Please note that these studies were done in physical classes in a group setting. While the online course has the exact same information, the tests were given on paper. The online course features the tests on your screen, which is a different medium. The authors of the studies can only verify their results as relates to those group courses.
The SuperReading course aims to develop strategies for both
better comprehension and higher reading speed in late adolescence and adulthood, working on the silent reading mode.
The course originated in the USA, when Ron Cole, a life
coach, developed a syllabus to help managers improve their
reading speed and comprehension rates (Cole 2009). Cole
obtained remarkable results with his course, which he measured through reading tests administered during sessions. He
also noted that dyslexic participants benefited from the course
despite their reading difficulties, and even showed higher
levels of improvement than normotypical readers. To investigate this circumstance further, the course was duplicated in
London, at South Bank University LLU+ (Language and
Literacy Unit), with a group of 15 dyslexic participants who
confirmed the results obtained in the USA (Cooper 2009a, b).
Further research was carried out in London, with similar results (Cooper 2012).
Thanks to an agreement with the promoters of the course, this research group has translated and adapted the course materials to the Italian academic context (Santulli and Scagnelli 2017; Santulli and Scagnelli 2018). To date 25 groups of students have been taught, most of them at the IULM University, where the course is part of the curriculum and awards three credits. Other groups have been taught elsewhere, four of them in other universities, and three with younger participants.
Yet, the most innovative and distinguishing feature of the programme is a reading technique, named eye-hopping, which requires participants to read texts arranged in parallel columns containing 2–5 words each (with increasing difficulty), ‘hopping’ with their eye from the middle of one column to the middle of the other, with a parallel movement of their forefinger. This technique aims to improve the efficiency of eye movement and increase the visual span. The eye-hopping exercise combines the arrangement in columns with the use of a pointer (normally, the forefinger, or a pen/pencil), which guides the eye movement, helping to reduce regressions and increase the visual span. Constant practice, both during classes and at home, develops the ability to catch increasingly more words at one single glance, thus making reading faster without jeopardising comprehension.
The results of this research show that, given the complex character of reading and comprehension competence, a multifaceted approach makes it possible to develop reading strategies effectively in adulthood. The combination of metacognitive abilities, motivation, memory and eye training yields remarkable improvements, and the analysis of data demonstrates the efficacy of SuperReading in enhancing reading competence, as it reduces reading time, increasing at the same time comprehension and reading effectiveness.
The aim of this study was to gauge whether the impact of a reading
course for degree level adult dyslexic readers was sufficiently
robust to justify more extensive research and experimentation. While
recognising the limitations of this pilot research and the methodological
difficulties of measuring ‘comprehension’ gains, the ‘reading
effectiveness’ of the group appeared to double in ten weeks.
All the participants were enthusiastic about the positive impact of the course on their reading and report a range of affects such as increased stability of print, pleasure and speed of reading.
Dyslexic readers with SuperReading skills outperformed non-dyslexics in Reading Effectiveness (reading speed x by comprehension / recall). Delegates were asked to practice 40 minutes per day. Post-course interviews revealed that actual practice was only 20 minutes per day.
We can expect that the course would be particularly effective for any dyslexic learners progressing to higher level courses that put more pressure on reading skills. This tends to occur quite suddenly as learners progress to A- levels, but in particular when they progress to university. We are very interested in trialling the intervention with students just prior to progressing to university and can foresee a strong argument for the DSA paying for the intervention, since it could be very effective in preparing students for university.
Indeed all the students expressed the view that they wish they had been able to take this course before they started their university courses rather than during them (and particularly not during their preparations for exams).
The 8 week SuperReading course was redesigned as a 4 day intensive option building in 7 hours of
supervised eye-hopping practice. It was piloted at Greenwich University from 5 to 8 January, 2015,
with support from AchieveAbility and Melanie Thorley (Disability Project Officer and AccessAbility
10 students and 4 staff participated in the pilot. The mean Reading Effectiveness (RE = speed x comprehension/recall) of the group increased from better than 30% of the population to better than 95% with extremely high statistical significance (p < 0.000027).
This represents a mean increase of 33.7 standardised points (or 2.25
Standard Deviations) in just 4 days. Bearing in mind that a full school
year usually produces approximately 0.5 Standard Deviations in
progress, this is an extraordinary result. (Student 8 missed one day of the
Greenwich University are now planning to implement SuperReading across all 200 civil engineering students. Feedback from the participants includes:
“I think the most valuable thing is that it has made me love reading again
as I rarely read anything in the last 3 years…”
“We received some very useful and astonishing experiences and techniques.”
“Reading has never been my strongest asset, and on this course my reading effectiveness score improved dramatically.”
“I really increased my speed of reading and also my comprehension
increased a lot.”
“My scores increased considerably and I found the previewing– reading– reviewing formula very helpful….I would recommend this course.”
“A daily difference I’ve seen is that…my reading speed is a lot faster when I read novels. As well as that my comprehension has definitely gone up.”
“I would highly recommend the course be taught to more people. I am sure they wouldn’t know how good it is until they have attended. Am (sic) most importantly amazed by the results at the end.”
“With the SuperReading course I got to actually see the progress I was making from actual data. Plus I noticed myself that I was doing much better than I had ever achieved before when trying to remember what I had read.”
“Thanks to this I can now go back to reading more books because I know I will be able to remember what it was that I read, instead of proactively forgetting as I progressed through the book, making it seem like a waste of time.”
“SuperReading is highly recommended.”
The SuperReading course was developed in the US by Ron Cole,
who, as a life coach, had realised the crucial role of reading and
comprehension for the professional success of his clients. In the
mid-90s, considering that existing speed reading programmes did
not guarantee adequate comprehension levels, he experimented
new techniques and combined them in a course, which he offered
to his clients, mostly adult managers.
The course relies on the fundamental principles of metacognition and on the analysis of the different variables influencing comprehension. At the same time, it emphasises the emotional and motivational components, and includes a special reading practice, named eye-hopping.
The results obtained so far consistently show that in a few weeks participants to the SuperReading courses improve their reading performance from the point of view of both speed and comprehension. Moreover, the improvement concerns both normotypical and dyslexic readers. The course can therefore be considered an inclusive instrument to be offered to students and young adults, independently of their reading capacities.
SuperReading doubles reading effectiveness in less than 10 weeks. It involves a practical approach to better metacognitive reading strategies and, crucially, an eye-hop exercise designed to improve the rapid absorption of visual meaning from text. It is not intended to teach beginner readers how to read, but to coach excellence in reading.
Since 2008, we have been using it to dramatic effect with dyslexic students. We now have the results of the intervention for 152 dyslexic students.
We use a measure of Reading Effectiveness (RE= speed x comprehension/recall) to gauge progress, and have standardised our reading test scores with 290 non-dyslexic adults so that we can make direct comparisons. Before SuperReading, the mean overall RE score of the dyslexic students is better than just 25% of non-dyslexic readers. After SuperReading, it is better than 86%.
Before SuperReading, the dyslexic students mean overall scores are 10 standardised points lower than the non-dyslexic adults. After SuperReading, they are 16 standardised points higher than non-dyslexic readers. In other words, the improvement has not just caught up with non-dyslexic adults, but overtaken them further than they were behind. This constitutes a rise of 26 standardised points (1.7 standard deviations). The statistical significance is extraordinary. This dramatic improvement is possible in such a short time because the course builds on the strengths of dyslexic learners.
Some dyslexia coordinators at universities have been proactive in organising courses for their students. We have run courses at St Helens College and St Aquinas 6FC as well as Leeds Met., Essex, Cambridge, LSE, London South Bank, Plymouth, Imperial, Royal Holloway and Kent Universities. SuperReading is currently being translated into Italian and trialled in a university in Milan. Next academic year, we are expecting to run further courses in these universities as well as in Cardiff, Huddersfield, Doncaster, Reading, Cumbria, and Middlesex universities. We are happy to run courses wherever we have a group of students needing a course and have a national team of SuperReading coaches ready and waiting.
This presentation will inform conference delegates about, and provide an opportunity to experience a taste of, the SuperReading Programme. This provides a tool to increase the efficiency of reading speed, comprehension, and recall. It does this by introducing metacognitive strategies such as maintaining focus on reading material by tracking text with your finger, shortening line length, for ple when reading from a computer screen and previewing reading material. The programme also requires a daily commitment, for the duration of the course, to practise eye hopping exercises that train our eyes to hop rather than glide over text. Leicester University's AccessAbility Centre hosted this programme for dyslexic students for 9 weeks during January – March 2014.
At the start of the course participants achieved an overall reading efficiency standardised score of 91 - better than 27% of the population. This overall figure disguised individual reading weaknesses, 4 of the 14 participants tested achieved standardised scores in the ‘below average’ range - in the bottom 16%. At the end of the course the overall mean standardised reading score achieved by the group was 133 – better than 98% of the population. There were no below average scores.
Feedback since the course has continued to be positive. Students report that using this new approach has allowed them to increase the amount of reading undertaken to support their research and revision activity. The course is not designed specifically for dyslexic individuals and therefore this teaching and learning tool is accessible to all.
We are all readers and in a university environment this is an essential and routine activity therefore everyone attending may find this session useful.
Reading and Comprehension in Adulthood: a Training Programme
University of Milan - Reading as a Multi-Layer Activity: Training Strategies at Text Level
Intensive SuperReading Course Successfully Piloted at Greenwich University
The SuperReading Programme
SuperReading Results for Dyslexic Students
London South Bank University Study