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
Media Relations | University of Haifa
New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?
09.02.2016 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Online shopping might not be as green as we thought
08.02.2016 | University of Delaware
Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.
The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...
Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".
Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...
The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.
Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...
Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.
The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).
Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels
A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...
12.02.2016 | Event News
09.02.2016 | Event News
02.02.2016 | Event News
12.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
12.02.2016 | Life Sciences
12.02.2016 | Medical Engineering