Visual word learning in good and poor readers
Wilkinson, Judith E.
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Forty students from regular, grade five classes were divided into two groups of twenty, a good reader group and a' poor reader group, on the basis. of their reading scores on Canadian Achievement Tests. .The subjects took. part in four experimental conditions iM which they .learned lists of pronounceable and unprono~nceable pseudowords, some with semantic referents, and responded to questions designed tci test visual perceptu~l learning and lexical ·and semantic association learning. It' was hypothesized "that the good reade~ group would be able to make use of graphemic and phonemic redundancy patterns in order to improv~·visuSl perceptual learning and lexical and semantic association lea~ningto a greater extent. than would .the poor reader gr6up. The data supported this hypothesis, and also indicated that, although the poor readers were less adept at using familiar sound and letter patterns, they were more dependent on· such pa~terns as an aid to visual recognition memory and semantic recall than were the good readers. It wa.s postulated that poor readers are in a double- ~ . bind situatio~ of having to choose between using weak graphemic-semantic associations or gr~pheme-phoneme associations which are also weak and which have hindered them in developing automaticity in. reading.