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The following articles are on a number of literacy and memory related topics. They are not specific to Literacy Care but they do demonstrate the theoretical and evidence base on which Literacy Care bases its work.

Dyslexia, Literacy, Learning and Interventions

COGMED Specific Articles


Picture Naming Deficits in Developmental Dyslexia: The Phonological Representations Hypothesis
By Denise Swan, and Usha Goswami

*Abstract Only *

The picture and word naming performance of developmental dyslexics was compared to the picture and word naming performance of non-dyslexic (“garden variety”) poor readers, reading age, and chronological age-matched controls. The stimulus list used for both tasks was systematically manipulated for word length and word frequency. In order to examine picture naming errors in more depth, an object name recognition test assessed each subject’s vocabulary knowledge of those names which they were unable to spontaneously label in the picture naming task. Findings indicated that the dyslexic and the garden variety poor readers exhibited a picture naming deficit relative to both chronological and reading age-matched controls. Findings also indicated that both groups of impaired readers obtained superior scores in the word naming task than in the picture naming task, while both groups of controls showed no difference in performance across tasks. The dyslexics’ picture naming errors, but not those of the garden variety poor readers, were particularly marked on polysyllabic and/or low frequency words, indicating a possible phonological basis to the picture naming deficit of the dyslexic children. These children also recognized significantly more unnamed target words than all comparison groups, suggesting a particular difficulty in retrieving the phonological codes of known picture names rather than a vocabulary deficit. Results are discussed in terms of dyslexics’ difficulty in encoding full segmental phonological representations of names in long-term memory and/or in processing these representations in order to generate required names on demand.

We thank the teachers and the children of the clinics and the schools who participated in this study. The study was conducted as part of the doctoral thesis of the first author. Support for this research was provided by a Packer Scholarship from the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust to Denise Swan. Address reprint requests to Usha Goswami, Behavioral Sciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, U.K.

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