Comprehension and the silent reader

Elspeth Jajdelska, Sue Ellis, AHRC (Funder)

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Dr Elspeth Jajdelska's work on the rise of silent reading in the 18th century has shown that writers who assume a silent reader, as almost all writers do in the present day, construct their texts differently from those who write for readers to speak the text aloud to themselves or an audience, as almost all writers did before the 18th century.Elspeth Jajdelska's work explains in detail exactly which kinds of textual features are likely to be difficult for people (both now and in the past) who have learned the mechanics of reading but find it hard to follow texts written for silent readers. These findings arose in an academic field unconnected to educational studies and this knowledge exchange project was established to explore how the research can be made useful to teachers. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages61
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • education
  • silent reader
  • reading
  • writing
  • teaching
  • learning

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