Studies of memory tasks with normal learners, involving letters and word-like patterns, indicate that recall is easier when stimuli present familiar patterns, either as pronounceable syllables (Gibson, 1965) or as contextual dependencies (Miller & Selfridge, 1950). Blumberg (1968), studying associative learning tasks, found brain injured children to have the least difficulty in making associations between visual non-word like stimuli and spoken words, while having greatest difficulty with visual word-like associations. Bakker (1967) reports that severely disabled readers were significantly poorer than better readers in the recall of meaningful, but not meaningless, sequences.
Morsink, C., Cross, D. P., & Strickler, J. (1978). How Disabled Readers Try to Remember Words. Reading Horizons, 18 (3). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol18/iss3/3