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March 23, 2018 Friday 03:39:48 PM IST

Pay some Attention to the Letter- Spacing!

Teacher Insights

New York: Studies prove that the increased letter spacing will help the children to read fast. A new research done by the Binghamton University, State University of New York, talks about an effect called 'Letter- Spacing Effect'.  

"Generally speaking, our lab is interested in learning about how kids learn to read. More specifically, we want to know how the brain activity of kids that have difficulty learning to read differs from those who are not." said Elizabeth Sacchi, a doctoral candidate at Binghamton University. "Through some of my studies, I came across this effect called the letter-spacing effect, which is this finding that both kids and adults with or without specific reading impairment read faster and more fluidly when you increase the spaces between letters in words."

The research studied how children read, measuring their brain activity as they play a computerized reading game. The goal of the project wass to help children become more successful readers. According to Sacchi, this is the first letter-spacing research to look at what is happening inside the brain when reading occurs.

Sacchi said she plans to focus her future research on what part of the reading process letter-spacing affects.


"The idea is to go down the line," said Sacchi. "We looked at early visual processing and saw that it doesn't affect early visual processing, so now the next step is to see how spacing affects the processing of sound information during reading. It's this nice progression of going through the different stages of reading to try to find exactly where exactly spacing comes into play."

According to Sacchi, this could also have an impact on who benefits from letter-spacing.

"The general implication of my work is that the letter-spacing effect may not be equally as helpful for everyone. Since spacing letters apart does not help with the very first visual stages of reading, we would expect it to be a better aid to someone having trouble with other aspects of reading. This finding may facilitate the eventual development of more targeted interventions for struggling readers." said Sacchi.

(Source: Brain Research)



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