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C. Dependence of Reading Rate on Previous Reading Experience
7 Results of the Research
Total sum of
( x wpm)
(X max - X min)
77.2 – 40.5
78.8 – 48.2
90.7 – 58.0
7.7 – 3.7
9.8 – 6.1
17.5 – 9.8
53.2 – 18.5
57.2 – 29.2
59.5 – 40.0
15.2 – 1.7
19.2 – 2.3
34.4 – 6.3
(n = 4)
Fig. 7.38 Comparison of the measured values of average reading rate in the subcategories of
previous reading experience variable (RE)
(including professional) before the occurrence of visual impairment and reading
was their daily activity (Probands B, D, E, I). The subcategory of less experienced
readers included those who read only certain types of texts and reading was not
their favourite activity (A, F, G, H).
Results and Discussions Concerning the Intervening Variables: Reading
Input performance: From the data listed in the table (Fig. 7.38) it is clear that the
experienced readers exhibit a signiﬁcantly greater ability to adapt to the unfavourable situation without professional intervention.
In the pre-test, the experienced readers achieved almost double the speed of
reading ( x 58.6 wpm). The value is only slightly under the level of socially acceptable reading rate valid for the population without disabilities.3
In contrast, less experienced readers achieved signiﬁcantly lower results ( x
30.8 wpm) in the pre-test. The difference between average values measured in both
subcategories in the pre-test was 27.8 wpm.
Part 1 of the ERP: In the subcategory of more experienced readers, the acceleration achieved through environmental adaptation was by x 5.1 wpm (11.3 %). In the
subcategory of less experienced readers, the acceleration due to adaptation was by x
8.0 wpm (25.9 %). The difference in relative values measured in both subcategories
depending on the ﬁrst part of the programme is 14.6 %.
Part 2 of the ERP (educational intervention): Based on the comparison of the
results of reading experience variable, it was found that the less experienced
readers achieved higher levels of improvement also in the educational part of the
programme. In the subcategory of more experienced readers, reading acceleration
The boundary of socially acceptable reading rate is approximately 70–80 wpm (Matějček et al.,
7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance
was x 8.8 wpm (14.2 %), while in the subcategory of less experienced readers x
10.3 wpm (33.4 %).
The overall effectiveness of the ERP (increase in performance between the pre-test
and post-test): The overall level of reading acceleration, related to the rehabilitation
programme in the subcategory of more experienced readers, achieved the value of
x 13.9 wpm (25.5 %); in the subcategory of less experienced readers, x 18.3 wpm
(59.4 %). The difference between the values of increase in performance based on the
implementation of entire programme is 33.9 %.
The observed results conﬁrm the assumption that experienced readers are, due to a
stronger need for reading, more motivated, and frequently achieve a better level of
modiﬁcation of external conditions for near-distance visual tasks even without professional intervention. The data analysis of case studies shows that the original
external conditions for near-distance visual tasks were not sufﬁciently adapted in all
the cases of less experienced readers. On the other hand, in the subcategory of experienced readers, environmental adaptations were in one case (B) at an excellent
level and in three cases the conditions were largely adapted (D, E, I). This is also the
reason for a lower increase in reading rate due to the ﬁrst part of the programme
(by x 14.6 % more in the less experienced persons).
Also the relationship of effectiveness of the educational part of the programme
to the level of reading experience showed a higher potential in the category of less
experienced. The difference of 19.3 % in the relative values of increase in performance indicates a higher educational potential in the group with lower level of
previous reading experience. These persons can especially beneﬁt from the adoption of generally applicable techniques as well as special reading and relaxation
techniques which are used in the ﬁrst group instinctively or due to self-education.
Based on the overall data concerning the efﬁciency of the ERP, it can be assumed
that persons, who achieved a lower reading experience in previous life, have a
higher potential to accelerate their reading through a rehabilitation programme
(by comparing the measured values, the average efﬁciency of the programme was
found to be 59.4 %, while for the subcategory of persons experienced in reading, the
overall efﬁciency was 25.5 %). Professional literature published abroad generally
agrees that the degree of difﬁculties in reading is limited by other factors than only
by visual acuity. One of the key factors is experience. Greer (2004) states that the
major determinants are also education, profession and lifestyle. It is clear then that
the training of visual perception and reading skills can increase reading performance even in the target group of persons with low vision. At the same time, Greer
also draws attention to the lack of research studies on this issue which would document the importance of training and specify the exact conditions of application of
rehabilitation methods and tests.
A further potential of reading acceleration was demonstrated also for the group of
persons with higher level of reading experience; a potential which is also signiﬁcant
as it represents an overall increase in reading rate by more than one quarter (25.5 %).
7 Results of the Research
In the tested group, a moderate reading acceleration was achieved due to the educational
part of the experimental programme (by 14.2 %). Again, even here it is necessary to
take into account the possible effect of other variables, especially the degree of
motivation to self-development and activity during and after the programme, which
are closely linked with the achieved performance. ‘Pepper Visual Skills for Reading
Test’ for the evaluation of functional visual performance in persons with low vision
created a category of persons reading accurately and quickly. We believe that this
particular target group has the potential for further growth in performance through
a special training of effective work with text (Greer, 2004).
D. Dependence of Reading Rate on Activity of the Proband
To monitor the dependence between increase in reading rate and proband’s activity
during the implementation of the programme, a typology was created based on the
data analysis of case studies. The basic method of obtaining data was the observation of the proband during individual experimental training lessons, the observation
of the attitude towards independent training tasks and the analysis of the products of
homework. Based on the obtained data, a typology with two subcategories was created. The ﬁrst one included persons with signiﬁcant level of activity (Probands B,
C, D); the second one: persons with lower level of manifested activity (A, F, G).
When calculating the arithmetic average of performance in selected groups, n = 3
Results and Discussions Concerning the Intervening Variables: Level
Initial performance: It follows from the comparison of the average values measured
in both subcategories during the pre-test (without professional intervention) that the
group of active persons achieved in the pre-test the average reading rate of 49.0 wpm,
while the group of less active achieved 31.3 wpm. The difference between the two
subcategories in reading rate in the pre-test was 17.7 wpm.
(X max - X min)
1 – | -1 |
(n = 10)
Fig. 7.39 Comparison of the measured values of average reading rate in the subcategories of
activity level variable (AL)
7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance
Part 1 of the ERP: The subcategory of active persons achieved, based on environmental adaptation, the acceleration of reading rate on average by 8.4 wpm (17.1 %).
The group of the less active showed the average acceleration in reading rate by
5.6 wpm (17.9 %). The percentage difference of the dependence of reading acceleration in both subcategories on demonstrated activity was only 0.8 %.
Part 2 of the ERP: According to the results achieved through the educational part
of the programme, the group of active persons increased reading rate on average by
6.8 wpm (13.8 %). In the subcategory of less active persons, the value of acceleration equalled 7.4 wpm (23.5 %). The difference of percentages suggested a higher
average efﬁciency of the educational part of the programme in the group of less
active persons (by 9.7 %).
The overall effectiveness of the ERP: Depending on the implementation of entire
programme, the more active subcategory achieved the average reading acceleration
by 15.2 wpm (30.9 %), the less active by 12.9 wpm (41.4 %). The percentage difference
in performance increase based on the realization of entire programme made 10.5 %
in favour of the subcategory of less active persons.
The analysis of data of the ﬁrst observed relationship provided basic information for
the evaluation of entire category, namely that the persons with higher level of personal involvement achieved during the rehabilitation programme signiﬁcantly
higher levels in reading rate before the beginning of the ERP (the difference between
the results of pre-test was 17.7 wpm). It is possible to draw a conclusion that activity
exhibited during the programme has a close relationship to personal motivation for
self-development—in this case, increase in reading performance. Activity exhibited
during the implementation of the programme builds on the activity before its implementation, especially in the context of independent effort for the adaptation of
external conditions and self-education in the area of reading. This assumption is
evidenced by the case studies on environmental adaptation from which it can be
concluded that the active persons (B, C, D) showed a signiﬁcantly higher level of
environmental adaptation already at the beginning of the ERP. All the less active
probands showed the complete absence of modiﬁcations for near-distance visual
tasks. The level of activity during the programme can also be related to the lifestyle
of the person and the status of reading in the hierarchy of his/her needs. All the
persons from the active group stated that reading was one of their favourite activities
and they read regularly more than 5 h a week. In contrast, the persons included in
the group of less active were not strong readers even in the past (in all the cases,
reading was used mainly to obtain basic information: letters, daily news; reading
only for a short time).
Based on the earlier given analysis, the reasons for comparable results achieved
in both subcategories through the ﬁrst part of the programme can be deduced (the
difference was only 0.8 %). This result is consistent with the experience of practise,
namely that the modiﬁcations implemented during the ﬁrst part of the programme
do not show signiﬁcant dependence on the level of activity.