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Text readability and intuitive simplification: A comparison of readability formulas

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Title:Text readability and intuitive simplification: A comparison of readability formulas
Authors:Crossley, Scott A.
Allen, David B.
McNamara, Danielle S.
Coh-Metrix L2 Reading Index
cognitive science
show 2 morecomputational linguistics
corpus linguistics
show less
Date Issued:Apr 2011
Publisher:University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract:Texts are routinely simplified for language learners with authors relying on a variety of approaches and materials to assist them in making the texts more comprehensible. Readability measures are one such tool that authors can use when evaluating text comprehensibility. This study compares the Coh-Metrix Second Language (L2) Reading Index, a readability formula based on psycholinguistic and cognitive models of reading, to traditional readability formulas on a large corpus of texts intuitively simplified for language learners. The goal of this study is to determine which formula best classifies text level (advanced, intermediate, beginner) with the prediction that text classification relates to the formulas’ capacity to measure text comprehensibility. The results demonstrate that the Coh-Metrix L2 Reading Index performs significantly better than traditional readability formulas, suggesting that the variables used in this index are more closely aligned to the intuitive text processing employed by authors when simplifying texts.
Appears in Collections: Volume 23, No. 1

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