Why Working Memory Helps Children Learn how to Read


How does dyslexia affect memory?

Video taken from the channel: Reading Horizons


Working Memory and Learning

Video taken from the channel: tvoparents


Supporting Students with Working Memory Challenges

Video taken from the channel: Pawan A


Why is working memory important?

Video taken from the channel: SAGE Publishing


Working Memory Problems following directions? Poor Reading comprehension?

Video taken from the channel: Building Better Brains Lorraine Driscoll


Joni Holmes Working memory and classroom learning

Video taken from the channel: Cambridge University Press ELT


ADHD and Working Memory (English)

Video taken from the channel: AboutKidsHealth

Why Working Memory Helps Children Learn to Read Mental Processes Needed for Reading. Reading is more than recognizing letters and the sounds they represent. Children The Role of Short-Term Memory on Reading Comprehension.

Short-term memory plays a. The better a child’s auditory working memory is, the easier this process is. Working memory is also important for remembering the sequence of what is being read. The team at All Kinds of Minds explains that working memory helps students juggle ideas and information while reading. Therefore, students who struggle with working memory may have a.

Working memory difficulties often co-exist with other issues, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and AD/HD but they can also be a stand-alone problem. It can be hard to get your head around what working memory actually is, let alone how to go about reducing the impact of a working memory problem on your child’s learning. Working memory involves the ability to keep information active in your mind for a short time (2-3 seconds) to be able to use it for further processing.

Working memory is a temporary storage system and is vital for many day-to-day tasks (e.g. following instructions, responding in conversations, listening and reading comprehension, organisation). Working memory enables your child to hold on to and visualize the numbers the teacher has called out. It also allows her to remember what the sum of 21 and 13 is, so she can then take away 6. Your child might not remember any of these numbers by the next class or even 10 minutes later.

Working memory is the ability to hold information in mind while performing complex tasks. A young child is able to execute simple tasks — sharpen his pencil when asked — while one in middle school can remember the expectations of multiple teachers. Working memory is often referred to our brain’s ‘Post-It Note’ as it helps us remember and process information simultaneously. We use our working memory to keep track of information until we need to use it. It helps us remember and perform multistep instructions, and plays a huge role in our ability to focus and concentrate on tasks.

Working memory is also key to. linking to information held in long-term semantic memory stores to provide the meaning and pronunciation of words. holding and sequencing sounds for spelling and also for composing, holding, and connecting ideas in written text. reading comprehension and reading fluency. There are various ways to improve auditory working memory””the key is to get your child used to absorbing information through oral communication. Some children have a strong visual working memory but when they have to rely solely on their auditory working memory then. Working memory refers to how we manipulate information stored in our short-term memory.

Children use this all the time to learn, read, and follow everyday instructions. Improving your child’s working memory is a powerful way to improve their reading fluency, vocabulary, and.

List of related literature:

It is especially helpful in providing a boost to those children who are experiencing mild reading problems.

“Overcoming Dyslexia (2020 Edition): Second Edition, Completely Revised and Updated” by Sally Shaywitz, M.D., Jonathan Shaywitz MD
from Overcoming Dyslexia (2020 Edition): Second Edition, Completely Revised and Updated
by Sally Shaywitz, M.D., Jonathan Shaywitz MD
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2008

These studies suggest that, as reported in the West, about 10% of children have difficulty in reading because of factors such as deficits in auditory sequential memory, visual–verbal association, and word analysis and synthesis skills.

“Handbook of Orthography and Literacy” by R. Malatesha Joshi, P.G. Aaron
from Handbook of Orthography and Literacy
by R. Malatesha Joshi, P.G. Aaron
Taylor & Francis, 2013

Several studies show that patterns of brain activation are different in children and adults with or without reading problems when they engage in various phonological and reading tasks (e.g., Cao et al., 2006).

“Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology: Pearson New International Edition CourseSmart eTextbook” by Rita Wicks-Nelson
from Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology: Pearson New International Edition CourseSmart eTextbook
by Rita Wicks-Nelson
Taylor & Francis, 2015

Children who lack fluency read slowly and laboriously, often making it difficult for them to remember what has been read (recall the limited capacity of working memory) and to relate the ideas expressed in the text to their own experiences.

“How the Brain Learns” by David A. Sousa
from How the Brain Learns
by David A. Sousa
SAGE Publications, 2011

Children who can recognize letters and letter patterns quickly and automatically can devote more attention to decoding and storing words in memory, thus building the large sight word vocabulary essential for fluent reading.

“Early Reading Assessment: A Practitioner's Handbook” by Natalie Rathvon
from Early Reading Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook
by Natalie Rathvon
Guilford Publications, 2004

Little research is available on specific precursor variables that influence the reading development in children with ID.

“Evidence-Based Practices in Deaf Education” by Harry Knoors, Marc Marschark
from Evidence-Based Practices in Deaf Education
by Harry Knoors, Marc Marschark
Oxford University Press, 2018

Now instead of learning to read, the child is reading to learn, able to get new information and derive fuller meaning from print because the decoding process has become well-learned and goes on automatically, below the level of consciousness.

“Language Disorders from Infancy Through Adolescence E-Book: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Communicating” by Rhea Paul, Courtenay Norbury, Carolyn Gosse
from Language Disorders from Infancy Through Adolescence E-Book: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Communicating
by Rhea Paul, Courtenay Norbury, Carolyn Gosse
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017

• All kids can benefit from practice bolstering active working memory during reading.

“A Mind at a Time” by Mel Levine
from A Mind at a Time
by Mel Levine
Simon & Schuster, 2002

It merely shows that, in the absence of reading instruction and knowledge of letter-sound correspondences, children can approach a reading task by solving the problem of memorizing words but without learning how the system works.

“Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children” by National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children, Peg Griffin, M. Susan Burns, Catherine E. Snow
from Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children
by National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, et. al.
National Academies Press, 1998

Rather than thinking about stimulating “the reading part of the brain,” we can now be more precise in helping kids with specific sub-elements, such as working memory, phoneme development, or pronunciation.

“Neuromyths: Debunking False Ideas About The Brain” by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa
from Neuromyths: Debunking False Ideas About The Brain
by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa
W. W. Norton, 2018

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

View all posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • All this year I thought I was alone with this problem. It is really nice to see that other people had the same problem to deal with

  • I just wish that employers were more understanding of people with learning disabilities. The academic world is very supportive, but once you get to the “real” working world LDs are seen as handicaps.

  • Thanks for this. My experience isn’t this straight forward but it definitely explains the outcomes of how I missed info or how I’m aware someone said something to me but I immediately forgot.

  • I know this was not targeted to ADHD people but this video is a good example of how as an ADHDer, I can easily get lost. Pulsating cloud, unclear illustration of the kid’s haircut/brain, flying, swirling, and turning text, bumping pizza slice, all the different colors and different fonts. On top of that, the verbal explanation at the same time as the visuals and the next video queueing up at the end. Distraction overload for this poor brain. A++ and so very very grateful for people who make videos likes this to explain ADHD to others.

  • Lisa Archibald looks like Lynette Scavo (Felicity Hoffman) from Desperate Housewives:-D. Anyways: Working Memory is found in Short Term Memory and when you rehearse in STM the information goes into Long Term Memory. And retrieval is not always possible due to brain damage. So you may exercise your brain so much in working memory, but that doesn’t mean that you will be able to retrieve that information.

  • I was beat for not being able to read. A narcissists mother school teacher loved to play the victim of a loving mother who’ child would not learn just to spite her.

  • I am not dyslexic, but a number of important people in my life are. At times it has been very difficult for me to understand their thought processes and make sense of what they were trying to do, and why they sometimes appeared to make everything more difficult. In my struggles, I came across the book “The Gift of Dyslexia” by Ronald D. Davis. It was written by a dyslexic doctor and gives concrete steps and examples on how to teach words and writing to dyslexic people, and helped me understand their thought processes better. I now lend it out to anyone I meet who might benefit from it especially parents with young kids that are struggling in school.

    I HIGHLY recommend it, and it is available at Amazon, among other places:


    I hope this can help even more people. Good luck!

  • I remember presenting a group PowerPoint to a class, I memorised everything I had to say in the order of the dot points on my slides, when It was my turn, someone from my team switched around the dot points, so I was just stuck there speechless and told off by the teacher as ‘letting my team down’

  • I really like this explanation. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was an adult but this explains really well how I find ADHD works for me. When i’m learning and a lot of information is being pushed at me I find “I fill up” and everything else is quickly forgotten. Other people get frustrated that i’m not listening or faking that I have forgotten information. But the bucket is full. I need to process the current information into long term memory being learning more. This type of learning doesn’t work well in traditional teaching environments.

  • i’m dyslexic i have and eidetic memory, for instance i can reproduce the high lighter markings but i can’t remember the words on the page. please how can i remember lots of words? the subjects i am doing are science memory based.

  • As a parent of a child with working memory issues and a teacher of a grade 2 classroom, thank you. This confirms some things for me.

  • People with low working working memory has ir because they are not producing resultat using the working memory they instead use short time memory and Montreal memory using their intuition

  • This explains SO much as to why I never understood how other students knew about things the teacher told us, and I always wondered “where was a I!?”

  • Short Time is the ability to hold a unit in mind
    Working memory is the ability to manipulate that though
    Long time is the ability to remember what, why and how you did it

  • Neuroscience has already proven that with enough training you can train the human brain to perform any cognitive skill.

    Thanks for the upload.

  • I have Autism, PTSD, ADHD (tested at less than %2 of the ADHD population for severity… in other words “clinically severe”), impairments in working memory and processing speed. In college (full time) I had a 3.9-4.0 GPA until I got sick. I now battle a long term illness, which dropped my GPA down to a 3.78-3.8 (by the last two semesters). This is not a death sentence. Nor is it a precursor for failure. I learned a trick which changed this for me. If I attach an image to something I want to learn in a list form, I go from a memory that doesn’t work at all, to a photographic one that remembers everything. Not only do I remember these lists of hundreds of items… I have never forgotten any of them and can tell them to you backwards and forwards years later. This is not an impairment. People with this issue are not being taught to understand how their individual mind works and how use them. I failed school until I learned how to use my mind in a manner that works for me. THIS is the approach a person needs to take. You give me any student with a working memory impairment and I will give you one back with a strength people envy. I have done it successfully with kids in my family and with friends and their kids. It works. Stop trying to mold them into YOUR learning design and understand the NATURE of their design, then utilize the strengths that it comes with. ADVANCE their unique NATURAL abilities as strengths to compensate and to promote/advance their quality of life and successful futures. If someone had done that for me, I would have been an A student my entire life. Instead I was treated like “the kid who can’t” instead of like “the kid who processes uniquely so we teach THIS way”.

  • This was absolutely my experience in school hahaha Thank you for explaining that, I don’t feel as bad about myself now. I can see now it wasn’t my fault

  • i can dyslexic and i can speak fluent english and i am weak at math but still i believe can surpass it becaues alot people surpassed
    i can be einstein if he can then we can its not impos.

  • I hate it when people go like “you can’t read well, thus you every opinion will be discarded”… everyone should have every disability for at least one day in their lives, we need to know how the others are feeling.

  • Short time memory is the ability to hold a unit in mind
    working memory is the ability to do something with that unit
    Long time is the ability to retort what, how, why

  • You speak very accurately to the memory issues associated with dyslexia. I can read a paragraph and will not recall most of what I read moments later. It makes reading for me slow and exhausting and writing too. You are spot on with the sequential and organizational challenges that we face as well as the overload that we can experience. Thank you!

  • She’s right about a lot of things there. I struggled as a student because I just didn’t fit in a classroom environment, I did amazing in the lab environment.
    I thought I was a loser all my school life..but I was a winner all my ongoing professional life. It’s the teachers that need to be educated. Thank you for the video.

  • I watched a lecture on short-term memory and working memory and read few posts about it.

    This is, so far, the best explanation I’ve come across.

    Thank you for uploading this clip.

  • This video explains so well what I go through. It hurts when people tell me that I don’t try. I know there are benefits from ADHD but my biggest challenge is working with other people. I struggle to listen to instructions and I get bored very fast.

  • I’ve struggled with memory for a long time the pieces are slowly coming together I had no idea not being able to read as a efficiently as another person was even a symptom for instance it can take me up to a week or more to finish reading a 150 page book on average and reading the same page over and over

  • Always struggled with memory issues. I have bad recall untill i see a visual aid such as a photo etc. Telling me a set of verbal instructions literally takes all of my concentration to complete even if its a simple instruction like a simple cooking recipe and usually end up having to ask again how to do something so my audio learning skills and working memory aint great. Yet im a fantastic problem solver.. great with puzzles and numbers. Always though i was dumb untill later in life when i learned about dyslexia

  • For people who do no have knowledge about special needs, in this case about ADHD, this awareness clip is a precious gift of learning to better understand.
    I wish there was more similar clips covering most of special needs topics.
    Thank you!

  • This so relates to me, I’m fine with reading and writing i have a higher iq and I’m in top set for everything yet in maths and when I’m being ordered around, suddenly i just flip and take a minutes to take back and recall everything i have to do

  • I really think that I am dyslexic but I don’t know. I have a few friends who have been identified as dyslexic as well and we share a lot of learning difficulties that many people in my classes don’t. I have been tested but my math scores and writing scores were really high but my comprehension came back very low. I know there’s a range of dyslexia where everyone is not the same. I don’t have too much trouble with spelling but I have a lot of trouble with getting my thoughts organised into sentences. Everything I think of I see as images and I find it really hard to describe the images I see into sentences. This has been an on going issue since early childhood and it’s beginning to affect my grades severely. My teachers think I’m not listening when I am but I just cannot show them the images I see in my head. So when someone else says the answer in words, I know that’s what I meant but just couldn’t get it out. I also struggle to understand something straight away and need time to stop and really think about it and formulate images so that I can understand. I can memorise words and phrases but it doesn’t mean a thing when there’s no imagine attached to the word. I really don’t know if I’m just stupid or I have a form of dyslexia or even something else that I probably have not heard of. Anyone who has read this far and knows something please let me know, because I am really struggling with my education and daily life.

  • I have dyslexia. I have short-term/ working memory issues. And in school they helped me with phonics. I wish that all kids would be taught phonics. It was very helpful for me.

  • my hole life I always thought I was dyslexic after watching many videos I relized that yes I am dyslexia my question is dose your memory get worse as you age I notice that the older I get the worse I get memory gets
    (sorry for any spelling erors I gave up on spell check it never gets my words rite)

  • I could take apart a car engine and put it back together without the manual. Its not dyslexia thats the problem its the school system!!!

  • Oh my this description of how the child’s mind works with ADHD fits me perfectly I’ve never ever heard anybody describe it quite that way but that’s exactly what I feel with sensory overload.


  • And as i watch this im distracted by at least 3 distractions. I pick up my phone again and oh…..that’s where i was. Not to mention im no kid anymore. Im 51 years old. This never goes away. You only learn to deal with it.

  • A recent analysis by Adam Chudhurski (2013) shows that without time constraints, the correlation between fluid intelligence and working memory capacity are largely reduced, and performance on fluid tasks becomes dependent on long-term memory;  retrieval fluency, associative memory, and relational learning.   Because Europeans emphasize speed and linearity in thought, they score higher on Raven’s tests, however, without time any practical time limit (inter-day measures) a small percentage of individuals would do very well, at least through certain periods in development, in rarer cases exceeding between 1 to 2 standard deviations above there timed scores. This phenomena has been noted by high IQ (technically, high IEQ) societies.  Conventional IQ tests are very carefully designed to be biased against certain minority groups.  Currently many theorists of dual processing emphasize the importance of perception and associative-heuristic processes.  Even the those who tend to downplay the role of perception on intelligence, like Johnathan Evans, acknowledge it’s relevance to inductive thinking (feature-based induction).  What IQ proponents have long taken for granted, is essentially, pre-analytic processing that accounts for designing the ‘novel set’ which is then analyzed for structure.  Tests such as the Raven’s which provide relations in A,B,C form, and demand a subject to uncover underlying structure, take for granted, that elements of the set, [A, B, C], have been PROVIDED to the individual, and NOT SELECTED by the individual.  In the pre-analytic phase of thought, the associative-heuristic system utilizes low level inductive and statistical based processes, to select elements to form a unique set.  For example, [A,B,C].   After the set is structured, analytical thinking becomes relevant in uncovering the structural relationship between the elements (in this case, 1, +1,+1, between A,B,C).  There is less argument towards the claim, as IQ proponents make, that a solution to a problem is ‘novel’, when none of the elements to solve the problem have been selected by the individual.  In fact, with IQ tasks, the entire set of elements are spoon-fed to the subject, and the only thing relevant is analysis.  (As if the cure for cancer is all jumbled up in one sentence, just waiting for someone to look at). Real world-problem solving requires relating broader concepts in viable permutations, through selective and analytical (IQ) processing.  Novelty relates to the ‘rarity’ of an solution, not any particular process which it may be a result of.   And Intelligence is a largely dynamic, developmental quality, that can never be pinned down by any test,  especially rigid measures that are conventionally used.  Maybe one day, we can infer a person’s limitations from elements of structure, but that day has not yet come.  For now, achievements (accolades) are usually better indicators of intellectual functioning

  • I have recently learned that I am Dyslexic at age 34, as I have returned to University.

    This fits me, I struggle to remember lots of information especially when reading or sometimes listening. Also I struggle to explain the information in my own words. I remember as a child I knew this about myself but I had coped with it by writing many notes, actually I was literally just transcribing what was said. Also if you told me something like five minutes later I wouldn’t remember much of what was said. So I would constantly write down the information.

    For me to remember, I am a hands on/tactile learner and following a visual learner. I need to apply the information to experiences, activities, or practical information to understand and remember.

    Thank you for posting.

  • YES!!! Great concise and clear video. I am a reading specialist and have been interested in the connection to verbal short term memory for a long time. You tied it all together in a neat package!