1.0 the print at hand. The ability
0Introduction 1.1Background of study Readingis a skill that unlocks the doors of learning and success. It is commonlyaccepted that reading is a foundational skill that plays a major role in achild’s academic success. However, there are many factors which likely toaffect a person’s ability to read the comprehension such as internal andexternal stimuli, phonological processing, and visual processing.
For instant,color influences a person on reading comprehension. As a matter of fact, during 1958, Jansky (1958) reported the case of a student with a reading deficit whowas unable to recognize words printed on a white paper but was able torecognize words printed on a yellow paper. Allfive senses explore the world around us, but color is a direct response to thesense of sight. Over the years, the use of color for visually enhancing aperson’s reading ability has undergone a transformation from the use of coloredchalk on chalkboards to using black ink on colored paper as using colored paperfor the background of a text may enhance the eye’s ability to focus and adhereto the print at hand. The ability of the eyes to perceive color and color huesvary from person to person and are individually specific. Specifically, coolcolors increases inward attention, while warm color increases outwardattention. Numerous studies conducted on the effects ofcolored paper on reading comprehension are published in various scientificjournals.
A study carried out by Jeanes et alwhich reported that the colored paper did not increase the performance scoresof the students. The inference from this study is that color has a significantinfluence on reading fluency and comprehension and is specific to theindividual. The results of this study were not consistent with Clifton , whichaffirmed that color enhances the ability to see print on a page.
Cliftonpointed out that best colored papers to be deployed in the classroom includeyellow, blue, pink, green and beige. These colors are effective to enhancingreadability while at the same time reducing distortions. Meanwhile, there is anincrease in the number of unconfirmed reports of individuals whose readingfluency has been affected by different colors. Apart from the studies conducted on the effectsof reading comprehension on students, there is a growing need to determinewhether using colored paper could directly be associated with the ability of astudent to read the comprehension. This is because readingplays importance role for everyone in their academic success.1.2 Statement of Problem Every year there is at least one student,often more, that just seem to have more difficulties than the other childrenwith tracking, creating a return sweep with their eyes and comprehending a texteven at a basic level. Given the situation, it is high time that our localgovernment takes serious effort in studying the possible reason that arise fromreading difficulties.
Therefore, this research is lacking toascertain if using color as a background reduces distractions and allows thereader to focus more on the printed words. If learners increase their focusmore on processing print, take less effort in reading the words on the page,and develop reading fluency, then an increase in comprehension may follow.Specifically, there is a lack of research on the use of black text on coloredbackground and whether or not it increases reading comprehension, vocabularyacquisition, and fluency.1.
3 Purpose of Statement Given the most studies show thatin general, colors do not make that much of a difference. However, beige,goldenrod, green, pink and blue have been shown to increase readability andcontrast for students to read the comprehension. In response tothis possible concern, a special research committee was set up recently toinvestigate this issue further. Thepurpose of the study described in this research was to determine if using blacktext on colored background would increase reading comprehension and vocabularyscores as compared to the use of black text on white background.1.4 Research Questions 1. Does using coloredpaper affect reading comprehension?2. Why using coloredpaper will affect a person’s ability to read the comprehension?3.
How does usingcolored paper affect a person to read the comprehension?1.5 Significance of the study Literature Review 2.0Introduction This chapter reviews the literature on colorstowards students reading comprehension deemed relevant to the researchobjectives. This includes an overview of the relation between visual stress andreading, comparison between cool colors and warm colors, dyslexia and coloredoverlays and the way colored overlays help on readings. 2.1Visual Stress and ReadingThe term “visual stress” is a condition contributingto the inability to see comfortably and without obstacles. According to Wilkins, Nimmo-Smith, Tait, McManus, Della Sala, Tilley, Arnold, Barrie and Scott, it is responsible forvisual stimulus and thus it is a sensorial origin and not to the visual anxietycreated by the development of the eyes. Visual stress can be due to a number ofconditions including dyslexia, but is not the same.
There are some of thesymptoms of visual stress which including headache when reading, rapid tiring,blurring of print. Also, as you realize that you are in poor concentration, lowself-esteem and often use fingers as marker, you must take awareness as all ofthese are the sign of visual stress. This visual stress interest roughly 12-14%of the population and 46% is the individual who face dyslexia (Irlen, 1997). Accordingto Meares (1980), the perceptual instability with respect to the background ofthe black ink writing on a white paper is the major factors contributing to thechildren reading difficulties. Thus, it is also the idea that a lot ofresearchers did the research between the relationship of colors and reading. 2.
2Colors (cool colors vs warm colors )”color is ubiquitous in individual’s perceptualexperience of the world” (Elliot, Moller, Friedman, Maier, and Meinhardt ,2007, p.154). There is no escaping color as they shape our life. Color is allaround us and within us. Color act as an effective incentives. According toSinclair, Soldat, and Mark (1998), students who are tested with colored papersmay process the information less systematically which result a differentperformance on that particular examination. It is very common that warm colorssuch as red, yellow, orange can evoke a person feelings of happiness andoptimism the energy while cool colors such as green, blue and purple are oftencalming and soothing but can also express sadness.
That is why color doesaffect students reading comprehension as warm colors help student to focus theattention outward while the cool colors focus the attention inward.Color gives people a different dimensions whenrelating to the ability to look at the print on a page. Irlen (1991) statedthat to reduce the distortions and increase the readability of students,teacher should use the colors such as yellow, green and blue as classroom’swallpapers. It is because all of those colors are able to give students a morecomfortable environment to study and a more positive mindset to think. But, itwill not help those students who are trouble the reading difficulties inphonetics, sound blending or weak vocabulary as it only will eliminate theperceptual problem of print on the page. It is going to continue to do moreresearch to prove that whether utilize colors for reading fluency andcomprehension is a strategy for all type of students. 2.3Dyslexia and Colored OverlaysVisual stress is commonly included to a number ofconditions of dyslexia and most of the schools used colored overlays to helptheir students in improving visual stress symptoms co-occurring with dyslexia.
However,there are increase in recent studies argue that visual stress is not a subsetof the dyslexia. For instance, Kriss and Evans (2005) concluded that visualstress and dyslexia are independent condition as the prevalence of visualstress in non-dyslexic individuals is of only 10% lower than in the dyslexicindividuals. Albeit it seems that there are no relationship betweenvisual stress and dyslexia, it is often the case that significantly claimedthat when an individual who have dyslexia with visual stress, his readingdifficulties will become worsen. According to Wilkins (2002), the childrenreading speed increases about 25% when they can choose the colored overlaythemselves. And, the result also shows that the dyslexic children get morebenefit than the non-dyslexic children when using colored overlays (Singleton and Henderson, 2007).
For adults, itseems that only individual with dyslexia and visual stress get the benefit formthe use of colored overlays when compared with others. Singletonand Trotter (2005) argued that if the two conditions arenot related, then it should be any individual who have visual stress regardlessthe presence of dyslexia would benefitted from the use of colored overlays. Besides,the author also assumed that colored overlays were only beneficial to theindividual with visual stress and dyslexia but not the non-dyslexic individualwith visual stress. Therefore, visual stress and dyslexia are interdependent. Thus, there exist two views. According to one view,visual stress and dyslexia are independent conditions. According to the otherview, visual stress and dyslexia are dependent conditions.2.
4Ways of colors help on reading (if it does)There are plenty of studies which related to thecolor overlays and readings are investigating by many researchers until now.But, it still do not have a confirm answer because the very nature of thevisual stress and its role in reading has often been questioned. According to some authors such as(Chase et.al, 2003), magnocellular system is the brain structure that controlthe understanding of the relation between colored overlays and reading. Infact, since red color helps students to inhibit the activity of magnocellularsystem, thus it is better to use a red light environment as compared to a greenlight environment. As the magnocellular system is inhibited, the ability ofreading of students will also increase.
Albeit there are a lot of findingswhich are proved that colored overlays are beneficial to the students but sinceearly findings show that each individual benefits from the use of specificcolors. Therefore, there is just some particular colors are suggested by thoselater findings. Huang, Cooper, Satana, KaufmaI, Cao (2003) discovered that one of the reasonthat illusions and distortions occurred is because there is excessiveexcitation of the cortical neurons.
When the visual cortex overreacts to thosevisual stimulations will cause the symptoms such as fatigue which associated withvisual stress. In fact, a study by Wilkins and Evans (2010) proposed thatcolored overlays increase an individual’s excessive excitations which help themto alleviate the symptoms of visual stress, therefore improving reading. Besides,some studies by Wilkins et.al, (1994), Robinson and Foreman (1999) which showthat each reader benefits from the use of colored overlays if the coloredoverlay is specific are congruent with the view of visual stress. 3.
0 Methodology 3.1 Participant The target participants of thisexperiment comprised of 10 aged 9 years old students. Students were selectedfrom a class which have 40 students to ensure an equal ratio of male and femaleparticipants. Since the experiment monitored the changes in improvement inreading comprehension of the same students, thus there was no control sample required.
The purpose of the experiment is to determine the difference in readingcomprehension when using different colored papers. The participants wereconsidered ‘average’ grade readers based on their reading tests in theirschool. 3.2 Procedure The study used the same difficultiespassages written and printed it on the white, blue, yellow and green of coloredpapers. Before the experiment, factors such as color blindness and attentiondisorders which are likely to affect the experiment were determined. This meansthat every participants have to affirm the colors of those colored papers firstbefore they start to read the text.
During the experiment, the participantswill start to read the text on the white colored paper and the reading marksnoted down. After a week, the same students were given the same difficultypassages written on a blue colored paper and their marks recorded. The sameexperiment is repeated by using the yellow and green colored papers. 3.3 Instruments In this research a qualitative data has beencollected about the effects of colors on the students reading comprehension.For this purpose, 10 students who are 9 years old from primary school werechosen to read the equally difficult text on different colored papers and acomparative analysis on each student’s marks on different colored papers willbe conducted to determine whether colored papers increase readingcomprehension.
The independent variable of this experiment is the colors of thepapers while the dependent variable is the marks of the reading comprehensionof each 10 students. 4.0 Results and DataThe results of this particularexperiment describe the changes in reading comprehension as depicted by thechange in the test marks of the subjects. From the results, the mean test marksof using white colored paper is 72.8, blue colored paper is 81.1, yellowcolored paper is 77.
7 and green colored paper is 78.8. This obviously show thatmost of the student reported higher test marks on the yellow, blue and greencolored papers than on white colored paper and there is only one student whodid not report any improvement on green colored paper as compared to whitecolored paper and also reported a drop when reading comprehension on blue andyellow colored papers. The table below shows the changes of the students testmarks for the ten participants, the test marks are out of hundred. Participant White colored paper Blue colored paper Yellow colored paper Green colored paper 1 70 83 75 78 2 70 82 70 80 3 75 84 80 80 4 63 78 75 78 5 72 80 75 75 6 80 82 70 80 7 63 78 80 75 8 82 80 86 82 9 80 80 82 80 10 73 84 84 80 Mean test mark 72.8 81.1 77.7 78.
8 5.0 Discussion It is evident from the result and datathat the significant differences were found when the participants readcomprehension with and without colored papers. That is, most of theparticipants get higher marks when using blue, green and yellow colored papersto read the particular comprehension that white colored paper. This is alsoevident in the increase of the mean test marks. Therefore, the researchhypothesis which state that the colors help students to improve their readingskills is affirmed from the data observed. Besides, there is a positivecorrelation between colors and reading comprehension which prove that colorscan be used to enhance reading comprehension. In fact, there are a few studies which reported positive effects ofusing colors on reading comprehension ( Blaskey et al., 1990; Evans, Cook,Richard & Drasdo, 1994; Tyrell, Holland, Dennis & Wilkins, 1995;Fletcher & Martinez, 1994; Robinson & Conway, 1990; Wilkins, LewisSmith, Rowland &Tweedie, 2001).
With this results, one canconclude that, the colors of the text sheets can simply changing student’sreading performance rather than making efforts to change the whole classroom environmentwith wall colors, desk arrangements, or classroom decorations. However,there is a previous study which mentioned that colored papers do notsignificantly influences reading comprehension (Johnston, 1984). It is because the vocabulary development, intelligence,parental involvement and fluency of each student are different between eachother. It may only affect the student’s mood and physiological reaction whilereading comprehension. That is, a student’s reading performance is based on hisor her dedication, motivation and hard work. Moreover, according to one of theprevious user studies, only the specific background colors could be beneficialfor someone when reading the comprehension (Skinner, 2004).This means that the effects of color on reading fluency and comprehension areindividual specific.
There is also another study from Irlen (1991) who proclaimthat optimal color is individualistic. It isalso evident from the data that some of the participants get a higher markswhen read on blue colored paper but not green and yellow and vice versa. It isbecause the particular specific color gives the individual a comfortablefeeling to read the comprehension better.
Thus, using the right color andcorrect selection can seriously affect each individual feelings, attention andbehavior. Lastly, the reason why we considercolors as one of the factors that will affect student reading comprehension isbecause there is an investigation which shows that school children have atendency to read faster and perform better on a test with different coloredpapers (Wilkins et al, 2001). Therefore, to assess if printed colors oncomprehension text can help in improving a student’s reading performance, Ibelieved that I should choose colors as a factor to determine if there is anysignificance between those colors and text with a white background. 6.
0 Conclusion& Recommendation Colors may serve as affective cues asSinclair et al. (1998) proclaim”students whose examination forms are on colors that convey more positiveaffect may process information less systematically, 38 leading to differentialperformance on the examination” (p. 130). Result of this study reported thatthe effect of the colored papers and the interaction effect is statisticallysignificant, implying that colors do significant affect a student’s reading performance.As different colors may give student a different feelings to think in apositive way during reading, thus students can get higher marks when usingcolored paper as a background of the text.
Parents and teachers are encouraged touse different colors as the background of the text when giving their studentsor children to read such comprehension. It is to help them to lay a goodfoundation and thus increase their academic results. Moreover, teachers mayalso use the colored paper such as blue in some difficult examinations such asMathematics or Science to provide a calming effect to the students. Thus, itcan help them to focus and concentrate more on the exam questions rather thandeveloping tests anxiety. Given the limitations of the study, theresults obtained are not applicable to other types of exam since only a simplecomprehension text was given. Besides, it also may not be the same in differentareas of learning such as Mathematics and Science, which are much moredifficult than reading comprehension.
There are some of the suggestions whichcan improve this study including the use of the effect of text color and itsattributes such as italics, bold or calligraphy on enhancing readingcomprehension. Moreover, it may also usethe diverse colors in order to determine the specific influence on improvingreading comprehension. Future studies can also be conducted using a differentsample population to be able to compare how primary students from varioussecondary students or universities students perform during readingcomprehension.