Impacts of a word-picture training on literacy skills in elementary school children and youths with intellectual disabilities

Margelisch, Katja; Törmänen, Minna; Studer-Luethi, Barbara; Eckstein, Doris; Perrig, Walter J. (10 July 2014). Impacts of a word-picture training on literacy skills in elementary school children and youths with intellectual disabilities. In: INS 2014 Mid-Year Meeting, Neuropsychology: From Lab to Rehab. International Neuropsychological Society

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There is convincing evidence that phonological, orthographic and semantic processes influence children’s ability to learn to read and spell words. So far only a few studies investigated the influence of implicit learning in literacy skills. Children are sensitive to the statistics of their learning environment. By frequent reading they acquire implicit knowledge about the frequency of letter patterns in written words, and they use this knowledge during reading and spelling. Additionally, semantic connections facilitate to storing of words in memory. Thus, the aim of the intervention study was to implement a word-picture training which is based on statistical and semantic learning. Furthermore, we aimed at examining the training effects in reading and spelling in comparison to an auditory-visual matching training and a working
memory training program.
Participants and Methods:
One hundred and thirty-two children aged between 8 and 11 years participated in training in three weekly session of 12 minutes over 8 weeks, and completed other assessments of reading, spelling, working memory and intelligence before and after training.
Results revealed in general that the word-picture training and the auditory-visual matching training led to substantial gains in reading and spelling performance in comparison to the working-memory training. Although both children with and without learning difficulties profited in their reading and spelling after the word-picture training, the training program led to differential effects for the two groups. After the word-picture training on the one hand, children with learning difficulties profited more in spelling as children without learning difficulties, on the other hand, children without learning difficulties benefit more in word comprehension.
These findings highlight the need for frequent reading trainings with semantic connections in order to support the acquisition of literacy skills.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Margelisch, Katja, Törmänen, Minna, Studer, Barbara, Eckstein, Doris, Perrig, Walter


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education


International Neuropsychological Society




Katja Margelisch

Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2014 15:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36

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