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D. Dependence of Reading Rate on Activity of the Proband

D. Dependence of Reading Rate on Activity of the Proband

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7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



221



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.

Discussion

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.



222



7 Results of the Research



In contrast, as to the educational part of the programme (and as to the result of

the overall effectiveness of the ERP), the results differed from the original assumptions.4 Although the difference in the results of both groups is not high, the higher

efficiency of educational part of the programme as well as the entire programme

was achieved in the subcategory of less active persons (total 10.5 %). We believe

that this result corresponds with the fact that persons active in this field achieved a

significant result already through independent activity in environmental adaptation

and self-education. Thus, a further increase in performance could no longer reach

such high values. On the contrary, in case of the persons with lower level of activity,

both components of the ERP contributed to the positive outcome. The chosen form

and organization of the programme had a significantly positive impact. Persons who

were not originally really interested in the development of visual and reading performance were encouraged to find goals connected with strengthening reading competences to the level which seemed appealing and practical for them. During the

diagnostic interview, practical goals were set. Regular, structured educational interventions implemented in home environment and the direct supervision of rehabilitation professional proved highly effective in this group. The results are, in broader

context, consistent with the researches and professional opinions that, due to the

deterioration of visual performance, a number of persons give up reading. The subsequent restoration of reading skills can be threatened, in addition to objective difficulties, also by a reduced level of self-confidence and motivation. With the optimal

effects of rehabilitation, though, there is still a high potential for a partial or full

restoration of reading performance. The importance of motivation for rehabilitation

was closely examined by Langrová (2005). In the absence of active approach to the

development of visual potential, Langrová considers external motivation an indispensable part of the process: e.g. recommendation of the rehabilitation programme

by person’s ophthalmologist, support of therapist, family members, other persons

(Jesenský, 2002).

It is possible to draw the following conclusions from these findings: even less

motivated persons have, under a regular professional leadership of the rehabilitation

programme, a high potential of significant increase in reading rate. The average

values of increase in reading rate performance in more active persons also demonstrate the importance of the experimental programme (by 30.9 %).



7.2.1.5



Discussion of the Effect of Intervening Variables on Reading Rate



The primary aim of this chapter is to provide a comparison of results measured in

the basic experimental group (n = 10) with the results obtained by the creation of

individual typologies and to detect any significant deviations which might occur in

the subcategories of individual typologies. Based on the following comparisons,

conclusions are drawn which, however, cannot be generalized. These are the first

4



A higher level of proband’s activity will bring a positive effect for the results, especially in the

educational part of the programme.



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



223



numerically based data for the Czech Republic showing the impact of selected intervening variables on reading performance. As such, they are the appropriate material

for further specific examinations and verifications.5

Reading rate is considered the best measurable indicator of reading performance

which is also the most reliable indicator of the maturity of reading as it correlates

highly significantly with the degree of reading skills as well as the level of understanding (Matějček, Šturma, Vágnerová, & Žlab, 1992). This is, however, not

unconditionally valid in the target groups, in which their reading performance is

determined by other objective disadvantages. It is highly symptomatic that the effect

of reduced visual ability forces the person to slow down reading or make him/her

read with such a reading accuracy that the understanding of content is seriously

affected.

On the basis of their measurements, Matějček et al. (1992) demonstrate that

reading rate is constant in standard situations at least in the first 5 min. If significant

fluctuations occur in reading rate, it is necessary to look for other reasons. The accurate diagnosis in the target group of persons with reduced visual abilities shows that

the variation may be caused by a number of intervening variables (by using an

unsuitable optical device or by the lack of skills for controlling it, by insufficient

environmental adaptation, by the speed of occurrence of visual fatigue; etc.). A

generally valid limit of social acceptability is the minimum reading rate of

70–80 wpm. In the target group of adults and older adults with low vision, the

threshold depends on reading objectives. If the objective is to read only short texts,

then the reading rate of 40 wpm can be enough; if the person has high demands on

reading performance (studies, professional requirements), it will most likely be necessary to choose such methods and techniques of reading which will enable to reach

a higher level of reading comprehension (Whittaker, Lovie-Kitchin, 1993 in Lueck,

2004; Silvestrone, Lang, Rosenthal, Faye et al., 2000 etc.). In case of persons with

reduced visual ability, it is necessary to assess the level of achieved visual performance individually by a number of factors. Legge, Rubin, Pelli, and Schleske (1985)

state that reading rate is generally lower in persons with low vision. The greater risk

of reduction in reading rate in adulthood is caused by functional difficulties in the

central visual field.

From the data obtained on the basis of comparison of typologies, some significant differences in performance caused by the described intervening variables can

be expected. We consider the usability of collected data as very valuable, especially

for rehabilitation diagnostics and for creating individual rehabilitation plans. The

first compared category is reading performance measured in the first experimental

test—pre-test. The measured value indicates the degree of person’s ability to modify conditions independently (without a support rehabilitation intervention) and to

overcome the consequences of disadvantage caused by reduction in visual abilities.

The average value of performance obtained by calculating the arithmetic average of

measured values of the experimental group in reading rate is x 47.5 wpm, which

5



No similar researches have been carried out in the Czech Republic yet, while abroad the onset of

interest in the field occurred in 1970s (Quillman & Goodrich, 2004).



224



7 Results of the Research



corresponds to the value. Significantly lower values were found in the pre-test in

the subcategory of persons with very low level of visual acuity ( x 27.7 wpm) and

in persons with low level of previous reading experience ( x 30.8 wpm). It can be

assumed that the rehabilitation course will have a high potential of increase in performance in reading rate for both groups, as their initial performance is significantly reduced compared not only to persons without disabilities, but also to the

average reading rate of persons with low vision.

Higher average values of performance in reading rate without the application of

professional intervention were achieved in the subcategories of experienced readers

( x 58.6 wpm), younger persons ( x 59.2 wpm) and persons with higher level of

visual acuity ( x 54.0 wpm). In all the listed subcategories, there is the assumption

of a higher level of the potential of independent adaptation to new conditions for

reading. However, comparison with the results of the pre-test showed that the professional rehabilitation intervention represented an important means for growth in

performance even in these subcategories.

Based on the comparison of average values of increase in performance in the

experimental group in relation to environmental adaptation, an improvement was

found by 14.7 %. The high level of difference in measured values in the comparison

of the results achieved in individual subcategories demonstrates the effect of several

intervening variables on reading rate. A significant difference in the achieved level

of relative performance increase in the observed variables was found in the variables

of visual acuity (difference of 22.0 %), reading experience (difference of 14.6 %)

and demonstrated activity (difference of 17.7 %). In relation to individual compared

variables, the most important benefit of the adaptation part of the programme was

shown in the subcategory of persons with very low VA and less experienced readers.

The effect of environmental adaptation for near-distance visual tasks in persons

with very low VA is caused by higher needs to ensure ideal lighting and other conditions (e.g. contrast, distance of text, body and head posture), which only a less

numerous part of persons belonging to the target group can achieve without professional support. Inexperienced readers achieved a very low average reading rate in

the pre-test, which indicated a high potential of possible improvement in the

ERP. The analysis of case studies indicated that this group was characterized by a

low level of optimal conditions for near-distance visual performance at the beginning of the programme. The support intervention during the first part of the programme, targeted to modify the conditions, brought about significant performance

improvements. A low level of increase in relative performance based on the modification of reading conditions was, on the contrary, found in the subcategories of

younger and experienced probands. In both groups, the environmental adaptation

and modification of conditions were the reason for a high performance already in

the pre-test (T1). Presumably, a high performance cannot be achieved without

providing a certain degree of environmental adaptations.6 It is therefore a logical

conclusion that a lower level of improvement occurred during the first part of the

6



Case studies have shown that persons in both observed subcategories really achieved a high

degree of adaptation before the start of the research.



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



Exp.

group



VA



Age



RE



higher lower younger older experienced

T1S

(



)



T1/2S

(%)



T2/3S

(%)



T1/3S

(%)



225



Activity

less

exper.



yes



no



47.5



54.0



27.7



59.2



46.9



58.6



30.8



30.9



41.4



14.7



15.4



32.1



10.1



17.5



11.3



25.5



49.0



31.3



19.6



12.2



44.9



14.2



16.0



14.2



33.5



17.1



17.9



34.3



27.6



76.2



24.3



33.5



25.5



59.4



13.8



23.5



Fig. 7.40 Results of intervening variables in the area of reading rate. Exp. group—arithmetic average of measured values of all probands (n = 10) in reading rate; VA—visual acuity; relative increase

in reading rate in the subcategories with lower/higher degree of VA; Age—improving performance

in reading rate in the subcategory of younger/older; RE—reading experience; improved performance

in reading rate in the subcategories of higher/lower degree of RE; Activity—relative improvement in

reading rate performance in the subcategory of active/less active probands; T1S—average reading

rate in individual subcategories in Test 1; T1/2S—increase in performance based on the completion of

the first part of experimental programme (%); T2/3S—increase in performance based on the completion of the second part of experimental programme (%); T1/3S—increase in performance based on the

completion of the entire experimental programme (%)



programme due to the earlier given facts—the effectiveness of the programme was

lower. In the educational part of the experiment, the most significant differences in

reading rate performance occurred in the variables of visual acuity (difference in

relative performance 32.7 %) and reading experience (19.3 %). The most significant

growth in efficiency achieved through the educational part of the experimental programme was recorded in the subcategory of probands with very low level of VA

(increase in reading rate by 44.9 %). A significant improvement was also achieved

in the subcategory of persons with low level of reading experience (33.5 %).

Education was in both subcategories the primary variable of reading performance.

Lower values of improvement were found in the subcategories of persons with

higher VA, younger and experienced readers. What also applies to the educational

part is the fact that persons with the previous given characteristics show a higher

potential for self-education and achieve a lower level of efficiency through the educational part of the programme. The resulting values indicate that although the level

of relative improvement is lower, education remains even in these cases an important means of increase in performance in reading rate (Fig. 7.40).

The overall improvement in performance achieved through the completion of the

experimental programme shows differences from a more global point of view

(Fig. 7.41). An average increase in overall performance in reading rate by 34.3 %

was found in the experimental group. Significant differences in the resulting degree

of effectiveness of the rehabilitation programme, achieved in the individual subcategories of intervening variables, point to the existence of dependence. Based on

visual acuity variable, the overall difference in performances between the persons

with higher and lower levels of VA was 48.6 %. Such a result shows a very strong



226



7 Results of the Research



Fig. 7.41 Degree of influence of intervening variables on increase in reading rate performance

depending on the implementation of the entire ERP. VA—degree of visual acuity variable: A—

subcategory with higher level of VA; B—subcategory with lower level of VA; Age—age: A—subcategory of younger persons (18–50); B—subcategory of older persons (51–80); RE—reading

experience: A—subcategory with higher level of RE; B—subcategory with lower level of RE;

Activity—level of shown activity variable: A—subcategory with higher level of activity; B—with

lower level of activity; T1/3S line shows the average value of increase in reading performance in the

experimental group (n = 10)



dependence of increase in reading rate due to the realized rehabilitation programme

on visual acuity—persons with lower degree of VA achieved a significantly higher

effect than persons with higher VA. Concerning age variable, a higher effectiveness

of the programme was proven in older persons. Concerning level of reading experience variable, the less experienced persons achieved efficiency higher by 33.9 %

compared to the experienced persons. This result shows the high level of the potential

of professionally guided rehabilitation in this particular group. It is also necessary to

take into account the assumption that, during the implementation of experimental

rehabilitation programme focused on reading skills, the degree of reading experience

affects significantly the level of increase of reading rate performance. Also, concerning variable the level of proband’s activity, various results occurred proving the

existence of relationship to reading rate. The less active persons achieved an

improvement by 9.7 % higher than the more active persons.

The logic of the observed result is based on the previously commented finding

that active persons achieve a higher level of performance through their individual

independent activity, while those less active get a significant contribution from

professionally guided rehabilitation.



7.2.2



Results in the Category of Reading Accuracy (Number

of Errors)



The measurement of number of errors in reading is expressed by the number of

epm. We consider for an error: incorrect reading of characters/syllables/words/parts

of sentence, regressive eye movements and excessively long pauses in reading.



227



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



7.2.2.1



Numerical Expression of Average Results



Fig. 7.42



7.2.2.2



Statistical Representation of Results



Summary Results in the Category of Number of Errors in Reading (Descriptive

Statistics)

Figs. 7.43, 7.44, 7.45 and 7.46



Proband A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J



T1E

3.70

1.00

1.00

1.50

1.00

1.70

2.30

7.80

1.00

0.70



T2E

1.67

0.66

1.16

1.16

1.00

1.30

1.50

4.20

0.80

0.50



T3E

0.50

0.34

0.50

0.66

0.50

1.00

1.20

1.70

0.50

0.50



T1/2E

2.03

0.34

- 0.16

0.34

0

0.40

0.80

3.60

0.20

0.20



T2/3E

1.17

0.32

0.66

0.50

0.50

0.30

0.30

2.50

0.30

0



T1/3E

3.20

0.66

0,50

0.84

0.50

0.70

1.10

6.10

0.50

0.20



Fig. 7.42 Results of the measurement of x number of epm. T1E Average number of errors in the

input reading test (pre-test); T2E Average number of errors in the continuous reading test; T3E

Average number of errors in the output reading test (post-test); T1/2E Difference in average results

achieved in the first part of the programme; T2/3E Difference in average results achieved in the

second part of the programme; T1/3E Overall difference in average results achieved between the

input and output tests



T1E

x T2E

x T3E

x T1/2E

x T2/3E

x T1/3E

x



Total sum of

errors

( x epm)

21.7

14.0

7.4

69.6

93.1

160.9



Range

(X max - X min)

7.8 – 0.7

4.2 – 0.5

1.7 – 0.34

3.6 – | - 0.16|

2.5 – 0

6.1 – 0.2



Arithmetic

average

(n = 10)

2.17

1.40

0.74

0.77

0.66

1.43



Efficiency

(%)

100

64.5

34.1

35.5

30.4

65.9



Fig. 7.43 Comparison of measured values of the average number of errors in the entire experimental

group (refer under Fig. 7.42)



228



7 Results of the Research



8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

0

A



B



C



D



E



F



G



H



I



J



T1 - average number of errors in the pre-test

T2 - average number of errors in the test (after the first part of the programme)

T3 - average number of errors in the post-test



Fig. 7.44 Values of improvement of all probands in number of reading errors in separate experimental tests (epm)

2.5

2



2.17



1.5

1



1.40



0.5



0.74



0



average number of errors in T1

average number of errors in T2

average number of errors in T3

Fig. 7.45 Average values of improvement of the research group in number of reading errors in

separate experimental tests (epm)



Summary

From the measurement results of all the probands in the experimental group

(n = 10), the arithmetic average was calculated of the performance achieved in

separate experimental tests. The value representative of average performance of

the group during the first test was 2.17 epm (100 %). During the second test, the

group achieved the average performance of 1.40 epm (64.5 %). During the third,

final test, the average value was 0.74 epm (34.1 %).

From the measurements in category of errors in reading, the following results

could be drawn:

Based on environmental adaptation (the first part of the programme), the average

reduction in the number of errors was by 0.77 epm (35.5 %). Depending on the

educational part of the programme (the second part), the average number of errors



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



229



46.2%



53.9%



reduction in the number of errors in the first experimental part of the programme (T1/2)

reduction in the number of errors in the second experimental part of the programme (T2/3)

Fig. 7.46 Efficiency of both experimental parts of the programme in the reduction of number of

errors (%)



was reduced by 0.66 wpm (30.4 %). During the entire programme, the number of

errors was reduced by 1.43 epm (65.9 %) in the experimental group. These results

indicate that both parts of the programme significantly contributed to the reduction

of errors in the research group. Environmental adaptation contributed in this case to

the overall performance improvement by 7.7 % more than education (Fig. 7.44).

A high level of dependence between errors in reading and the quality of external

reading conditions can be assumed. Similarly, also the educational part represents

an important potential of increase in reading performance through increasing the

fluency of reading.



7.2.2.3



Factual Verification of the Results of Measurement

of Reading Accuracy



The highest measured reduction in the number of errors was by x 6.10 epm. The

lowest value of improvement in the linearity of reading achieved on the basis of

completion of the entire programme was an individual improvement by x 0.50 epm.

The extreme values show that the range of efficiency of the programme is wide.

The lowest values of improvement in the number of errors belong, according to the

analysis of case studies, to Probands C and E who are part of the subcategory of

older persons and experienced readers. This makes clear that, due to their reading

experience, the number of errors was low in both cases already in the first test. Such

a group has a higher potential to read without errors through the use of special aids

and devices at the level of self-education.



230



7 Results of the Research



The last indicator, resulting from the analysis of case studies in comparison with

the measured results, is the effect of environmental adaptation on the reduction of

number of errors in reading in persons whose initial skills and external conditions

were minimal (Proband F, G, H). In all these cases, the measurement results show

that the modification of reading conditions played an essential role in the overall

improvement. It is necessary to keep in mind that these probands belonged to the

group of less experienced readers.



7.2.2.4



Analysis of Relationship Between Number of Errors in Reading

and Other Intervening Variables



To clarify the potential relationships of intervening variables to the performance of

the probands in the category of number of errors in reading, the technique of comparison of typologies was used. The arithmetic average of performance of the probands, who were part of the subcategories of individual typologies, was used

(extreme cases) for the numerical representation of the relationships. Unless stated

otherwise, when calculating the arithmetic average of the performance of selected

groups, (n = 4).



A. Dependence of Performance in the Category of Reading Accuracy

on Visual Acuity

The category of reading accuracy is measured by the number of errors committed

by the proband during reading. Based on the analysis of initial diagnostic data, two

subcategories were chosen for the typology of evaluation of the dependence of measured number of errors in reading on visual acuity (VA): persons with relatively

higher visual acuity (Probands A, C, D, I) and persons with very low visual acuity

(Probands E, F, G, H). Further analysis of the results pursues the objective to verify

the hypothetical relationships of the intervening variables between number of errors

and visual acuity of the probands.

Results and Discussions Concerning Intervening Variables: Visual Acuity

Initial performance: The table in Fig. 7.47 shows that persons with lower VA (below

0.03) made the average of 3.20 epm, while persons belonging to the subcategory

with higher VA only 1.80 epm. The pre-test showed the difference of 1.40 epm in

the average number of errors in reading between the two subcategories of visual

acuity, which is 43.5 %.

Part 1 of the ERP: The data indicate that persons with higher degree of VA achieved

the average reduction in number of errors by 0.60 epm (33.3 %); persons with lower

degree of VA achieved the average reduction in number of errors by 1.20 epm (37.5 %).

Thus, a higher level of elimination of errors through the adaptation of external conditions occurred in the group of persons with lower visual acuity (by 4.1 %).



7.2 Summary Results of the Measurements of Reading Performance



Total sum of

errors

( x epm)

VA

VA

higher lower

x



T1E

x



T2E

x



T3E

x



T1/2E

x



T2/3E

x



T1/3E



Efficiency

(%)



Range

(X max - X min)



VA

higher



VA

lower



VA higher



VA lower



231



Arithmetic

sum

(n = 4)

VA

VA

higher lower



7.19



12.80



100



100



3.70 – 1.00



7.80 – 1.00



1.80



3.20



4.80



8.00



66.7



62.5



1.67 – 0.80



4.20 – 1.00



1.20



2.00



2.16



4.40



30.6



34.4



0.66 – 0.50



1.70 – 0.50



0.54



1.10



2.40



4.80



33.3



37.5



2.03 - |-0.16|



3.60 - 0



0.60



1.20



0.19



3.60



38.9



28.1



1.17 – 0.30



2.50 – 0.30



0.74



0.90



5.04



8.40



72.2



65.6



3.20 – 0.30



2.50 – 0.30



1.26



2.10



Fig. 7.47 Comparison of measured values of the average number of errors in reading in the

subcategories of visual acuity variable (VA) (refer under Fig. 7.42)



Part 2 of the ERP: In the subcategory of persons with higher degree of visual

acuity, the average rate of decrease in number of errors depending on the educational part of the programme was 0.74 epm (38.9 %). The average reduction in the

number of errors in the subcategory of persons with lower VA was 0.90 epm

(28.1 %). The difference in the efficiency of the educational part of the programme

between both subcategories of the level of visual acuity variable is 10.8 % in favour

of persons with higher visual acuity.

The overall efficiency of the ERP: The overall rate of reduction in the number of

errors for the subcategory of persons with higher degree of VA represented the value

of 1.26 epm (66.7 %). For the subcategory of persons with lower degree of VA, the

average measured values of reduction in number of errors were 2.10 epm (65.6 %).

Therefore, the percentage difference of the efficiency of entire programme in both

groups is 6.6 %.

Discussion

Visual acuity is an intervening variable which significantly influences visual performance. The results of the comparison show that persons with lower VA committed,

without any prior professional intervention, almost double the number of errors in

reading ( x 3.20 epm) compared to those with higher degree of VA ( x 1.80 epm).

It can be concluded from the earlier given results that the degree of visual acuity has

a significant relationship to the number of errors in reading in case that a professionally guided educational and rehabilitative intervention does not occur. A number

of professional sources from abroad indicate that the elimination of difficulties

linked with the visual discrimination of text in the field of reading errors is connected



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