Visually mediated processes including, exposure to print (e.g. reading) as well as orthographic transcription and coding skills, have been found to contribute to individual differences in literacy development. The current study examined the role of visuospatial working memory (WM) in underpinning this relationship and emergent writing. One hundred and forty-three children in their first year of the UK educational system participated. Hierarchical regressions revealed that visuo-spatial WM predicted a unique proportion of the variance in spelling and independent text writing ability after nonverbal cognitive ability, phonological WM, visual perceptual processing and orthographic transcription skills had been taken into account. Further, they also revealed for the spelling of individual words the unique contribution made by short-term memory retention of the orthographic structure of those words is particularly important. This contrasted with the unique contribution of short-term visuo-spatial coding of novel and unfamiliar visual stimuli for the development of independent writing skills.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: May 14, 2013
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