Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Decreasing font size enhances reading comprehension among children who have already developed proficient reading skills

10.07.2014

The study found that for fifth-grade students who have already developed proficient reading skills, decreasing the font size enhanced their reading comprehension, whereas for second-grade students who are still acquiring reading skills, decreasing the font size actually impaired their comprehension

A new study performed by Haifa University shows that decreasing the font size helps to improve reading comprehension among fifth graders who have mastered the technical skills of reading.

“Adding cognitive perpetual load in reading actually seems to improve comprehension,” said Prof. Tami Katzir, Head of the Department of Learning Disabilities at Haifa University and a researcher at the Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities at the university, who led the study. 

There is a psychological-cognitive approach that claims that imposing difficulties that form cognitive load - such as deleting letters from words, may enhance performance on subsequent performance such as recall.

In the domain of reading, the hypothesis was that creating  a "desirable" difficulty by decreasing the font size, reducing line spacing and increasing line length - may actually enhances the ability to learn.

Few studies have been performed in this area, and these focused specifically on adults, yielding contradictory results.

In this study, performed by Prof. Katzir with Shirley Hershko and Dr. Vered Halamish, the researchers sought to determine whether introducing difficulties in text presentation may improves comprehension in second as well as fifth graders.

According to Prof. Katzir, it is important to test these two age groups because second graders are still acquiring the technical skills of reading, whereas fifth graders can already read fluently.

Each group consisted of forty-five children. The children were asked to read texts, and they were later asked related reading comprehension questions. Font size, line spacing and line length were manipulated.

The findings showed the decreasing font size and line length parameters impaired comprehension of second graders who are still learning to read and thus not fluent readers in standard form (the change in spacing had no effect) - whereas comprehension among fifth graders actually improved when the font size was significantly decreased (changes to line length and line spacing had no effect).

According to the researchers, a possible explanation is that the difficulty, which requires the reader to concentrate and read slowly — even to reread the same line several times — is what ultimately improves their reading comprehension. 

“This study demonstrates the difference between children at different stages of reading proficiency, and it is important to understand that difficulty impairs comprehension at one stage, while at another it actually facilitates comprehension. After mastering reading skills, an effective way to improve comprehension could be to decrease the text’s font size. In the age of digital media this findings have important applied applications Prof.. Katzir concluded.

 

Division of Communications and Media Relations  |  University of Haifa

Ilan +972-4-8240204                  

      +972-528-666404   

Itai  +972-4-8288722                 

       + 972-502-42780                        

Ela +972-4-8240092

     +972-528-666432               

Media Relations | University of Haifa

Further reports about: Haifa Learning Relations cognitive difference explanation parameters

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Why we need erasable MRI scans

New technology could allow an MRI contrast agent to 'blink off,' helping doctors diagnose disease

Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

European particle-accelerator community publishes the first industry compendium

26.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Multifunctional bacterial microswimmer able to deliver cargo and destroy itself

26.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Why we need erasable MRI scans

26.04.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>