Volume 16(1), 2020-02, 92—111

GraphoLearn SI: Digital learning support for reading difficulties in a transparent orthography

Elisabeth Borleffs
Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG)
and
School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN)
University of Groningen

Frans Zwarts
Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG)
and
School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN)
University of Groningen

Ade R. Siregar
Department of Developmental Psychology
Faculty of Psychology
University of Sumatera Utara
Indonesia

Ben A. M. Maassen
Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG)
and
School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences (BCN)
University of Groningen

Recognition of the importance of evidence-based technological tools that provide personalized learning opportunities is growing. This paper reports on a pilot study evaluating GraphoLearn for Standard Indonesian, a digital game environment that trains basic reading skills by extensive-but-playful exposure to grapheme–phoneme correspondences. The results obtained from 33 Indonesian first graders show that game progress was found to be a significant predictor of reading and decoding abilities both at the posttest and the 5-month follow-up assessment. Our results additionally indicated a significant interaction effect of game progress and letter–sound knowledge at posttest: Progress in the game was strongly related to reading and decoding fluency, but only for students with average to above-average pretest letter knowledge. To enable students with low letter knowledge at the outset to benefit fully from the game as well, we suggest extending the playing period to approximately 6 months to establish firmly letter knowledge and phonological awareness skills.

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