The use of speech feedback by normal and disabled readers in computer-based reading practice

Victor Van Daal, Pieter Reitsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Disabled readers and normal beginning readers were compared on requesting help in the form of speech feedback during computer-based word reading. It was also examined whether it is best to give feedback on all words or to allow the disabled readers to choose. Normal beginning readers and reading-age matched pupils with reading problems engaged in reading practice with speech feedback on call for both difficult and easy words. A set of both difficult and easy sums was completed as a control task. Another group of reading-disabled pupils who were also matched on reading level practiced the reading of words with unsolicited speech feedback. In the first two groups the selectivity in requesting help in both the reading and arithmetic task was assessed. All subjects were tested on the reading of both practiced and nonpracticed words. The results indicate that both disabled readers and beginners were very sensitive to sum difficulty but not to word difficulty, though in the present study the students were more selective than in a previous study. The inclusion of more easy words might account for this finding. The beginners requested help only during the first sessions of reading practice, whereas the disabled readers remained dependent on the speech feedback. The reading-disabled pupils did not learn less when the computer unsolicitedly delivered the spoken form of all words than when they were allowed to choose. It is discussed how profits from the different speech feedback procedures by disabled readers might be related to word decoding skill and metacognitive monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-259
JournalReading and Writing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Computer-based reading
  •  Dyslexia
  •  Metacognition
  •  Speech feedback


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