Torkildsen, Arciuli & Wie (2018): Individual differences in statistical learning predict children's reading ability in a semi-transparent orthography
I: Learning and Individual Differences, Online first
Learning to read is a milestone in a child's life, and reading ability is a strong predictor of academic outcomes. Some studies have revealed that individual differences in the capacity for implicit statistical learning are linked with children's reading skills in English, which has a deep orthography, but we do not know whether the same relation is found in semi-transparent orthographies such as Norwegian. Additionally, the relative contribution of statistical learning alongside other cognitive measures known to be related to reading has not been examined. This study of sixty-five Norwegian school children (M = 10.3 years) found that performance on an independent statistical learning task predicted a small, but unique amount of variance in reading ability in Norwegian, even when a number of other reading-related cognitive skills were taken into account. This suggests that children's implicit learning of statistical regularities is associated with proficiency with written language in a semi-transparent orthography such as Norwegian.