Towards a new model of readability
Dahlia Janan, (2011) Towards a new model of readability. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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This thesis attempts to develop a new model for a renewed concept of readability. The thesis begins by discussing the rationale for carrying out this research. Next, the extensive literature around the topic of readability is reviewed. The literature suggests that most research into readability has stemmed from a positivist paradigm, and has used quantitative methods to assess text comprehensibility. This approach has been widely criticised and, recently, more qualitative methods stemming from an interpretive paradigm have been employed. It seems that both quantitative and qualitative methods have strengths and limitations. Therefore, the research I have carried out has explored the concept of readability by combining these two research approaches. The data collection methods include readability formulae; text feature analyses; miscue analyses; retellings and interviews. This research has been conducted in the United Kingdom and involved 16 male and 16 female pupils with an age range from 6 to 11 years old. All the participants were fluent readers. Data were analysed using; (1) six online readability formulae - ATOS (1997); Dale-Chall (1948); Flesch-Kincaid (1948); FOG (1952); SMOG (1969); and Spache (1953); (2) Reading Miscue Inventory (Goodman, Watson & Burke, 2005); (3) Judging Richness of Retellings (Irwin & Mitchell, 1983); (4) text feature analysis forms; and (5) a cross-interview analysis approach. Two computer software programmes i.e Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 17) and Qualitative Data Analysis (Nvivo 7) were used to organise and analyse the quantitative and qualitative data. The findings suggest that the concept of readability is influenced by both reader and text factors. The reader factors involve a complex relationship of nine embedded elements within the reader, namely interest, prior knowledge, attitude, reading ability, motivation, purpose of reading, engagement, age and gender. The text factors include eight elements, these being the physical features of the text, genre, content, author, linguistic difficulties, legibility, illustrations and organization of the text. This research comes to the conclusion that the concept of readability is a complex matching process involving the dynamic interaction between both reader and text factors and bound by certain contexts.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Readability (Literary style), Reading (Primary)|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Institute of Education|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Wray, David, 1950-|
|Sponsors:||Malaysia. Kementerian Pengajian Tinggi|
|Extent:||xvi, 442 leaves : illustrations|
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