109 Compensatory role of verbal learning and consolidation in reading and spelling 5 may help to develop better specified lexical representations and improve reading and spelling development. Given the fact that dyslexia can be characterized by an underlying phonological deficit, phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, and verbal working memory are generally considered cognitive precursor measures that predict literacy development (Shaywitz et al., 2003; Snowling, 1998). In order to determine the unique contribution of verbal learning and consolidation to reading and spelling before and after an intervention these measures need to be included. Furthermore, variation in semantic abilities has previously been shown to impact reading (Nation & Snowling, 2004; Torppa et al., 2010) and spelling ability (Ouellette, 2010; Tainturier & Rapp, 2001) and should, therefore, be included as well. Out of the studies that included list learning tasks Kibby (2009) did not include control variables and Tijms (2004) included phonological awareness seperately and verbal working memory was included in the factor ‘phonological memory’ together with verbal learning. Rapid automatized naming and semantic abilities were not included. As a consequence, the unique contribution of verbal learning and consolidation is still unknown. In order to find out whether this impact is typical for children with dyslexia, control groups are necessary. However, Tijms (2004) did not include a control group and so it is still unknown whether the reported effects are unique for children with dyslexia. The debate on the compensatory role of verbal learning can at best be called inconclusive. First of all, verbal learning is interpreted differently across studies. The studies that related verbal learning to reading and spelling interpreted verbal learning and consolidation as a static measure in which the end result counts (e.g., Tijms, 2004), whereas both verbal learning and consolidation can be considered dynamic processes in which the learning curve is an important indicator of the ability to learn and withhold verbal information (e.g., Kramer et al., 2000). To the best of our knowledge, no prior study examined the relation between the dynamic aspect of verbal learning or consolidation and reading and spelling outcomes. Second, prior studies relating verbal learning and consolidation to reading and spelling included few or no control variables and no control group. In order to understand the unique contribution of verbal learning and verbal consolidation, studies need to include other relevant control variables (such as phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, verbal working memory and semantic abilities). In order to find out if the effects of verbal learning or consolidation are typical for children with dyslexia a control group with typically developing peers needs to be included as well. Third, no study so far examined verbal learning and consolidation in relation to response to intervention. Individual variation in the dynamics of the task might also have an impact on the intervention.