Stagg-Kiss-2021

Authors: Steven D. Stagg, Nathan Kiss.

Article: Room to read: The effect of extra-large letter spacing and coloured overlays on reading speed and accuracy in adolescents with dyslexia.

Publication: Research in Developmental Disabilities (Elsevier). Available online 29 September 2021 2021 | DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104065

Highlights

Extra-large letter spacing substantially increases reading speed in dyslexic students.
No reading benefit is found for dyslexic or non-dyslexic students for coloured overlay.
Extra-large letter spacing significantly reduces the number of words missed when reading.

Abstract

Background

Coloured overlay and extra-large letter spacing may improve reading speed and accuracy in individuals with dyslexia; however, research has yet to identify which types of reading errors are diminished.

Aim

To determine the impact of extra-large letter spacing and colour overlay on reading and assess the impact of both interventions on reading errors.

Sample

Thirty-two dyslexic children were matched on age, verbal and non-verbal IQ with 27 children with no diagnosis of dyslexia. The average age of each group was 13 years.

Method

Participants read four texts with either standard or extra-large letter spacing with or without a coloured overlay.

Results

Extra-large letter spacing significantly improved reading speed more substantially for the dyslexia group. In addition, extra-large letters significantly reduced the number of missed word errors made by the dyslexia group. In contrast, coloured overlays did not significantly impact reading speed or the reduction of errors.

Conclusion

Increasing letter spacing is an effective way for teachers to improve reading skills in students with dyslexia.

Tagged as: letter spacing, reading accuracy, reading speed, and typography

Citation:

Steven D. Stagg, Nathan Kiss,
Room to read: The effect of extra-large letter spacing and coloured overlays on reading speed and accuracy in adolescents with dyslexia,
Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2021, 104065, ISSN 0891-4222,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104065.

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