The role of cognitive and perceptual factors in emergent literacy
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This chapter reviews the limited existing evidence of the role of auditory and visual temporal processing in predicting the emergent literacy skills of letter-word identification and phonological awareness. It also reports the results of a new study that examined these relationships in 129 pre-school aged Australian children (mean age 5.36 years), after controlling for the contributions of age, nonverbal ability, attention, and memory. Both auditory and visual temporal processing were significantly related to letter-word identification, and this held even when the contribution of phonological awareness to letter-word identification was considered. However, contrary to expectations we did not find that visual temporal processing was more strongly associated with letter-word identification than auditory temporal processing. Temporal processing and phonological awareness each accounted for independent variance in letter-word identification. This has practical implications for early identification of children who might be at risk of later reading difficulties. Inclusion of both temporal and phonological processing predictors is likely to improve accuracy of prediction. The importance of controlling age, nonverbal ability, attention and both visuospatial and auditory verbal memory skills in studies of temporal processing and reading is emphasised.
Beyond the Lab: Applications of Cognitive Research in Memory and Learning
Developmental Psychology and Ageing