Letter names

Letter names is an associative memory subtest, which simulates the situation of a student learning to associate letters and their names. Early letter name knowledge and speed of naming are both good predictors of later literacy development (Rack, 1994; Snowling, 1995; Evans et al., 2000; Kirby et al., 2008). Although good letter name knowledge at an early age is probably due in part to some students being taught letter names at home or in pre-school, those students with competent auditory memory skills will have an advantage in these aspects of learning over those students with memory weaknesses. For this reason, Races and Letter names are both important tests, although of the two, Races is the better predictor of later literacy skills. Letter names is quite a difficult test for younger students and demands considerable concentration (as well as good listening skills). Nevertheless, Letter names correlates significantly with later phonic skills. The correlation of Letter names given at age 5 with all phonics aspects of the Middle Infant Screening Test (MIST) given at age 6:6 were significant at the p<0.05 level. For further information on the statistical evidence see Singleton, Thomas and Leedale (1996) and Singleton, Thomas and Horne (2000).