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Vancouver Learning Centre Newsletter


Presenting a Service to Students, Parents, Teachers, Colleagues, Friends, and Policy Makers in Education, Special Education and Psychology


Vol.1 No.4                                                                                     October 2011



If you would like to speak to us directly about how we can help call 604-738-2277

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Breaking News in this Issue


Dr. Stanilas Dehaene, professor and chair of experimental cognitive psychology at the College de France, Paris, reports in his book, Reading in the Brain, on his research into how the brain reads.  From his work we learn for the first time exactly what is happening in the brain as the eye scans text in reading.  He pinpoints an area of the brain that he calls the brain's "letterbox."  Understanding this allows us to determine the best methods for teaching reading, and four methods of teaching reading currently in use at the Vancouver Learning Centre are described that best support the brain's natural process for reading. 


  Upcoming Topics in Future Newsletters



Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read, Part Two 


This is a continuation of the research reported in Part One in this Newsletter.  We go deeper to consider the way the brain allows us to attach meaning to what we read through its "mental lexicon or dictionary."


How We Learn Mathematics 


In a subsequent issue we will look at the equally exciting research on How the Brain Learns Mathematics.


New Reading Program


The Vancouver Learning Centre

embarks on the delivery of a new brain-friendly reading program for

children aged 3-8+.


Teaching using this method will be introduced in the fall of 2011  into all appropriate programs at the Vancouver Learning Centre. Pilot programs for small groups are planned for the beginning of 2012. To participate contact  


New Services

We are pleased to announce two new enhanced services  


Underachievement due to English as a Second Language.

 We offer special programs to  support children who were not brought up in the English culture and who are having difficulty in school. (read more)   


Underachievement due to Transfer from French Immersion to English Language Instruction.

 We offer special program support to children who are transferring to English instruction from French Immersion and who are having difficulty in school (read more).

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This Newsletter provides Breaking News on quality scientific research and information on new findings and their implications in the field of Neuroplasticity from the emerging discipline of Educational Neuroscience.
Author and Principal of the Vancouver Learning CentreGerri's preferred photo



Geraldine Schwartz PhD, MA, BA

Registered Psychologist

Member of the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (CRHSPP)


Reading in the Brain:
The New Science of How We Read
Part One
Considering that writing and reading were invented only 5400 years ago, that the alphabet system was developed only 3800 years ago, and that human literacy has been widespread for only 100 years, how is it that the primate human brain (which evolved under conditions that did not include reading) can perform a complex task like reading?  Indeed, how is it that reading in any language is processed in the same way in the brain's newly named "letterbox" area?

The exciting answers to these questions and others that follow from them will be described in detail in two parts, beginning with Part One in this Newsletter and continuing with Part Two in the next Newsletter in November 2011.  Essentially, the brain's ability to read derives  from its feature known as neuroplasticity, which enables it to expand and develop in specific areas that support the reading process.

You will learn in Part One that literacy actually changes the physical brain.  By understanding how this happens we can determine the best ways to teach reading, and I describe four methods now in use at the Vancouver Learning Centre that respect the brain's learning process.  In Part Two, we go deeper to consider the way the brain allows us to attach meaning to what we read through its "mental lexicon or dictionary."

The work is reported through my own filter of three decades of experience in educational and neuropsychological assessment, educational program design, and delivery of remedial and rehabilitation programs at the Vancouver Learning Centre to children, youth and young adults with learning difficulties and differences.

There is so much in these exciting new findings to share.  Read more



What Makes Us Unique

For more than three decades the Vancouver Learning Centre has been providing a unique educational service in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. What makes us special is the way we provide and combine services specifically focused on achieving the best possible outcome for our students.


The Vancouver Learning Centre offers a full service package to our clients consisting of a neuropsychological and educational assessment, rehabilitation program design, and one-to-one teaching services to the whole range of learners from the severely challenged to the gifted.  


We invite you to read more in order to explore the features that make us unique and to contact us to discuss how we can help you. 


We hope you found this information to be of value.  We would love to hear from you and answer any questions. If you know of others who could benefit from our services, please let us know or forward this Newsletter using the link below. 


Geraldine Schwartz PhD


Vancouver Learning Centre