Reading Non-Words


This is a test of ability to recognize printed nonwords from spoken stimuli. There are 24 pairs of nonwords, chosen to represent both short (3 or 4 letters) and long (5 or 6 letters) nonwords. In addition, the nonwords vary in ease of recognition/reading according to the number of letters that differentiate the two options in each nonword pair: if the options differ by only one letter (e.g., dusp/dosp) they are considered to be hard; if they differ by two letters, they are considered to be easy. Both op tions in each nonword pair were constructed to conform to the orthographic and phonotactic rules of English.


Individual words are printed in black bold 28 point, on 9.5cm x 6.5cm white background cards.


Present words in their pairs, with left/right location (from the examiner's perspective) as indicated on the score sheet (this should be marked on the back of each card to avoid examiner error).


Tell the client that they will be shown printed non-words. He/she is should look at each word and then indicate the one said by the examiner. Give three practice items and correct errors. Then administer the test items, without specific feedback.

Examiner: "I am going to show you some made up words. Each time I'll show you two, like these" [present cards for practice item 1]. "Notice that neither of these is a real word. Still, I can read them aloud. Can you show me which one says 'mok'?" [Give feedback, and move on to practice item 2.]

When practice items have been given, say "Great, now we'll start the test. I won't tell you if you are right or wrong with these."


Repeat the practice items as many times as is needed to achieve success. Test items are repeated if the participant requests it or after a lengthy period of time has elapsed without a response. Provide no more than 2 repeats for each item.


The client's choice is circled at the time of administration. After administration, each underlined word (the correct option) that is circled is scored "1" in the appropriate blank square of the score box. The total score can be broken down into subtotals for short/easy, short/difficult, long/easy, long/difficult nonwords.

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