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Readability of passages for ESL students

 
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David Kehe



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Readability of passages for ESL students Reply with quote

I’m interested in determining the readability of passages for ESL students. Flesch-Kincade (FK) can give a grade level, but I wonder how useful that really is. A FK Grade 9 which has abstract ideas and counter-intuitive ones will probably be more challenging than an FK Grade 12 one with more concrete ideas. Has anyone discovered a way to approach this dilemma? David CommonSense-ESL.com
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YellowMoon



Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's extremely interesting but I wonder how such a scientific approach could be applied to the enormous variety of English readers.
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David Kehe



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, YellowMoon, that's what I'm wondering. The situation that I've recently encountered happened with one of our instructors in a intermediate-level ESL reading course. He was concerned that our students would soon need to read at a college level (13th grade) but currently his students were only reading at FK Grade 9. From research, I found that actually, in our college the average mainstream textbook was only FK grade 11. In fact, one of the most challenging readings in an English comp course ("Death in the Open") was a FK 7.4, but because of the abstract nature, ESL students struggled with it. I have a feeling that the FK grade levels are pretty worthless when trying to decide appropriate reading passages. I wonder if our ESL field has or needs to develop a formula for determining readability. David CommonSense-ESL.com
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David Kehe



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should clarify from my previous reply that they were 35 first-year mainstream college textbooks that were FK Grade 11.
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