Health & Lifestyle

Extra spacing between letters can boost children’s reading speed

A brand new examine has discovered {that a} baby`s reading speed can be improved by rising house between the letters in a textual content. The findings of the examine have been printed within the journal ‘Research in Developmental Disabilities’.

The analysis, led by Dr Steven Stagg of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), examined the advantages of letter spacing and colored overlays amongst a bunch of dyslexic and non-dyslexic kids. It is the primary examine to analyze how these diversifications can assist to cut back particular reading errors.

Published within the journal Research in Developmental Disabilities, the examine found that textual content with elevated house between every letter offered a profit to each teams of kids. On common, the dyslexia group confirmed a 13 per cent improve in reading speed, whereas the comparability group of non-dyslexic kids confirmed a 5 per cent improve in reading speed.

The examine concerned 59 kids aged between 11-15, 32 of whom had a press release of dyslexia, with 27 non-dyslexic kids forming a management group. The members have been recruited from six UK faculties in Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and London.

Participants learn 4 texts with both customary or extra-large letter spacing, each with and with no colored overlay. The kids have been instructed to learn the textual content out loud whereas being recorded. The recording was used to measure the variety of errors they made — particularly missed phrases, added phrases, unsuitable phrases, and pronunciation — in addition to the members’ reading time.

In addition to improved reading speed for each kids with dyslexia and the non-dyslexic group, the bigger letter spacing additionally resulted in a major discount within the variety of phrases being missed by the youngsters with dyslexia. However, the examine discovered that colored overlays had no important impression on reading speed or the discount of errors for both group of kids.

Dr Stagg, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), mentioned, “We found that extra-large letter spacing increases the reading speed of children both with and without dyslexia, and significantly reduces the number of words that dyslexic children skip when reading.”

“We believe that extra-large letter spacing works by reducing what is known as the ‘crowding effect’, which can hamper the recognition of letters and reduce reading speed,” Dr Stagg continued.

“When viewed in the context of previous research, our findings strongly suggest that teaching professionals can be confident that all children would be helped by increased letter spacing in reading materials. As well as being a relatively simple change to make when producing handouts and worksheets, it means that children with dyslexia need not feel singled out by the introduction of specially adapted reading materials, as this is something that everyone can benefit from,” Dr Stagg defined.

“While we found that colour overlays provided little benefit, we suggest that children should be encouraged to use overlays if they find these help their reading. Colour overlays may not increase reading speeds, but they may extend reading stamina,” Dr Stagg added.

“Previous research suggests their benefits may not become apparent if reading time is less than 10 minutes and the short reading duration of the tests in our study may have put colour overlays at a disadvantage,” Dr Stagg concluded.

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