The reading rate and comprehension of adults with impaired reading skills or visual discomfort
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of impaired reading skills and visual discomfort on the reading rate and comprehension of university students when reading texts presented at a high school (Grade 9) or university (Grade 12) level of difficulty. Groups included impaired readers (n=18) and normal readers with (n=13) or without visual discomfort (n=19). Regardless of text difficulty the impaired reader group had a significantly slower reading rate and poorer comprehension than the normal reader control group. However, when reading rate and comprehension were compared at the assessed reading level of each group, no group differences were found. The normal reading visual discomfort group had poorer reading comprehension than other normal readers with presentation of university-level text only. It was concluded that poor word decoding skills may exacerbate comprehension difficulties in impaired readers. In contrast, the comprehension difficulties found for normal readers with visual discomfort occurred because of the somatic and perceptual difficulties induced with exposure to the repetitive striped patterns found on text pages. The types of strategy needed to increase the reading efficiency and produce greater academic success in university students with impaired reader skills or visual discomfort are discussed.
Journal of Research in Reading
Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified