Rapid automatized naming, the ability of an individual to name as quickly as possible a list of familiar visual stimuli, e.g., letters, digits, objects, or colors, has been found to be a significant predictor of literacy skills. Chen and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the relationship between RAN and spelling accuracy (RAN-spelling) in alphabetic languages. In addition, the relationship between RAN and reading (RAN-Reading) was also examined.
A total of 103 studies met the inclusion criteria, and a robust variance estimation approach, which takes into account non-independent effect sizes, was adopted in the analysis. Overall, mean effect size for RAN-spelling relation was r = 0.35 (95% predictive interval PI: 0.06- 0.66) and RAN-reading was r=0.44 (PI: 0.05- 0.71). Given the presence of significant heterogeneity for both relations, a series of moderator analyses was conducted. With respect to the RAN-spelling relation, the results below show the significant moderators:
- Word type: RAN correlated more strongly with real word spelling (r=0.38) than pseudo word spelling (r=0.28).
- Type of stimulus: RAN letters (r=0.41) and digits (r=0.36) correlated more strongly with spelling than RAN colors (r=0.27) and objects (r=0.26).
- Orthographic consistency: RAN-spelling relation was stronger in opaque orthographies (e.g., English, French; r=0.39) than in transparent (e.g., Greek, German; r=0.31) and intermediate orthographies (e.g., Dutch, Portuguese; r=0.31).
Regarding the RAN-reading relation, significant moderators included:
- RAN correlated with letters and digits (r=0.46) more strongly than objects (r=0.36) and colors (r=0.35).
- RAN associated stronger with the reading fluency tasks (r=0.46) than the reading accuracy tasks (r=0.38).
As RAN correlated significantly with spelling and reading, and the effect size of RAN-spelling was similar to RAN-reading accuracy, the authors speculated that both RAN and spelling/reading relations have something in common with an individual’s ability to form print-to-sound or sound-to-print connections.
Source: Chen, Y.-J. I., Thompson, C. G., Xu, Z., Irey, R. C., & Georgiou, G. K. (2021). Rapid automatized naming and spelling performance in alphabetic languages: A meta-analysis. Reading and Writing, 34(10), 2559–2580. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-021-10160-7