Predictors of single word spelling in English speaking children: a cross sectional study

Georgia Z. Niolaki*, Janet Vousden, Aris R. Terzopoulos, Laura M. Taylor, Shani Sephton, Jackie Masterson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (SciVal)


    The study aimed to explore to what extent variables associated with lexical and sublexical spelling processes predicted single word spelling ability and whether patterns of lexical and sublexical processes were different across ages.

    Beginning (mean age 7 years, N = 144) and advanced (mean age 9 years, N = 114) English-speaking spellers completed tasks associated with sublexical processing (phonological ability and phonological short-term memory), lexical processing (visual short-term memory and visual attention span) and factors known to predict spelling (e.g., rapid automatised naming).

    Phonological ability, rapid automatised naming, visual short-term memory and visual attention span were significant predictors of spelling accuracy for beginning spellers, while for more advanced spellers, only visual attention span was a significant predictor.

    The findings suggested that for beginning spellers, both lexical and sublexical processes are important for single word spelling, but with increasing literacy experience, lexically related variables are more important.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)577-596
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Research in Reading
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 28 Sept 2020


    The research was supported in part by a Central Research Fund Grant, European Scholarship, Onassis Foundation, Leventis Foundation and Wingate Scholarships awarded to the first author. The authors are grateful to Ravinder Johal for her help in data collection and to the teachers, parents and children of the participating schools.

    FundersFunder number
    A.G. Leventis Foundation
    Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation


      • phonological ability (PA)
      • rapid automatised naming (RAN)
      • spelling
      • visual attention span processing (VAS)
      • visual short-term memory (VSTM)


      Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of single word spelling in English speaking children: a cross sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

      Cite this