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Acadience RAN and Spelling

Acadience Learning is pleased to announce the availability of two new measures, Acadience RAN and Acadience Spelling, for use in kindergarten and first grade. These measures may be particularly useful for educators in states that require measures of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) and/or Spelling as part of screening students for reading difficulties such as dyslexia.

What Is RAN?

Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) is a task that involves quickly and accurately naming repeated sets of familiar items. Although RAN is typically a good predictor of future reading difficulties, difficulties with RAN do not impact reading skills as much as difficulties with phonological awareness (PA) (Georgiou, Parrila, Manolitsis, & Kriby, 2011; Pennington, Cardosa-Martins, Green & Lefly, 2001). When students have strong PA skills but have difficulties with RAN, the impact on reading skills is typically milder than when students have difficulties with both RAN and PA (see Kilpatrick, 2015).

While there is considerable research support for RAN as a strong predictor of reading skill, variation in the strength of the relation between RAN skill and reading skill is also evident (see Araújo, Reis, Petersson, & Faísca, 2015 for discussion). Notably, Kilpatrick (2015) states that at this time, a research-based means to directly improve RAN is not known; however, there is evidence to suggest that meaningful improvement in reading skills is associated with improvements in RAN.

Acadience RAN

The Acadience RAN measures are brief assessments that are individually administered. The Acadience RAN measures are based on established procedures for creating and interpreting RAN tasks used in decades of research by multiple researchers. The Acadience RAN measures include both a RAN Objects task and a RAN Letters task. In addition, a RAN Numbers task is available for students who do not correctly name the letters during the RAN Letters task. Finally, a Spanish version of these tasks is available.

Acadience Spelling

Acadience Spelling is designed based on the principles of General Outcome Measurement. Acadience Spelling measures serve as broad indicators of a student’s general spelling skills compared to other students and a measure of whether or not the student is progressing sufficiently in spelling.

The spelling measure includes a sample of words selected from an extensive pool of grade-specific words. The words are dictated by the assessor. Students have a limited amount of time to spell the word until the next word is given.

Similar to traditional spelling tests, Acadience Spelling provides the total number of Correctly Spelled Words (CSW). To increase the sensitivity of measuring improvement in student skill and because students may not have been administered the same set of words, the number of Correct Spelling Sequences (CSS) is the score used to provide partial credit for words as students progress to becoming good spellers. A provisional cut score for determining need for support will be based on the CSS score. The CSW score provides additional information that educators may find useful.

How to Obtain Acadience RAN and Acadience Spelling

Both the Acadience Spelling and the Acadience RAN measures are available for free download to Acadience Data Management customers entering Acadience Reading K–6 data during the 2018-2019 school year. A brief, free online training on how to administer and score both measures will soon be available. In the meantime, administration and scoring procedures are provided in the Administration and Scoring Manual for each measure. We recommend that the measures be administered by trained Acadience Reading assessors.

If you would like additional information or if your district would be interested in participating in further research on the new measures, please email us at