Hard-to-read fonts ‘can boost pupil results by up to a fifth’

Dyslexic children can dramatically improve their performance at school by reading in a difficult font, according to research. This is from the Telegraph…

The extra effort needed to decode hard-to-read words boosts pupils’ results by almost a fifth overall, it was revealed.

A study found that more challenging fonts such as Monotype Corsiva – a flowing, italic typeface – had a positive impact on all schoolchildren but the effect was most significant with those suffering common learning difficulties.

The conclusions appear to contradict guidelines from the British Dyslexia Association which recommends that a plain, evenly spaced font such as Arial or Comic Sans should be used when working with dyslexics.

It follows research three years ago from Princeton University in the United States which found that the style and size of words had a major impact on students’ ability to recall knowledge.

The latest study was carried out by teachers at the fee-paying Clifton College in Bristol and published in the Journal of Educational Research.

Matthew French, a physics teacher, said he now routinely used hard-to-read fonts in lessons, with other staff members trialling the approach.

“Our study suggests dyslexic pupils benefit significantly from reading information in a hard-to-read font and supports the idea that it is the greater cognitive processing that helps students remember what they have read,” he said.

“Pupils at Clifton College are now benefiting from revision material and some printed class notes being available in hard-to-read fonts. The evidence suggests this will help them to recall the information more readily in future as well as during the upcoming GCSE and A-level exams.”

The school used 275 pupils aged 13 to 16 as part of the study.

More at:  Hard-to-read fonts ‘can boost pupil results by up to a fifth’

Very interesting yet counter-intuitive findings – thoughts?

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Categories: Learning and Research.


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  2. Dyslexia2gether

    SchoolsImprove Who decided Corsiva font was ‘hard to read’? Distinctive letter /word formation can help visual memory! Letters are clear.

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