ERIC Number: ED220788
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Text Comprehension: The Parameters of Difficulty in Narrative and Expository Prose Texts: A Redefinition of Readability.
A study was conducted to define the linguistic and discourse parameters of text difficulty from the point of view of both the reader and the text in order to redefine readability and to provide an operational way of explaining processing difficulties of the near-mature reader. Subjects were 14-year-old students in the United States and the United Kingdom who read eight well-written short texts (maximum 280 words) as part of the IAEEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) test on reading. On the basis of micro-structural analysis (of syntax, speed of closure, lexical analysis, given and new information structure, and lexically cohesive elements per text) and macro-structural analysis (of narrational and structural analysis and propositional analysis), a theoretical model of parameters indicating the degree of difficulty of discourse processing was formed and the general hypothesis that macro-structural and micro-structural parameters both influence comprehension (with higher level parameters not necessarily having more impact on comprehension) was confirmed. Application of the model to other languages further confirmed its validity. Among the implications of these findings for teachers is the need to recognize that comprehension is a process and not just a product and that the reader is central to this process. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Expository Text; Prose Learning; Text Structure
Note: Research prepared at the University of Illinois. Table may not reproduce well due to small print.