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Selamat Datang 欢迎 Vaazhga Welcome Professor David Wray University of Warwick, United Kingdom Dr Dahlia Janan Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia.

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Presentation on theme: "Selamat Datang 欢迎 Vaazhga Welcome Professor David Wray University of Warwick, United Kingdom Dr Dahlia Janan Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Selamat Datang 欢迎 Vaazhga Welcome Professor David Wray University of Warwick, United Kingdom Dr Dahlia Janan Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Malaysia

2 Many thanks for coming to today’s meeting Funded by the British Academy and Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris A project to establish a research network to explore the concept and operation of readability in a range of languages and scripts

3 What we would like from the day To share some ideas and to make you as enthusiastic as we are about this topic To develop some plans for building a research network To develop a clearer view about what next

4 The Contested Concept of

5 Exploring the nature of readability The science (or is it art) of matching texts to readers A taken-for-granted concept – even Word does it for you! Easily measured, easily understood utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp It’s just about how difficult texts are to read Isn’t it …..?

6 How difficult is this text?

7 Is this text easier or harder?

8 Word says: Reading Ease = 65.9 Reading Grade level = 6.8

9 Word says: Reading Ease = 65.4 Reading Grade level = 6.9

10 Word’s readability scores for these two texts are almost identical. Yet they are clearly different in nature and effect on the reader.

11 Exploring the nature of readability In research into readability, measuring it has tended to get more attention than actually analysing what it is. Measurement has usually been approached through the use of formulae. For example, Flesch Reading Ease score = − (1.015 × ASL) − (84.6 × ASW) Where: ASL = average sentence length (number of words divided by number of sentences); ASW = average word length in syllables (number of syllables divided by number of words)

12 Exploring readability formulae We applied 6 commonly used readability formulae to 64 texts chosen by primary school children. The first table shows correlations between the rank ordering of the texts by the six formulae. The second table shows the mean grade levels assigned to the texts by the six formulae.

13 Exploring readability formulae FormulaFOG Flesch- Kincaid SpacheDale-ChallATOS SMOG FOG Flesch-Kincaid Spache Dale-Chall -.49 Table 1: Spearman's rank order correlation coefficients (rho) between the SMOG, FOG, Flesch-Kincaid, Spache, Dale-Chall and ATOS formulae

14 Exploring readability formulae FormulaeMean text grade level predicted SMOG6.64 FOG5.80 Flesch-Kincaid3.96 Spache4.05 Dale-Chall9.88 ATOS3.13 Table 2: The mean text grade levels predicted by the six readability formulae

15 Exploring readability formulae These results suggest that the readability formulae (with the exception of the Dale- Chall) generally agree about which texts are harder and which are easier. But they do not agree about the levels of difficulty of the texts. Therefore a teacher cannot rely on them to match texts to readers.

16 Why such variability? Various formulae measure different things – Word length – Sentence length – Unfamiliar / Difficult words – Polysyllabic words Each of these is problematic

17 Why such variability? Various formulae measure different things – Word length adze gneiss velociraptor

18 Why such variability? Various formulae measure different things – Sentence length The princess kissed the frog and he turned into a handsome prince so, of course, they married and lived happily ever after. One is and then one is not. That is the problem of man.

19 Why such variability? Various formulae measure different things – Unfamiliar / Difficult words rug neighborhood

20 Why such variability? Various formulae measure different things – Polysyllabic words footballer reported strengths

21 Which of these is more readable? Readability or legibility?

22

23 Readability has faded from view – or has it?

24 Research into readability has seriously declined in educational fields. But the concept is still heavily used in Health and Medical fields.

25 Readability has also become theoretically problematic The procedure is actually quite simple. First you arrange things into different groups. Of course one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step, otherwise you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run this may not seem important but complications can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. At first the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon however, it will become just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell. After the procedure is completed one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually they will be used once more and the whole cycle will then have to be repeated. However, that is a part of life. Most 9 year olds could ‘read’ this aloud, but not understand it.

26 Readability has also become theoretically problematic The procedure is actually quite simple. First you arrange things into different groups. Of course one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step, otherwise you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run this may not seem important but complications can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. At first the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon however, it will become just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then one can never tell. After the procedure is completed one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually they will be used once more and the whole cycle will then have to be repeated. However, that is a part of life. When you are told this is about washing clothes, everything becomes clear

27 Changing paradigms Theories of readability have changed because theories of reading have changed. Think how much information the reader supplies in the following short texts. Mary heard the ice-cream van coming down the street. She remembered her birthday money and rushed into the house. Mary heard the bus coming down the street. She remembered her birthday money and rushed into the house.

28 Changing paradigms Mary heard the ice-cream van coming down the street. She remembered her gun and rushed into the house. Mary heard the ice-cream van coming down the street. She remembered her stomach and rushed into the house.

29 Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso A new model of readability


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