Reading is a complex activity, which combines and exploits different components (visual and perceptive abilities, memory, metacognition, emotional components), evolving and qualitatively changing across development. Research has primarily focused on investigating and teaching—and if necessary re-habilitating—reading skills during development, with a special emphasis on decoding processes and reading aloud. In adulthood, however, reading is generally practiced in the silent mode, with the aim of understanding texts, and these aspects have been devoted little attention, above all in the perspective of improving reading abilities. Given the crucial role of reading for comprehension not only in the academic context but also in everyday life, this gap needs filling. This paper investigates the effects of a training programme, named SuperReading, on the reading and comprehension abilities of adult subjects. The course is focused on silent reading and combines metacognitive training, memorisation techniques, self-empowerment and eye-movement practice to enhance reading effectiveness. After a brief presentation of the course and its crucial components, the paper illustrates a research project, aimed at measuring the effects of the training. It presents and analyses the data gathered on a population of 108 university students, all of them normotypical readers (test group), and compares them with a control group of 88 subjects matched for age and educational level; it then comments on the results, which show significant improvements in the performance of the test group and significant differences with the control group.
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The dataset generated during and analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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This study is part of a project developed by the research centre Euresis, at IULM University. We thank the staff of the Office for Support to Students with Disabilities at IULM University, who collaborated to the gathering of data. We are grateful to all participants to the SuperReading courses for their consent to the acquisition of their personal data and of their reading performances.
Also, The tests were administered to the control group thanks to the cooperation of Angelica Brustia, who participated to the project as an MA student.
This research has been partially funded by the Department of Humanities, IULM University, Milan.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest
This study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. As IULM University has no ethical committee, the project was submitted to the Ethical Committee of the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice, which approved it last February.
Consent to Participate
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Scagnelli, M., Della Beffa, F. & Santulli, F. Reading and Comprehension in Adulthood: a Training Programme. J Cogn Enhanc 5, 25–34 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41465-020-00182-4
- Silent reading