The naming process involves interaction between the visual and auditory systems. The rapid-naming test requires a subject to look at a grid of (familiar) letters, numbers, colors, and simple objects or pictures and sequentially name them as quickly as possible. Many students with language based learning disabilities (including dyslexics) score poorly on tests of rapid automatic naming. They perform such tasks much more slowly than people who have no reading problems.
Math-specific vocabulary words seem to be particularly difficult to master. In addition to being abstract, these words confound students with visual similarity (divisor vs. dividend), or auditory similarity between homophones (times: multiplication vs. times: hours and minutes, or times: “X” the 24th letter). These terms can become more accessible when presented through concrete demonstrations.
Inefficient naming will impact a student’s ability to learn facts and procedures, especially those that include abstract words or concepts. This task can be mitigated by providing concrete visual examples that the student can commit to visual memory. Student-generated images of concrete visual examples can prompt a student to name the elements of a fact or procedure. For example, durable images like those of a dog, an ant, or a clock face can be used to concretize the process of renaming fractions. When provided with ample time to formulate responses, students can label information contained within these familiar concrete images, and use these labels to describe procedures .
In the following video, a student with expressive language challenges is able to use concrete images to prompt himself to label, rename, and add fractions. Note the way that the images are processed more efficiently by the subject than the abstract number-based fractions, and the positive effect related to the generous response time afforded the student.