Do children with deficits in both rapid automatic naming (RAN) and phonological awareness in Chichewa experience more difficulty with reading growth than children with single or no deficits? To answer this question, we developed a RAN measure of common objects and a phonological awareness measure and administered them four times during a school year. Students who scored poorly on one of these measures as compared to their peers were classified as having a deficit. A compelling finding was Single Deficit and Double Deficit groups have similar average scores at Time 1; by Time 3 and Time 4, the Single Deficit group pulls away, more than doubling the average score of Double Deficit counterparts at Time 4. This study presents a tool to help to identify children at risk for reading difficulties. Children with a Double Deficit profile may need differentiated instruction.