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Research Articles

Gestalt Imagery: A Critical Factor in Language Comprehension

Bell, N. (1991). Gestalt imagery: A critical factor in language comprehension. Annals of Dyslexia, 41(1), 246-260. doi:10.1007/BF02648089

Gestalt imagery—the ability to create imaged wholes—is a critical factor in oral and written language comprehension. Despite good decoding, good vocabulary, and adequate background experiences, many individuals experience weak gestalt imagery, thus processing “parts” rather than “wholes,” from verbal stimuli, spoken or written. This contributes to a Language Comprehension Disorder that may be accompanied by a commonality of symptoms: weak reading comprehension, weak oral language comprehension, weak oral language expression, weak written language expression, difficulty following directions, and a weak sense of humor. Sequential stimulation using an inquiry technique develops gestalt imagery and results in significant improvement in reading comprehension.

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