Serial naming and reading tasks yield greater deficits in poor readers

Serial naming and reading tasks yield greater deficits in poor readers

First Author: Angeliki Altani -- University of Alberta
Additional authors/chairs: 
Athanassios Protopapas; Megan Boonstra; Brooklyn Ryan; George K Georgiou
Keywords: Poor readers, Rapid naming, Word reading, Word naming, Grade 3
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: The study aimed to examine differences between Grade 3 children with and without reading difficulties in their performance on serial and discrete naming and reading tasks.
Methods: Participants included 100 typically developing readers of English and 47 children with reading difficulties from Grade 3. We administered eight naming tasks, with four different types of stimuli, each administered in serial and in discrete format. Materials included alphanumeric (digits), nonalphanumeric (objects), and orthographic (words and number words) stimuli. All words were well-matched across conditions. A naming rate in items per second was derived from each participant on each task.
Results: We calculated the relative difference between children with and without reading difficulty for each task by dividing the absolute between-group difference in naming rate by the typical readers’ mean rate. The groups’ relative difference was greatest in word reading. Although naming rates in serial tasks were faster for both groups, relative differences were still greater in the serial than in the discrete format, across types of content, especially for digits and number words. In contrast, the groups’ relative difference in object naming was very small.
Conclusion: Although both groups of readers benefited from the serial format, their relative differences in serial naming were disproportionately amplified compared to those in discrete naming. This suggests that struggling readers face additional challenges in serial naming, beyond single item processing. Stimulus-specific properties and contextual availability in serial naming tasks seem to further influence the relative differences between typical and struggling readers.