Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
July 10, 2014
Source:
University of Haifa
Summary:
Decreasing the font size helps to improve reading comprehension among fifth graders who have mastered the technical skills of reading, a new study has demonstrated. "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," said an author.

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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Haifa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Haifa. "Decreasing font size enhances reading comprehension among children who have already developed proficient reading skills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710094344.htm>.
University of Haifa. (2014, July 10). Decreasing font size enhances reading comprehension among children who have already developed proficient reading skills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710094344.htm
University of Haifa. "Decreasing font size enhances reading comprehension among children who have already developed proficient reading skills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710094344.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) — Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) — Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) — Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins