Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: September 2009

11 - Analyzing the reading abilities of four boys: educational implications


Overview: In order for neuropsychological research on dyslexia to be useful to educators and learning-disabled children, its educational implications must be laid out explicitly, and the working definitions and categories framing the neuropsychological research must be tested against the demonstrated needs of dyslexic children. The goal is to assure a good fit between the questions guiding the neuropsychological research and the questions asked by educators about their students. Brady translates the neuropsychological work, such as research on rapid serial naming, into recommendations for educational practice and indicates where neuropsychological research categories seem incongruent with the educational evidence. For example, research indicating that dyslexic children have phonological processing problems often has unclear implications, because several relevant skills, such as phonemic awareness and grapheme decoding, are unjustifiably lumped together. Progress on understanding dyslexia requires better analysis of the relations between written and oral language processing, including component reading skills.

The Editors

As Jane Holmes Bernstein describes in Chapter 14 (this volume), four boys varying in reading ability were filmed and given a battery of tests to provide a framework for discussion about current views on reading acquisition and reading difficulties. The boys are presented in three contexts. First, each is introduced and portions of his individual conversations with the tester are included, providing a brief window on each boy's language skills and personality. Next, samples of each child's performance on three of the rapid naming tasks are shown: color naming, letter naming, and object naming.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Adams, M. J., Foorman, B. R., Lundberg, I. & Beeler, T. (1998). Phoneme awareness in young children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Baddeley, A. (1986). Working memory. New York: Oxford University Press.
Badian, N. (1993). Phonemic awareness, naming, visual symbol processing, and reading. Reading and Writing: An Inter-disciplinary Journal, 5, 87–100.
Bear, D. R., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S. & Johnston, F. (2004). Words their way: Word study for phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.
Blachman, B. A. (1984). Relationship of rapid naming ability and language analysis skills to kindergarten and first-grade reading achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 610–22.
Blachman, B. A. (ed.) (1997). Foundations of reading acquisition and dyslexia: Implications for early intervention.Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Blachman, B. A., Ball, E. W., Black, R. & Tangel, D. M. (2000). Road to the code: A phonological awareness program for young children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Bowers, P. G. (1993). Text reading rereading: Predictors of fluency beyond word recognition. Journal of Reading Behavior, 25, 133–53.
Bowers, P. G. (1995). Tracing symbol naming speed's unique contributions to reading disabilities over time. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 7, 189–216.
Bowers, P. G. & Swanson, L. B. (1991). Naming speed deficits in reading disability: Multiple measures of a singular process. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 51, 195–219.
Brady, S. (1997). Ability to encode phonological representations: An underlying problem for poor readers. In Blachman, B. (ed.), Foundations of reading acquisition and dyslexia: Implications for early intervention. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Brady, S. (2004). Terminology matters: Sorting out the ‘Phon’ words in dyslexia. In Joshi, M. (ed.), Myths, misconceptions, and some practical applications. Baltimore, MD: International Dyslexia Association.
Brady, S. & Shankweiler, D. (eds) (1991). Phonological processes in literacy: A tribute to Isabelle Y. Liberman. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Byrne, B., Fielding-Barnsley, R. & Ashley, L. (2000). Effects of pre-school phoneme identity training after six years: Average benefits but no vaccination effects. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 659–67.
Catts, H., Fey, M., Zhang, X. & Tomblin, J. B. (1999). Language basis of reading and reading disabilities: Evidence from a longitudinal investigation. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3(4), 331–61.
Denckla, M. & Rudel, R. G. (1976). Rapid “automatized” naming (RAN): Dyslexia differentiated from other learning disabilities. Neuropsychologia, 14, 471–9.
Doehring, D. (1968). Patterns of impairment in specific reading disability. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press.
Ehri, L. (2000). Learning to read and learning to spell: Two sides of a coin. Topics in Language Disorders, 20(3), 19–36.
Ehri, L. & McCormick, S. (1998). Phases of word learning: Implications for instruction with delayed and disabled readers. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 14, 135–63.
Elbro, C. (1996). Early linguistic abilities and reading development: A review and a hypothesis about underlying differences in distinctness of phonological representations of lexical items. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 8, 453–85.
Fischer, K. W. (1980). Learning and problem solving as the development of organized behavior. Journal of Structural Learning, 6, 253–67.
Fischer, K. W., Yan, Z. & Stewart, J. (2003). Adult cognitive development: Dynamics in the developmental web. In Valsiner, J. & Connolly, K. (eds), Handbook of developmental psychology, 491–516. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ganske, K. (2000). Word journeys: Assessment-guided phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction. New York: The Guilford Press.
Goswami, U. (2002). Phonology, reading development and dyslexia: A cross-linguistic perspective. Annals of Dyslexia, 52, 1–23.
Gough, P. B. & Walsh, M. A. (1991). Chinese, Phoenicians, and the orthographic cipher of English. In Brady, S. A. and Shankweiler, D. P. (eds), Phonological processes in literacy: A tribute to Isabelle Y. Liberman, 199–210. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Katz, W., Curtiss, S. & Tallal, P. (1992). Rapid automatized naming and gesture by normal and language-impaired children. Brain and Language, 43, 623–41.
Korhonen, T. T. (1991). Neuropsychological stability and prognosis of subgroups of children with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24, 48–57.
Levy, B. A., Bourassa, D. C. & Horn, C. (1999). Fast and slow namers: Benefits of segmentation and whole word training. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 71, 45–61.
Liberman, I. Y. & Shankweiler, D. P. (1985). Phonology and the problems of learning to read and write. Remedial and Special Education, 6, 8–17.
Liberman, I. Y., Shankweiler, D. P., Orlando, C., Harris, K. & Bell-Berti, F. (1971). Letter confusions and reversals of sequence in the beginning reader: Implications for Orton's theory of developmental dyslexia. Cortex, 7, 127–42.
Lovett, M. W., Steinbach, K. A. & Frijters, J. C. (2000). Remediating the core deficits of developmental reading disbility: A double-deficit perspective. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 334–58.
Manis, F. F., Doi, L. M. & Bhadha, B. (2000). Naming speed, phonological awareness, and orthographic knowledge in second graders. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 325–33.
Manis, F. R., Seidenberg, M. S. & Doi, L. M. (1999). See Dick RAN: Rapid naming and the longitudinal predication of reading subskills in first and second graders. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3(2), 129–57.
Meyer, M. & Felton, R. H. (1999). Repeated reading to enhance fluency: Old aproaches and new directions. Annals of Dyslexia, 49, 283–307.
Meyer, M., Wood, , F. B., Hart, L. A. & Felton, R. H. (1998). The selective predictive values in rapid automatized naming within poor readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 31, 106–117.
Moats, L. (1995). Spelling development, disability, and instruction. Baltimore: York Press.
Morris, D., Blanton, L., Blanton, W. E., Nowacek, J. & Perney, J. (1995). Teaching low-spellers at their “instructional level.”The Elementary School Journal, 96, 163–77.
Nagy, W. E. & Anderson, R. C. (1984). How many words are there in printed school English?Reading Research Quarterly, 19, 304–330.
National Reading Panel Progress Report (2000).
Perfetti, C. A., Beck, L., Bell, L. & Hughes, C. (1987). Phonemic knowledge and learning to read are reciprocal: A longitudinal study of first grade children. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 33, 283–319.
Richardson, E. & DiBenedetto, B. (1985). Decoding Skills Test. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.
Robertson, C. & Salter, W. (1997). The Phonological Awareness Test. East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems, Inc.
Scarborough, H. S. (1998). Predicting the future achievement of second graders with reading disabilities: Contributions of phonemic awareness, verbal memory, rapid naming, and IQ. Annals of Dyslexia, 48, 115–36.
Scarborough, H. S. & Brady, S. A. (2002). Toward a common terminology for talking about speech and reading: A glossary of the “Phon” words and some related terms. Journal of Literacy Resarch, 34, 299–334.
Scarborough, H. S. & Domgaard, R. M. (1998). An exploration of the relationship between reading and rapid serial naming speed. A presentation at the annual conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, San Diego, CA, April, 1988.
Schatschneider, C., Carlson, C., Francis, D.,Foorman, B. & Fletcher, J. (2002). Relationship of rapid automatized naming and phonological awareness in early reading development: Implications for the double-deficit hypothesis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35, 245–56.
Shankweiler, D. (1999). Words to meanings. Scientific Studies of Reading, 3(2), 113–27.
Share, D. L. (1995). Phonological recoding and self-teaching: Sine qua non of reading acquisition. Cognition, 55, 151–218.
Siegel, L. S. (1999). Issues in the definition and diagnosis of learning disabilities: A perspective on Guckenberger v. Boston University. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32, 304–319.
Stanovich, K. E. (1999). The sociopsychometrics of learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32, 350–61.
Torgesen, J. K. & Mathes, P. (1998). What every teacher should know about phonological awareness. Reading research anthology: The Why? of reading instruction. Novato, CA: Arena Press.
Torgesen, J. K. & Mathes, P. (2000). A basic guide to understanding, assessing, and teaching phonological awareness. Austin, TX: PRO-ED Publishing, Inc.
Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R. K. & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Test of Word Reading Efficiency. Austin, TX: PRO-ED Publishing, Inc.
Tunmer, W. E. & Chapman, J. W. (1998). Language prediction skill, phonological reading ability, and beginning reading. In Hulme, C. & Joshi, R. M. (eds), Reading and spelling: Development and disorders, 33–67. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Tunmer, W. E. & Hoover, W. A. (1992). Cognitive and linguistic factors in learning to read. In Gough, P., Ehri, L. & Treiman, R. (eds), Reading Acquisition, 175–214. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Vellutino, F. R., Scanlon, D. M., Small, S. G. & Tanzman, M. S. (1991). The linguistic bases of reading ability: Converting written to oral language. Text, 11, 99–133.
Wagner, R. K. & Torgesen, J. (1987). The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 192–212.
Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., Laughon, P., Simmons, K. & Rashotte, C. A. (1993). Development of young readers' phonological processing abilities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 83–103.
Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K. & Rashotte, C. A. (1994). Development of reading-related phonological processing abilities: New evidence of bi-directional causality from a latent variable longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 30, 73–87.
Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K. & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processes. Austin, TX: PRO-ED Publishing, Inc.
Wiederholt, J. L. & Bryant, B. R. (1992). Gray Oral Reading Test – Third Edition. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.
Wise, B. (2001). The indomitable dinosaur builder (and how she overcame her phonological deficit and learned to read instructions and other things). Journal of Special Education, 35(3), 134–44.
Wolf, M. (1997). A provisional, integrative account of phonological and naming-speed deficits in dyslexia: Implications for diagnosis and intervention. In Blachman, B. (ed.), Foundations of reading acquisition and dyslexia: Implications for early intervention. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.
Wolf, M., Bally, H. & Morris, R. (1986). Automaticity, retrieval processes and reading: A longitudinal study in average and impaired readers. Child Development, 57, 988–1000.
Wolf, M. & Bowers, P. G. (1999). The “double-deficit hypothesis” for the developmental dyslexias. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 1–24.
Wolf, M., Bowers, P. G. & Biddle, K. (2000). Naming-speed processes, timing, and reading: A conceptual review. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33, 387–407.
Wolf, M. & Katzir-Cohen, T. (2001). Reading fluency and its intervention. Scientific Studies of Reading, 5, 211–39.
Wolff, P. H. & Melngailis, I. (1996). Reversing letters and reading transformed text in dyslexia: A reassessment. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 8, 341–55.
Woodcock, R. W. & Johnson, M. B. (1990). Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery – Revised. Allen, TX: DLM.