Volume 7, Issue 3 December 2011, pp. 255–270 Download PDF

Post-Conference Regular Articles

Transforming digital reading with visual-syntactic text formatting

Mark Warschauer1, Youngmin Park2, & Randall Walker3

1 University of California, USA markw@uci.edu
2 University of California, USA youngmin0620@gmail.com
3 Mayo Clinic, USA rcwalker@mayoclinic.org

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v7n3.121


Visual-syntactic text formatting uses natural language processing techniques to parse sentences and present them in a way that highlights meaning. Specifically, VSTF breaks sentences up at salient clause and phrase boundaries, fits each row of text into one or two fixation eyespans, uses a cascading pattern to denote syntactic hierarchies, and creates visual clusters across multiple rows to help readers retain and integrate multi-phrase images. This paper reviews the theoretical basis of VSTF and summarizes research on its impact on reading comprehension, speed, retention, and proficiency, with a focus on its use by English language learners.


© Mark Warschauer, Youngmin Park, Randall Walker

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Warschauer, M., Park, Y., & Walker, R. (2011). Transforming digital reading with visual-syntactic text formatting. The JALT CALL Journal, 7(3), 255–270. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v7n3.121

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