Who is Charles Perfetti?
Dr. Charles Perfetti – Word Recognition and Comprehension
Dr. Charles Perfetti is Professor of Psychology and Linguistics and the Senior Scientist and Project Director of the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Perfetti's central research interest is in the cognitive science of language and reading processes. His work on the relationship between word recognition and comprehension is part of the bedrock of modern thought about reading.
WORD RECOGNITION AND COMPREHENSION:
Dr. Charles Perfetti: At that point it was only about comprehension. I was just struck by the fact that kids who had trouble understanding what they read, if you looked at them closely, they had trouble reading words. They either took longer or sometimes we asked the teacher to identify kids having problems and she’d say ‘Well, this kid reads words just fine but he can’t understand what he reads.’ We’d say okay and we’d go test him and we’d find out that, well yes, if you weren’t looking really closely, if you had him read a list of words he would read most of the words accurately. But if you measured the time it was taking him or the difficulty he was having, you almost always found that there was some problem in word reading.
David Boulton: There’s still quite a confusion with that today. People say that the student seems to be able to decode words fine so that isn’t the problem. And yet on closer inspection it seems that the efficiency with which they’re decoding the word, recognizing the word, is definitely having an impact on the resources necessary for subsequent comprehension.