What is Scarborough’s Rope?
- Scarborough’s Rope is a model used to represent the many attributes of skilled literacy.
- The rope is made up of two major strands: language comprehension and word recognition.
- Each of the two major strands are made up of several individual strands.
- Parents are ideally situated to help the child with language comprehension, and schools/teachers are ideally situated to help the child with word recognition.
- The parent plays a crucial and significant role in helping its child develop the language comprehension skills necessary for fluency and understanding
What makes up the word recognition cord?
- Phonological awareness: awareness of the sounds in the words
- Decoding: knowledge of how these sounds are encoded and decoded by the alphabet
- Sight recognition: automaticity with frequently occurring words
What makes up the language comprehension cord?
- Background knowledge: readers depend on background knowledge to make sense of what they are reading. Those with background knowledge are more likely to find the text more interesting, easier to focus on, and less taxing on their brains.
- Vocabulary: an extensive and rich vocabulary helps a reader make more sense of the text because it allows him or her to connect the string of sounds to a thought, idea, or concept. Consequently, the child will be able to access it more easily the next time he or she comes across it.
- Language structures: children acquire varied syntax structure over time through exposure and discussion of the language presented to them.
- Verbal reasoning: readers must look beyond the words to infer meaning from what is being said, what is not being said, and how it is being said. Talk to the child about the meaning of words, phrases, tones of voice and body language and about what he/she is observing in the world.
- Literary knowledge: expose the child to a variety of literary styles, including a variety of stories, themes, cultures, and purposes.
For ideas on what you can do with your child to develop their literary skills, scroll to the bottom of the original source, listed below.