Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Eva Marinus, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Macquarie University

In 2008, a new font designed called “Dyslexie” was labelled “a breakthrough” by the media for reportedly being about to help increase the reading speed of those with dyslexia. It received media attention worldwide. Publishers even announced they were going to publish books in the font.

This is despite there being hardly any empirical evidence for the efficacy of Dyslexie.

We conducted a study to see if Dyslexie is indeed more effective than a commonly used sans serif font (Arial) and, if so, whether this can be explained by its special letter design.

Our results found that the benefits of Dyslexie font were pretty small, and that the slight gain to reading speed was actually down to the spacing of the letters and words rather than the specially designed letter shapes.

image The design Dyslexie’s hallmark is its letter shapes. These shapes have heavy bases which are postulated to suppress the supposed tendency of individuals with dyslexia to mirror-reverse or rotate letters. Dutch artist Christian Boer, who designed the font, aimed to make the letters as distinct as possible from each other to avoid confusion between letters. Disproving the effectiveness of Dyslexie In our research we tested 39 English speaking low-progress readers from grades 2 to 6. The children were asked to read texts of similar difficulty in Arial and Dyslexie font that had the same letter-display size, but differed in the degree of word and letter spacing. Our findings show that the Dyslexie font increased reading speed by just 7%. To put this into perspective, in order to match the reading speed of normal readers at least a 70-100% improvement is needed. Arial gives same results Importantly, the same gain could be obtained with Arial font when we enlarged the spacing settings. In most individuals with dyslexia, the cognitive problems that cause their reading impairment are beyond the early visual letter processing level. Many people with dyslexia struggle to learn the rules for sounding out letters. In this case there is no reason to assume that specific letter shapes would assist in making reading easier. Previous research has also shown that individuals with dyslexia can benefit to a small extent from larger spacing of objects. This is because they struggle more than their normal reading peers to process objects that are presented closely together. In the case of reading, these objects would be words or letters. However, more research is needed to validate this interpretation. Based on our research and earlier findings, it is clear that typesetting factors like spacing can only marginally contribute to reading improvement in individuals who struggle with reading. To significantly improve reading it is important to concentrate on remediation of the specific underlying cause(s) of the reading impairment, like training rules for converting print to speech sounds.

Authors: Eva Marinus, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Macquarie University

Read more http://theconversation.com/spacing-of-letters-not-shape-of-letters-slightly-increases-reading-speed-of-those-with-dyslexia-59316

HIV testing people who spit at police or health workers won't actually protect them

arrow_forward

In the wake of the Dyson Heydon allegations, here's how the legal profession can reform sexual harassment

arrow_forward

How To Find The Best Wedding Venues

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Scott Morrison Interview with Ray Hadley, 2GB

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, supposed to be on holidays. He's not. He's online. Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray. Certainly staying very close to every...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison Covid 19 update

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon, everyone. Today I’m joined by Professor Paul Murphy - sorry, Professor Paul Kelly. I’ve got Brendan Murphy still on the brain. You are not far from us, Brendan. B...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

FORDHAM: Thank you very much for talking to us. I know it's a difficult day for all of those Qantas workers. Look, they want to know in the short term, are you going to extend JobKeeper?   PRI...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

What Are Your Basic Rights as an Employee and a Job Candidate?

There is no denying that we are living in very difficult times where finding stable employment is not that easy. However, no matter how harsh the circumstances are, people should not withstand m...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

Double the interest in eCommerce spaces from businesses after COVID-19 lockdown

Recent lockdown restrictions have emphasised the necessity of an eCommerce function in future-proofing retail businesses. Sydney-based co-working space, Workit Spaces, has seen double the amoun...

Steve Fletcher, National WHSQ Manager at Drake International - avatar Steve Fletcher, National WHSQ Manager at Drake International

Tips for Setting Up an E-Commerce Website

If you are fed up with the 9-5 daily grind and would like to make a living selling products online, setting up an e-commerce website might just be the answer. Many Australians have already freed t...

News Company - avatar News Company



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion