new reader to develop directional understanding.
Now That’s Better…
Readers hold a book with the spine oriented to the left and turns pages in proper sequence. Left to right movement is second nature across words, sentences and pages. Single page and double page layouts no longer cause confusion. The reader has experience reading many books and understands where to begin reading and which way to go, regardless of the layout.