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 Brands are Perceived in the Same Way as Faces
28.08.2015 | Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

nachricht “Bank & Zukunft 2015” trend survey highlights the need for banks to reform business models
21.08.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

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: An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets still stick to them. Now, Penn State researchers have developed nano/micro-textured, highly slippery surfaces able to outperform these naturally inspired coatings, particularly when the water is a vapor or tiny droplets.

Enhancing the mobility of liquid droplets on rough surfaces could improve condensation heat transfer for power-plant heat exchangers, create more efficient...

Im Focus: Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests

Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens sells 18 industrial gas turbines to Thailand

01.09.2015 | Press release

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

01.09.2015 | Materials Sciences

New material science research may advance tech tools

01.09.2015 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>