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ERI-Talk - Simone van der Maeden: "Teaching practices in the language arts classroom: The effectiveness of digital device use and the role of perceived students’ reading format"

  • December 5th, 2023
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December 15th 2023. 12:00h. Onsite session. Language: English.

Teaching practices in the language arts classroom: The effectiveness of digital device use and the role of perceived students’ reading format

Simone van der Maeden

Utrecht University, Netherlands


In the current day and age, digital devices are more and more often introduced into everyday primary school language arts classrooms. Initially, technology in the classroom showed potential to foster a learner-centered approach, ease accommodation of learning materials to students’ individual needs, and improve participation, motivation, and learning. However, more recent research on the effectiveness of digital devices in the language arts classrooms have pointed toward a negative relationship between daily digital device use and reading comprehension performance, and a potential screen inferiority effect. The implementation of technology in the language arts might further complicate an already complex teaching practice, and it remains an open question how and why teachers decide to (not) make use of digital devices. This research aims to shed light on how teachers’ use of paper-based materials and digital devices in language arts classrooms predict reading comprehension. Furthermore, we explore whether teachers' perception of students’ reading format preferences predict the use of digital devices in the language arts classroom. This study makes use of quantitative data from standardized reading tasks, and student and teacher questionnaires, which were collected as part of the LEPANTO project. Data were collected among 4th (n = 563), 5th (n = 643), and 6th (n = 517) grade students and their 87 teachers. Data analysis is currently ongoing, but results will hopefully be available, and shared during the presentation.



Simone van der Maeden is currently a student of the research master Educational Sciences: Learning in Interaction, at Utrecht University. For her internship, she took the opportunity to go abroad and joined the ERI Lectura lab. Under supervision of Ladislao Salmerón, she works on a part of the LEPANTO project, that investigates teaching practices in the language arts classroom, and reading format. Before starting her master studies, Simone got her degree in primary school education, and for 1.5 years worked full time as a grade 5 teacher. This period of hands-on practical experience shapes her research interests which pertain to sustainable ways to improve classroom practices, for both students and teachers, and bridging the gap between theory and practice.