Reading and Writing

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 91–115 | Cite as

Training letter and orthographic pattern recognition in children with slow naming speed

  • Nicole J. ConradEmail author
  • Betty Ann Levy


Although research has established that performance on a rapid automatized naming (RAN) task is related to reading, the nature of this relationship is unclear. Bowers (2001) proposed that processes underlying performance on the RAN task and orthographic knowledge make independent and additive contributions to reading performance. We examined the benefits of training orthographic pattern recognition and speeded letter recognition for children in Grades 1 and 2 with slow naming speed. Children first received training in either orthographic pattern recognition or speeded letter recognition, and then switched to the other type of training. Results indicated that speeded letter recognition can improve through training, but only when preceded by training in orthographic pattern recognition. Orthographic pattern recognition training improved the accuracy and speed of reading training words, whether training occurred alone or following letter training. Letter training prior to the orthographic training provided no additional benefit. Together, these results argue for the importance of orthographic training for children with slow naming speed.


Rapid automatized naming Intervention Orthography Naming speed 



The authors wish to thank the principals, teachers, parents, and especially the students who participated in and supported this work. We also thank Carolyn Breukelman, Samantha Minnet, and Bryan Lee for their assistance. This work was supported by an operating grant to the second author from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This experiment is part of the Ph.D. dissertation research of the first author. Portions of this paper were presented at the 10th annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (2003).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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