Form-meaning links in the development of visual word recognition

Kate Nation*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

36 Citations (Scopus)


Learning to read takes time and it requires explicit instruction. Three decades of research has taught us a good deal about how children learn about the links between orthography and phonology during word reading development. However, we have learned less about the links that children build between orthographic form and meaning. This is surprising given that the goal of reading development must be for children to develop an orthographic system that allows meanings to be accessed quickly, reliably and efficiently from orthography. This review considers whether meaning-related information is used when children read words aloud, and asks what we know about how and when children make connections between form and meaning during the course of reading development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3665-3674
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1536
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2009



  • Children's reading
  • Orthography
  • Word learning
  • Word reading

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