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28/2/2017 WordRetrievalandRapidAutomaticNaming(RAN)|DyslexiaHelpattheUniversityofMichigan

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WordRetrievalandRapidAutomaticNaming(RAN)

Whyisitimportant?
ImaginethatitisyourfirsttimedrivinginEngland(assumingyourefromtheU.S.).Notonly
areyoutryingtofindyourwayinanunfamiliararea,butyouaredrivingontheoppositeside
oftheroad,thetrafficlawsaredifferent,andyouhavetodriveamanualshiftcar(when
youreusedtoanautomatic).Nothingaboutthisexperiencefeelsautomatic.Yourheartrate
wouldgoupandyouwouldfocusallofyourattentionontryingtogettowhereyouregoing
withoutanymishaps.Nowcontrastthattoyoureverydayexperienceofdrivingtoandfrom
workorthegrocerystorewhichyoucandoonautopilot.Youcanplanyourmeetingor
mealonthewaythere(andprobablylistentomusicatthesametime).

Theeffortlessnessofdrivingawellknownroutecanbereferredtoasautomaticity.In
reading,suchfluency(orautomaticity)allowsonetoseeanobject,symbol,orword,and
nameorprocessitquicklyandaccurately.Thelackofautomaticity(inthefirstdriving
exampleabove)ispreciselywhatpeoplewithdyslexiaencounterwhentheyhavetoread
something(particularlywhentheydonothavefamiliaritywiththecontent).Difficultyinthis
Uponcompletionofthissection,youwill:
skillcanhamperspeaking,reading,andwriting.
Understandhowwordretrievaland
rapidautomaticnamingaffecta Assessment
dyslexic
Understandtheareastoconsider StandardizedtestssuchastheComprehensiveTestOfPhonologicalProcessing(CTOPP)and
whenassessingthestudent RANRAS(RapidAutomatizedNamingRapidAlternatingStimulus)assessrapidautomatic
Haveideasforhowtoteach namingofpictureditems,numbers,andletters.Onceyouhaveformallytestedyour
studentswhileincorporatingtheir
strengthsandareasofinterest studentsdifficultywithrapidnamingorwordretrieval,youmaywishtoprobealittlefurther.
Belowareseveralquestionstoconsiderasyouareconductingyourdynamicassessment:

Ismystudentbetteratwordrecallfororalorwrittentasks?

Howdoesthestimuliaffectmystudent(i.e.,Doeshedobetterwhenthereisapicture?)

Aredivergentorconvergentnamingtasksmoredifficult?(i.e.,Isiteasiertonametenfruitsortohear"orange,grapefruit,andlime"
andprovidethecategorycitrusfruits?)

Whattypeoflearningdoesyourstudentprefer?

Whatstrategies(ifany)doesheusewhenheexperiencesdifficultywithnaming?

Dontforgettouseyourmostvaluablesourceofinformationthestudenthimself!Askhimwhatcontextsarethehardestforhimto
producetherightword.Itwilllikelybeveryinsightful.Withthedatathatyouhavegleaned,itistimetobegininterventionforword
retrievalfluencyandrapidautomaticnaming.

Metacognition

Itisadvantageoustoincorporatesometypeofmetacognitivetask.Yourstudentwillbenefitfromknowingwhatareayouareworkingon
andhowthatfitsintothelargerpicture.Forexample,asecondgraderwhocannotreadlettersornumbersaloudwhenheiscalledonmay
berelievedthatthisisbecauseoftroublewithRAN,notbecauseheisdumb.Armedwiththisknowledgeandtheawarenessthat
therapywillhelphimwiththisproblem,hewilllikelyperseverewiththearduoustaskthatliesbeforehimratherthangiveup.

Metacognitivetaskscanbefun!Forexample,youcouldhaveanearlyelementaryschoolstudenthavearaceagainsttheclocktosee
howquicklyhecannamewritten/pictureditems.Alternatively,hecancompeteagainsthimselftonameasmanyanimalsashecanina
minute.Havehimtallyuptheanimalsthatyouwrotedownandcomparehisscores.Thistypeofcollaborationintherapyresultsingreater
awarenessofgoalsandprogress,aswellasmorecarryoverintotheclassroom(andeverydaylife).

Teachingtoyourstudentsstrengthsandinterests

Youshouldtailoryourinterventiontothestudentsrelativestrengthsandusethisasabridgeforimprovinghisweaknesses.Ifyour
studentisavisuallearner,guidehiminhowhecanusevisualizationtonamemorewords(inlesstime).Forexample,ifthetaskisName
asmanyappliancesasyoucaninoneminute,heshouldtrytoseehimselfwalkingthrougheachroominthehouse(inhismindseye)
whilenotingtheappliancesinthekitchen,laundryroom,bathroom,etc.Youmayscaffoldthistaskbydoingthetaskyourselfandverbally
mediatingtheprocess(IamstandinginthekitchenandIplacemyhandonthestainlesssteelrefrigeratorandInoticethedigitalclock
onthemicrowaveabovethestove.)Vividandlifelikementalimagesfacilitategreaterfluencyfornaming.

Auditorylearnersaregoingtogravitatemoretothesoundsofwords.Forexample,ifyouprovidearhymingwordorthefirstsoundofthe
word,theywillbeabletogeneratemorewordsinarapidnamingtask.Afourthgradertryingtogenerateasmanywordsaspossiblewith
theersoundmayneedasinglewordturntonameburnchurn,learn,concernandearn.Initially,youmayneedtoprovide

http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/professionals/dyslexiaschool/wordretrievalfluencyandran 1/2
28/2/2017 WordRetrievalandRapidAutomaticNaming(RAN)|DyslexiaHelpattheUniversityofMichigan
thefirstwordinacategory,butyoucanteachyourstudenttousethisstrategytoselfcueindependently.Hemayneedtoverbalizethe
soundscorrespondingtothelettersofthealphabettocuehimselfaswell.

AmultisensoryapproachforfluentlydescribingobjectsispresentedintheExpandingExpressionTool(www.expandingexpression.com).
Visuallearnerswillbenefitfromthestickerswithsymbols,templates,andcolorcodedorganization.Auditorylearnerswilllearntoselfcue
usingthechantthatremindsthemofthemultiplewaystodescribeanobject.Kinestheticlearnerswillgravitatetowardsthe
manipulativesthatareprovided.

Curriculumrelevantactivitiesinterspersedwithhighinteresttopicsandgameswillprovidethenecessarymotivationforstudentstowork
onrapidautomaticnaming.Forexample,youmaybeginwiththestudentwritingdownasmanychemicalsontheperiodictableinone
minuteaspossible(afterhehasbecomequitefamiliarwiththem).Afterthat,youcouldteachastrategythatincorporateshislearning
styleandretestthesamesetofelementsusingthestrategy.Askthestudenttocomparethenumberofwordsandtoassessthe
effectivenessofthisstrategy.(Remember,youmayhavetotryafewstrategiesbeforeyoufindtherightfit.)Ifyourstudentisinterested
insports,youmightturntothesportssectionofapicturedictionaryandcoverupthewrittenwords.Youcouldaskhimtonameallof
thesportsinthepictures(asquicklyaspossible).Youcouldrepeatthisactivityforsportsequipment,cars,orwhateverthestudentis
interestedin.TheInternetisagreatsourceofpicturesaswell.YoucantypeacategoryintoGoogleimagesandusethoseasstimuli.Itis
importanttopickatopicthatthestudentisanexpertin,sothatalloftasksareaddressingautomaticityforpreviousknowledge.

Gamesareanotherintrinsicallymotivatingcontextforaddressingautomaticity.Thereisalsoecologicalvalidityforthesewhenyouare
doinggrouptherapy.Thereareahostofgamesthatrequirewordretrievalandplacetimeconstraintsonthestudents(bearinmindthat
youcanaltertherulesoradjustthetimerstomakethegamesmoreaccessibleforyourstudents).Severalrapidnaming/wordretrieval
gamesarelistedbelow.

Password

Scattergories

Taboo

Boggle

UpWords

CatchPhrase

Tribond

LastWord

Crosswords

Guesstures

Charades

Pictionary

Wordretrievalandrapidautomaticnamingcanbeimprovedthroughhighinteresttasks.Moreover,studentswholearnmetacognitive
skillswillbemoreapttoselfcueandcarryovernewskills.Anindividualizedapproachthattakesthestudentslearningpreferencesinto
considerationwillhelphimorhertoautomaticallynavigateinthehighspeedworldofwordsthatwelivein.Successstartshere!

http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/professionals/dyslexiaschool/wordretrievalfluencyandran 2/2