23 - 26 January 2019
ExCel London

Marco the Malta Bus Reading Scheme using visual memory

17 Nov 2017 by: Dr Margaret Evans Marco The Malta Bus Ltd


Marco the Malta Bus encourages children to learn to read. Book 1 includes 25% of the words found in children's literature according to Warwick University. Inside Science March 2015 article, 'Picturing Words Makes Faster Readers' stated: "Understanding how the visual word form area changes as new words – whether real or fake – are learned could help people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia."

"In reading impairment, people often have trouble forming the association between letters and sounds, and that's how reading is normally taught," said Max Riesenhuber of Georgetown University.  "Our paper shows that you can have this visual route to reading [instead], so we learn words as a visual pattern rather than sounding it out."

Visually based methods of reading acquisition are also very suited to children with EAL, and so Marco is currently in 9 languages which are totally interchangeable. Memory flash cards, ebooks and audio book CDs with action songs are incorporated into the scheme.

By learning to recognise the basic words as images children kick-start the reading process, which thrills them.  Today's children are using their visual skills frequently for many activites The books offer a paired reading opportunity with an adult, including amusing and boldly coloured illustrations.  Learned words are printed in bold amidst the delightful stories so the children can become word detectives.  Teachers can listen to the aduio version of the book to aid pronunication of foreign languages, and use the action songs in class to encourage inclusion. Our video of Marco the Malta Bus theme can be found by following the link below. Music orignally composed by Richard Brown for BBC Playdays.



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