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© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Visual attention span, the number of orthographic units that can be processed at a glance, has been shown to predict reading performance in orthographically opaque languages (i.e., French and English), independent from phonological awareness. Whether this relation is also found in Dutch, a more transparent orthography, was examined in two studies. Two unresolved issues are addressed. First, whether the contribution of visual attention span to reading was independent of rapid naming. Participants were 117 second graders and 111 fifth graders. Visual attention span was a significant predictor of both beginning and advanced word reading fluency, after controlling for rapid naming. Second, we examined the relation of visual attention span with spelling performance in a sample of 255 fourth graders. Visual attention span was a unique predictor of both orthographic knowledge and spelling performance. Based on the results we discuss the possibility of a slightly different interpretation of visual attention span.

Original publication




Journal article


Learning and Individual Differences

Publication Date





141 - 149