The Development of a Web-Based Reading System: A Targeted Approach to Teaching English Reading and Speech

By Greg Raver-Lampman.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: April 7, 2016 $US5.00

Many English as a Second Language (ESL) students and developmental readers read one word at a time, often straining to recognize phrase boundaries, which not only decreases their reading rate, but makes it more challenging to comprehend complex sentences. One method to increase reading rate and comprehension is presentation of text in individual phrases or “thought groups,” what Rasinski (1994) terms “phrase-cued” text, reading passages marked with slashes between clusters of words that make up intra-sentential chunks of meaning. This article describes a review of literature and research that resulted in the development of a web-based reading system by the Old Dominion University English Language Center that breaks any text—a magazine article, a blog post, a research paper—into instructor customizable phrase groups. This text can be presented dynamically to increase a user’s reading rate. In addition, individual parts of speech, including key vocabulary, can be toggled to display in various colors, making all verbs in red, for instance. Using such features, the system can generate self-grading worksheets, allowing instruction to be targeted to individual students’ interests and syntactic deficits.

Keywords: Reading Difficulties, Thought Groups, Individualized Instruction

Journal of Technologies in Society, Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: April 7, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 493.319KB)).

Greg Raver-Lampman

Lecturer, English Language Center, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA