The effects of automatic spelling correction software on understanding and comprehension in compensated dyslexia: improved recall following dictation

Lucy V Hiscox, Erika Leonaviciute, Trevor Humby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Dyslexia is associated with difficulties in language-specific skills such as spelling, writing and reading; the difficulty in acquiring literacy skills is not a result of low intelligence or the absence of learning opportunity, but these issues will persist throughout life and could affect long-term education. Writing is a complex process involving many different functions, integrated by the working memory system; people with dyslexia have a working memory deficit, which means that concentration on writing quality may be detrimental to understanding. We confirm impaired working memory in a sample of university students with (compensated) dyslexia, and using a within-subject design with three test conditions, we show that these participants demonstrated better understanding of a piece of text if they had used automatic spelling correction software during a dictation/transcription task. We hypothesize that the use of the autocorrecting software reduced demand on working memory, by allowing word writing to be more automatic, thus enabling better processing and understanding of the content of the transcriptions and improved recall. Long-term and regular use of autocorrecting assistive software should be beneficial for people with and without dyslexia and may improve confidence, written work, academic achievement and self-esteem, which are all affected in dyslexia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208–224
Number of pages17
JournalDyslexia
Volume20
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2014

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