Until 2008 SuperReading had shown
amazing results, but had not been tested
by independent, professional researchers.
84% of the dyslexic students finished with
higher scores than university professors.
Subsequent courses saw all graduates
scoring higher than non-dyslexic students
without SuperReading. The Italian study
also showed the same results, both
before and after translation into Italian. .
Dr. Cooper applied rigorous statistical
analysis to our testing methodology. His
control group of professors actually scored
lower over time. It was expected they could
have improved due to testing familiarity.
They did not. They received the same
instruction as the learning group on their first
day before any tools were taught. This ruled
out any increases due to chance or knowing
what to expect
RESULTS FROM 2018 ITALIAN STUDY OF 260 STUDENTS
Reading as a Multi-Layer Activity: Training Strategies at Text Level
Professor Francesca Santulli and Dr. Melissa Scagnelli
The initial report is that the dyslexic population in their 5-year study
graduated with BETTER reading skills than the normotypical (non-
dyslexic) group did at the beginning!
This confirms the above studies by Dr Cooper, where 84% of the
dyslexic population outperformed a group of non-dyslexic
university professors! The dyslexic group all more than doubled
their incoming R.E. Scores.
Fig. 12.3 shows the average measure of Combined Reading
Effectiveness as comprehension per minute, considering initial
time at first and at last test, for the two subgroups the former by
86% and the latter by 78.7%ups. Both dyslexic and normotypical
readers significantly improve their global performance, the former
by 86% and the latter by 78.7%.
Also, for this global measure, at the end of the course, dyslexic
readers perform better than normotypical readers at the beginning.
3-The SuperReading Course
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 (Cole, 2009). The course
relies on the fundamental principles of metacognition (Wray, 1994)
and on the analysis of the different variables influencing
comprehension (Ellis, 1993). At the same time, it emphasises the
emotional and motivational components, and includes a special
reading practice, named eye-hopping.
Metacognitive abilities are considered to be crucial for academic
success (Pressley, 2002; Pressley & Gaskins, 2006; Hacker et al.,
2009; Williams & Atkins, 2009; Vanderswalmen et al., 2010), and
research has shown that they can influence the performance of
reading and comprehension tasks (Hacker et al., 1998; Anderson
& Ambruster, 1984; Baker & Beall, 2009; Roeschl-Heils et al.,
2003). Good readers have better metacognitive knowledge than
poor readers (Brown, 1980; Baker & Beall, 2009). The adoption of
metacognitive strategies allows a more effective approach to texts:
the reader activates background knowledge, anticipates difficulties,
reflects on how to single out salient information and memorize it,
and is able to self-evaluate his/her level of understanding. On the
other hand, poor readers also have poor metacognitive abilities
(De Beni & Pazzaglia 1997; Butler 1998; Klassen 2002, 2006; De
Beni & Pazzaglia 2003; Job & Klassen 2012), which makes it
necessary to include metacognition in any comprehensive support
Another important component of academic success is motivation,
which is closely linked to other emotional aspects. Good students
believe in their good capacities and have a high level of self-
efficacy (VanderStoep et al., 1996). As a consequence, they can
manage anxiety more easily, and thus perform better (Kleijn et al.,
1994). Research shows that high levels of anxiety compromise
performance, as anxiety influences the working memory, and
interferes with concentration and capacity of finding suitable
strategies (McCraty, 2007; Ruffins, 2007). Vice versa, good levels
of self-esteem can be of help in stressful situations (De Beni et al.,
2003). In their first school years, students with SpLDs become
soon aware of their difficulties, and realize that they need more
time and effort to obtain results that are often poorer than those of
their peers. This in turn can have negative consequences for their
self-esteem and for their perceived self-efficacy (Martino et al.,
2011). The emotional components of SpLDs have often been
under scrutiny, yet results are not always consistent (Novita, 2016).
However, some of them suggest that in the academic context
levels of anxiety and self-esteem in students with SpLDs are
different from those of the normotypical population, while this is not
the case in other domains (Riddick et al., 1999; Hellendoorn &
Ruijssenaar, 2000; Frederickson & Jacobs, 2001; Novita, 2016).
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As mentioned, the Super Reading course works on both
metacognition and emotional components. The standard format
comprises six sessions of 2.30/3 hours each, over a period of nine
weeks. The course is led by a coach (Angel & Amar, 2005), whose
task is to illustrate and comment on the different techniques, to
motivate and support the participants, creating a positive
environment for learning and practice. The approach to the reading
task is multifaceted (Cooper, 2009; Cole, 2009), emphasising
metacognitive skills, memorization techniques as well as self-
empowerment. Yet, the distinguishing feature of Super Reading is
eye-hopping, a training technique to be practiced both during
sessions and as homework. Reading texts are printed in close
columns, each of them containing 2-5 words; readers must “hop”
with their eye from the middle of one column to the middle of the
other, following the movement of their first finger. The practice
starts with 2-word columns, moving to the higher level as soon as
the exercise is performed at conveniently high speed.
Cole administered reading tests during the course, which showed
significant improvements in the reading abilities of participants.
Moreover, he noticed that participants with reading problems
obtained higher rates of improvement compared with neurotypical
readers. A pilot study carried out in London (South Bank University,
Language and Literacy Unit) with 15 dyslexic subjects supported
this claim (Cooper, 2009). Further data gathered with a population
of 91 adult dyslexic readers confirmed the previous results
(Cooper, 2012). In 2012, IULM University signed an agreement
with Cooper and Cole, to be entitled to translate and adapt the
course materials to the Italian context (for a more detailed
description of the translation procedures, s. Santulli & Scagnelli,
2017). Since then, the course has been taught to 18 groups, 10 of
them at IULM University, where since 2016 it has become part of
the curriculum, awarding 3 credits. Four courses were held in
other universities (Modena e Reggio, Venezia Ca’ Foscari, Bocconi
University), one in a high school in Brescia (Liceo Luzzago), three
in a centre for support to dyslexic children (Cooperativa Crescere,
Reggio Emilia). As in the English version, reading tests are
regularly administered during the course. Data have been gathered
and processed, and partial results have been already published
(Scagnelli et al., 2014; Santulli & Scagnelli, 2017, 2018a, 2018b,
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The analysis of data was carried out by an expert in statistics,
Francesco Della Beffa, using the IBM SPSS software. The
differences between first and last test performances were analysed
for the whole population, as well as separately for the two sub-
groups using Wilcoxon signed ranks test, for all the variables
considered in the tests.
Differences between the dyslexic and non-dyslexic population
were analysed using Mann Whitney U test.
Fig. 12.1 shows the average measures of Total Reading Time at
first and at last test, both for dyslexic and normotypical readers.
The decrease is evident for both groups, with a similar pattern:
dyslexic readers reduce their reading time by 35%, normotypical
readers by 34%. At the end of the course dyslexic readers perform
better than normotypical readers at the beginning.
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.
END OF TEXT
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Heat Map of a non-dyslexic reader
at the beginning of the Program.
Low Comprehension / Recall
Heat Map of a dyslexic reader at the
beginning of the Program.
Very Low Comprehension / Recall
Heat Map of a dyslexic reader at the
completion of the Program.
High Comprehension / Recall
Results showing better performance
of dyslexic students than the non-
dyslxic students at the end of the
Program. Confirms earlier resutlts
from the UK.
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