Predictors of single word spelling in English-speaking children: A cross-sectional study

Georgia Z. Niolaki (Lead / Corresponding author), Janet Vousden, Aris R. Terzopoulos, Laura M. Taylor, Shani Hall, Jackie Masterson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    58 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: The study aimed to explore to what extent variables associated with lexical and sublexical spelling processes predicted single word spelling ability and whether patterns of lexical and sublexical processes were different across ages.

    Methods: Beginning (mean age 7 years, N = 144) and advanced (mean age 9 years, N = 114) English-speaking spellers completed tasks associated with sublexical processing (phonological ability and phonological short-term memory), lexical processing (visual short-term memory and visual attention span) and factors known to predict spelling (e.g., rapid automatised naming).

    Results: Phonological ability, rapid automatised naming, visual short-term memory and visual attention span were significant predictors of spelling accuracy for beginning spellers, while for more advanced spellers, only visual attention span was a significant predictor.

    Conclusions: The findings suggested that for beginning spellers, both lexical and sublexical processes are important for single word spelling, but with increasing literacy experience, lexically related variables are more important.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)577-596
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Research in Reading
    Issue number4
    Early online date28 Sept 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


    • phonological ability (PA)
    • rapid automatised naming (RAN)
    • spelling
    • visual attention span processing (VAS)
    • visual short-term memory (VSTM)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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