Big myth: language is processed in one specific area of the brain. Actually, language, in general, and word recognition, in particular, is a “whole brain” process that involves lots of cooperation between regions in the brain.
We see, understand, and process words so quickly that we often don’t recognize this as a “process” – we just do it.
How about an example?
Read this out loud: APPLE.
You see it; recognize it as a real word; give it meaning; pull up an image; and then say the word based on what you have heard and know – all in a millisecond. I count at least 6 different tasks here that all rely on the library of words, images, meanings, contexts, and sounds stored in multiple locations of your brain. The word APPLE also brings up a sensory experience that fires up those areas that help you understand smells, taste, and feel. Huge impact from one word.
I love the following non-traditional word game. It is a great vocabulary and recall workout but you can also vary it and bring in other brain processes to expand the impact.
Find as many words as you can using the letters in the wheel. Every word must include the letter in the middle of the wheel. Let’s make it more interesting and involve a few more areas in your brain. Identify a word. Say it out loud. Then use it in a sentence that gives it some kind of context – one that triggers either a sensory or emotional experience. Here is your example.
My word is GRANT. My sentence is: I grant you permission to have fun as you build a better brain today! (Did you smile when you read that sentence?)