ERIC Number: ED059991
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1970
Reference Count: N/A
An Experimental Study of the Effect of King James Version Archaisms upon Reading and Listening Comprehension and Retention.
McGill, James R.
To determine, through testing, whether archaic diction patterned after the King James Bible is actually a hindrance to the modern reader's comprehension and retention, two narratives of 2,000 words each were administered to 500 students in high school and college. Both of the narratives were composed and printed in two forms, one in archaic language patterned after the syntax and vocabulary of the King James Version and the other in modern American English. Each student had an opportunity to read (or hear read) one of the stories in archaic language and the other in modern English, and then take a multiple choice comprehension test on each story. In final testing, therefore, 1,000 of the multiple choice tests were administered. When the comprehension tests were administered immediately following the reading, it was found that median scores in all categories were higher on the modern language tests than on the tests based on the reading of the archaic narratives. On the retention tests given one week following the reading of the narratives, the median scores were about the same for the archaic as for the modern English. Archaic language was found to be more readable than listenable, with high school students having greater difficulty in comprehending it. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Biblical Literature, College Students, Comparative Analysis, High School Students, Language Styles, Listening Skills, Narration, North American English, Old English, Reading Comprehension, Retention (Psychology)
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