Faculty and doctoral students publish in January 2019 issue of Scientific Studies of Reading: "Visual-Syntactic Text Formatting: Improving Adolescent Literacy."
Authors: Tamara Tate, Penelope Collins, Ying Xu, Joanna Yau, Jenell Krishnan, Yendo Prado, George Farkas, Mark Warschauer
Seventh and eighth grade students in a within-teacher randomized control study read from visual-syntactic formatted text for 44 minutes per week over the course of a year. On the annual state assessment, we found small statistically significant improvements on the overall English Language Arts scaled score (ES = 0.05, p<.05) and the writing assessment (ES = 0.07, p<.01) for the treatment group compared to the control group. We found no interactions between gifted, special education, or English learner classification and treatment status on the effect on overall ELA score, but our categorical and subgroup analyses showed that the use of VSTF provided a modest benefit to middle school students who were near or at grade level in the prior school year.