Telse NaglerJanosch LinkersdörferJan LonnemannMarcus HasselhornSven Lindberg

The impact of text fading on reading in children with reading difficulties


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The Acceleration Phenomenon (AP) has been demonstrated by studies showing that reading rate and comprehension improvements can be induced by a fading procedure, erasing text based on the previously measured individual’s fastest reading rate. However, whether or not reading enhancements can also be observed through slow fading rates has not been explored in detail. The focus of the present study was hence to investigate whether a fading rate slower than the individual’s self-paced reading rate can also induce AP effects which positively affect reading performance. A sample of 34 third graders with reading difficulties was selected to participate in this study. Two slow fading conditions were implemented: A condition in which text was faded out 40 % slower and a condition where text was faded out 70 % slower than the self-paced reading rate. The 40 % reduced fading manipulation significantly enhanced children’s reading rate and comprehension scores compared to their self-paced reading performance. The 70 % reduced fading manipulation also resulted in slightly faster reading rates but not in better comprehension. The present data suggests that the fading rate does not need to be set at a rate at the upper limit of participants’ reading performance. Still, it seems highly relevant to consider which rate is applied, as a fading manipulation that is too slow did not result in comprehension improvements. Implications for the pedagogical applicability and possible future research foci are discussed.

Acceleration Phenomenon; Reading difficulties; Reading rate; Reading comprehension