This presentation contains the results of a study investigating the role typography and design play on learners' interaction with texts. Typography is described by Walker (2001) in this manner: '[Typography] articulates the meaning of a text, making it easy for readers to understand' (p. 3). Considering this important function of typography, the researcher designed this study to quantitatively measure the effect of typographical cues on language learners' understanding of a written text. Participants in the study were assigned randomly to one of two different groups. The control group was presented with a simple written text that did not contain typographical modifications. The treatment group was supplied a lexically identical text that employed typographical cues to enhance the salience of important information. An eye-tracking camera collected data on participants' reading and fixation patterns. Comprehension of the text was also measured by a post-reading comprehension quiz containing open-ended recall and multiple choice items. The data collected by the eye-tracking camera indicate that reading patterns and fixations were greatly influenced by typographical variations between the texts. The comprehension quiz yielded statistically significant scores between the two groups. The researcher will discuss the implications of these results and provide practical suggestions for attendees on how to increase the effectiveness of their materials using basic typographical principles.
Ryan Lege, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development
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