hero image

A study conducted by researchers from Switzerland and Italy found a way to improve children’s reading skills. The group managed to improve learning in children through a video game.

According to Daphne Bavelier, a study co-author from the Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the University of Geneva, scientists often overlook the different aspects of takes for children to learn reading.

The lead study author, Angela Pasqualotto, a Psychology expert at the University of Geneva, adds that the team realized action video games could help children improve skills like working memory, cognitive flexibility, vision, and attention.

Researchers created a video game to enhance reading

The researchers created a video game that allowed children to enhance their neurological functions through a series of mini-games. They also designed the game to peak the children’s interest. Moreover, the video game improved different functions that scientists believe help children learn to read. These include cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibition.

How researchers conducted the study

The team gathered 150 Italian school-going children between the ages of 8 and 12. Researchers split them into two groups. They asked the first group to play Scratch, which taught them to code. The second group played the game that researchers had developed.

The study took place over six weeks. In addition, researchers would observe them for two hours each week.

When the children finished playing the game, they tested their ability to read paragraphs, nonwords, and words. They also evaluated the children’s attentional control. The Laboratory of Observation Diagnosis and Communication conducted these tests.

Researchers discovered that while reading ability and speed improved in the children who played action games, the children playing scratch did not experience any skill improvements. They concluded that action video games could enhance reading ability in children even when they didn’t have reading challenges.

The researchers did more follow-up tests at six, twelve, and eighteen-month intervals. Improvement was still visible among the children who had played action video games. Furthermore, their grades were better.

Researchers now intend to release the game in various languages, including French, German, and English. The team published their results in the Nature Human Behavior journal.