The relationship between paired associate learning and phonological skills in normally developing readers.
Windfuhr KL., Snowling MJ.
Seventy-five 6- to 11-year-old children were administered tests of phonological awareness, verbal short term memory (STM), and visual-verbal paired associate learning (PA learning) to investigate their relationship with word recognition and decoding skills. Phonological awareness was a stronger concurrent predictor of word recognition than verbal STM, and phonological awareness but not verbal STM was a predictor of learning in the PA learning task. Importantly, measures of phonological awareness and PA learning both accounted for independent variance in word reading, even when decoding skill was controlled. The results suggest that PA learning and phonological awareness tasks tap two separate mechanisms involved in learning to read. The results are discussed in relation to current theories of reading development.