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