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Simplification or elaboration? The Effects of Two Types of Text Modifications on Foreign Language Reading Comprehension

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Title: Simplification or elaboration? The Effects of Two Types of Text Modifications on Foreign Language Reading Comprehension
Authors: Ross, Steven
Long, Michael H.
Yano, Yasukata
Issue Date: 1991
Abstract: Linguistic simplification of written texts can increase their comprehensibility for non-native speakers, but reduce their utility for language learning in other ways, e.g. through the removal of linguistic items that learners do not know but need to learn. A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that some elaborative modifications observed in oral foreigner talk discourse, where redundancy and explicitness compensate for unknown linguistic items, offer a potential alternative approach to written text modification. 13 reading passages were presented to 483 Japanese college students in one of three forms: native baseline, simplified or elaborated. Comprehension, assessed by 30 multiple-choice test items, was highest among subjects reading the simplified version, but not significantly better than among those reading the elaborated version. The type of modifications to the texts interacted significantly with the kind of task used to assess comprehension: replication, synthesis or inference, suggesting that different kinds of text modification facilitate different levels of comprehension.
Pages/Duration: 32 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/38638
Appears in Collections:Working Papers



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