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Memory Span, Naming Speed, and Memory Strategies in Poor and Normal Readers

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Eleven-year-old severely impaired poor readers failed to show a word length effect with pictorial presentation, but showed an effect of equal magnitude to that of reading age and chronological age controls with auditory presentation. The lack of a pictorial word length effect was unlikely to be due to slow speed of naming skills, as in one study these were at least as fast as those of the reading age controls. It is possible that the poor readers failed to verbally encode the pictures. However, they reported using verbal rehearsal, and lip movements were often observed during presentation, suggesting that they did verbally encode the items. Therefore they may have failed to show a word length effect because they did not retrieve information from the phonological store at recall. Although the poor readers had impaired naming speed skills for their age on both discrete item identification and articulation rate tasks, they could not be equated with their chronological age controls on memory span or reading when these naming speed differences were controlled. However, the groups were matched on the naming speed measures when differences in reading ability were controlled.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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