The Influence of Vocabulary Type and Complexity on Rapid Automatized Naming Tasks (RAN/RAS) in Children with Reading Disorders

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Natalie Nevitt (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Marianna Walker

Abstract: The present study was a pilot investigation that examined the role of vocabulary level and task type in rapid automatized naming tasks (RAN/RAS) in 15 adolescent children (ages 10-13) with average reading abilities and with reading disorders. A series of four RAN/RAS tasks controlled for vocabulary type (nouns/verbs) and categorical complexity (one lexical category/two lexical categories/three lexical categories) were completed by the adolescents. Verbal naming completion time (seconds) and accuracy (percentage) for these tasks were compared to baseline rapid naming measures (naming time and accuracy) from the RAN/RAS test (Wolf & Denckla 2005). These two RAN/RAS tasks represented differential vocabulary levels as the baseline RAN/RAS test contains lower level vocabulary while the experimental RAN/RAS tasks contain higher level vocabulary. The relationship of these RAN/RAS measures were compared to a battery of pre-experimental tests including vocabulary skills (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-IV) and reading abilities involving rapid decoding and contextual reading fluency measures (Test of Word Reading Efficiency and Gray Oral Reading Test-IV) . A two group design was used measuring participants under two conditions of baseline measures and several experimental tasks. A significant effect was found for vocabulary level as participants had longer verbal naming completion times for experimental RAN/RAS tasks as compared to standardized (baseline) RAN/RAS subtests. Furthermore experimental and standardized RAN/RAS tasks were significantly correlated suggesting that all participants regardless of reading ability had comparable performance on both tasks for naming speed. Participants were found to have greater naming speed as a function of age. The RAN task in both baseline and experimental task was found to have the longest naming time for all participants. No group vocabulary level or task type effects were found for accuracy measures. Additional correlations for pre-experimental testing revealed significant relationships between the Gray Oral Reading Test-IV and Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) and between the Gray Oral Reading Test-IV and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-IV for all participants. Relationships between these reading and receptive language tests were not found to correlate with the experimental RAN/RAS tasks; however the TOWRE was found to correlate with the standardized RAN/RAS test. Results of group differences should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of adolescents with reading disorders. This investigation serves as a pilot study that examines the nature of rapid naming tasks in adolescents and the effects of task parameters in relationship to reading fluency. Clinically this investigation underscores the use of naming speed and not accuracy when RAN/RAS tasks are used in a reading assessment battery. Further research is suggested relating to the effects of age and vocabulary level on RAN/RAS measures and the relationship of these factors to reading ability in the adolescent population. 

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Date: 2012

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