Angeliki Kastamoniti, Kostas Tsattalios, Pavlos Christodoulides, Victoria Zakopoulou


Purpose: This paper presents the findings of a systematic literature review regarding the role of phonological memory in reading acquisition and early onset of dyslexia. Method: Searching multiple bibliographic databases (PUBMED, HEAL-LINK/Annals of Dyslexia, SCOPUS, SCHOLAR), 254 published studies were identified as potentially relevant with 12 meeting the inclusion criteria. Eight of them refer to the role of phonological memory in reading ability and 4 in dyslexia. Results: The findings of the review highlight: (i) the limited range of conducted research regarding the association of phonological memory and reading ability in general and dyslexia in particular among preschool children, (ii) the significant heterogeneity of tools and tasks implemented and (iii) the shared conclusion by the vast majority of the studies suggesting that phonological memory affects reading ability and is an onset predictor of dyslexia. Conclusions: As a general conclusion, it was found that a common goal of all studies was to evaluate the contribution of phonological memory to reading ability. However, significant heterogeneity was found in tools and tasks (to a lesser extent) they used in their studies. Also, no clear conclusion emerged on the role of phonological memory in the acquisition of reading skill. More specifically, some studies have found a correlation between phonological memory and reading ability and some other non-correlation.


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reading skill; dyslexia; phonological memory; phonological short-term memory; phonological long-term memory

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