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

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


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
Early online date28 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • spelling
  • phonological ability
  • rapid automatised naming
  • visual attention span processing
  • visual short-term memory


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