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Use of colour overlays.

Principal focus of the project

This project aimed to explore the impact on learners of colour (as overlays or as coloured paper) on learners' reading speed, comfort, accuracy, concentration and progression. It gathered and triangulated evidence froma sample of 22 learners (9 school leavers and 13 adult learners) via questionnaires, reading age and reading speed tests(before and after) and other learner feedback from interviews.

What is this about and what were the main findings?

The researcher reported that most learners gained some benefit from the use of a colour overlay, coloured paper, and/or an electronic screen tint when using a computer. The most preferred colour was blue (in various shades) and the least preferred was yellow. Some learners commented that the overlays made text easier to read in different contexts (on screen and on paper) and while most learners saw an increase in their reading age, this was accompanied by changes in reading speed.

Number of participants who worked with the project
Name(s) of authors

Kerrie Young - Key Training

Name of associate programmes

ETF Practitioner Research Programme


A website by Key Training Ltd. A research report website exploring the use of coloured overlays in literacy and study support skills to assess their impact on reading speed and accuracy, comfort while reading, concentration during sessions, and effects on learner progression.