This study investigated the relations of early working‐memory abilities (phonological and visual‐spatial short‐term memory [STM] and complex memory and episodic buffer memory) and later developing reading skills. Sixty Hebrew‐speaking children were followed from kindergarten through Grade 5. Working memory was tested in kindergarten and reading in Grades 1, 2, and 5. All memory measures, but phonological STM, correlated with reading up to Grade 5. Regression analyses (with intelligence quotient controlled) demonstrated that phonological complex memory predicted all reading skills in Grade 1, and accuracy in Grade 2. The rather understudied visual‐spatial memory predicted comprehension in Grades 2 (STM) and 5 (complex memory). The results point to an important role of the phonological complex memory in early assessment, and suggest a long‐lasting role of early visual‐spatial memory in predicting variance in reading. Whether this role of the visual‐spatial memory is unique to the Hebrew orthography because of its visual features requires, however, further investigation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.