There is a definite connection between reading and hearing, specifically auditory processing. The neuroscience literature provides ample evidence of the role of auditory processing in reading proficiency. The relation between reading and auditory processing is described in the PPT presentations and articles found on the Page devoted to Auditory Processing Disorders. The topic is also reviewed in the 2010 American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Clinical Guidelines on APD (www.audiology.org).
Here's an abstract from a paper I've given recently on one of the most exciting projects I've ever been involved in. I came up with the acronym for the EARS program one morning while taking a shower. The acronym "EARS" stands for Early Auditory Reading Success. For less than $30 per child, it's possible to find by screening for APD kindergarten students who are at great risk for reading failure, and to provide successful intervention for all kindergarten children at risk for reading failure (essentially those from impoverished settings). Intervention includes classroom FM amplification, a computer based program for improving auditory processing and reading readiness (Earobics), and small group instruction for those children who fail the APD screening. Read more about it in the available abstract, and PPT presentation. And, please consider implementing an EARS program in your public schools.
Abstract: Early Auditory Reading Success (EARS) Program: Audiologists can reduce reading failure.
The EARS program identified children in kindergarten at risk for reading failure secondary to auditory processing and language disorders, and provided intensive intervention before the end of the kindergarten year. A total of 295 children in four Title I schools underwent screening for auditory processing. Intervention included small group instruction for auditory skills and phonologic awareness, Earobics, and classroom FM systems. EARS children in 3rd grade showed better reading outcome than a control group. This session provides information required to implement the EARS program in a public school.