ERIC Number: ED281181
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Preferences for and Comprehension of Original and Readability-Adapted Materials. Technical Report No. 393.
Green, Georgia M.; Olsen, Margaret S.
Using two original children's books and adaptations of these books created by basal reader publishers, a study investigated (1) whether children prefer original, unadapted stories that may have longer sentences and more vocabulary items than are permitted by readability formulas for their grade level, or the adaptations of those stories, which meet the formulas' criteria for their grade level, and (2) whether the adapted materials, which according to readability formulas are closer to the children's grade level, are really easier to understand. Subjects, 58 second graders in a small, central Illinois school, participated in both a preference interview and a comprehension task. Results indicated a strong preference for the original stories over the adaptations, especially among the less able and average readers. No significant difference in students' comprehension scores were found between the originals and the adaptations. These findings suggest that since children seem to find original materials more interesting and no more difficult to understand than adaptations, there is no educationally valid motive for continuing to adapt otherwise suitable texts to meet the demands of readability formulas. (Footnotes, 14 references and 13 tables are included.) (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.