Researchers rarely agree on anything. The conclusions drawn from researches depend on parameters and methods used during the research. Change one parameter, you get a different result.
All researchers agree on one thing, though: Black text on a white background does not ensure maximum readability. Yet this combination is commonly used in our everyday life. No wonder every fourth kid struggles to learn to read.
In order to improve the readability of a text, we need to introduce color.
Color-Coding A Text
Color-coding provides additional sensory information to our brain, helping it structure letters, letter pairs, and words into meaningful units of text. Because of this improved structure, the brain requires less effort to process the text, which improves reading speed.
This is extremely important for struggling readers and kids who are learning to read. Reading speed is crucial for comprehension. Improve reading speed and comprehension improves as well. This leads to higher motivation and higher motivation leads to more practice. In the long run, color coding helps turn a struggling reader into an avid reader.
Making Text Easily Readable
Text readability can easily be improved by splitting words into syllables. Montessori does that by coloring all the vowels in blue and having all consonants in red or black. The blue color segments the word into smaller parts (banana to ba-na-na), which makes it easier to read.
Try It Out!
Download our Dyslexia-Friendly book about Alice in Wonderland and check whether it suits your kid.
Alternatively, you can draw a vertical colored line in between syllables in order to simplify reading for your kid.
Tackling Letter Reversals
Another advantage of introducing color into texts is the ability to highlight a specific letter or letter pair. Letter reversals are common among young readers. The letters ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘p’, and ‘q’ all use the same written symbol mirrored in different directions. This causes issues for young learners as they are not sure which one they have to spell out in a given word.
Highlighting these problematic letters in different colors helps solve that issue. Give it a go. Color the letter ‘b’ in red and the letter ‘d’ in green. This gives the brain additional visual information about the letter, helping the kid to recognize it faster.
Once your kid masters these letters, we can stop using the color as the brain will recognize the shape of the letter immediately.
Suffixes, Double Letters, and More
The same goes for other parts of the words as well. You can easily adjust the color-coding method to suit your kid’s current learning stage. Color the suffixes, double letters, irregular or complex words to help your kid identify and pay special attention to them.
Wherever your kid struggles, add color to it. This will make reading easier for them and help them progress much faster.
The best thing about using color to improve the text’s readability is that the method can be easily implemented at home and personalized for every kid. But if you find coloring specific letters to be too much of a hustle you can give Kobi – the mobile app that helps children learn to read a try. The mobile app does the coloring for you. Simply set the rules and instantly color any book.