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    A comparison of the effects of the colour and size of coloured overlays on young children’s reading

    Veszeli, J. and Shepherd, Alex J. (2019) A comparison of the effects of the colour and size of coloured overlays on young children’s reading. Vision Research 156 , pp. 73-83. ISSN 0042-6989.

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    This study compared the effects of the colour and size of overlays on reading time, reading errors and on the clarity of text with young primary school children. The sample comprised a non-clinical, typical, sample from an East London primary school. One hundred and six children aged between four and seven years were asked to read 11 short passages of text (60 words) either with full page overlays or smaller reading rulers (53 in each group). This sample included younger children than has often been tested before. The 11 short passages allowed an assessment of baseline reading performance (no reading aid) and performance while reading with each of a set of ten coloured reading aids. Two different, yet beneficial, colours were determined: the most effective and the clearest/most comfortable. Both of these measures are not usually recorded. All but four children had reduced reading times with one of the reading aids and all but one reported their aid improved the perceived visual clarity of the text: the size of the reading aid did not affect reading time or visual clarity significantly. The numbers of skipped words and errors/mis-read words also decreased when reading with the most effective and most comfortable reading aid. Near visual acuity was assessed with and without each child’s most effective coloured aid. The most effective aid improved acuity in over a third of the children. Acuity has not been assessed in previous studies. As reported previously, different colours helped different children. In conclusion, coloured reading overlays reduced reading times on the reading test employed here and the size of the reading aid was not crucial to facilitate performance. The largest reductions occurred for the youngest readers, suggesting these aids may be particularly effective for early readers.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): visual stress, reading, visual clarity, coloured overlays, coloured reading rulers, primary school children
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2019 09:37
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:47


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