USING CLOZE PASSAGES TO ESTIMATE READABILITY FOR RUSSIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: PRELIMINARY STUDY
This preliminary study examines the relationships between each of six first language (L1) readability indexes and the cloze passage mean performances of Russian EFL students. The cloze passages were created by randomly selecting 50 text passages from an American public library and deleting every 12th word in each passage to create a 30-item cloze procedure. The participants were 5170 EFL students from 38 universities in theRussian Federation. Each student was randomly assigned to take one of the 30-item cloze passages. The L1 readability indexes calculated for each of the 50 passages were the Flesch, Flesch-Kincaid, Fry, Gunning, Fog, and modified Gunning-Fog indexes. The preliminary results indicate that the L1 readability indexes were moderately to highly correlated with each other, but only somewhat correlated with the mean performances of Russian university students on cloze versions of those same passages. These results are discussed in terms of why the L1 readability indexes are moderately to highly correlated with each other but only somewhat correlated to the Russian EFL means. The authors also explain what they are planning in terms of further linguistic analyses (e.g., of variables like average word length, percent of function words, number of syllables per sentence, number of words per paragraph, frequencies of words in the passages, and so forth) and statistical analyses (including at least factor analysis, multiple regression analyses, and structural equation modeling) of these data.
About the AuthorsJ. D. Brown
James Dean Brown
1. Alderson, J. C. (1978). A study of the cloze procedure with native and non-native speakers of English. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Edinburgh.
2. Alderson, J. C. (1979). Scoring procedures for use on cloze tests. In C. A. Yorio, K. Perkins, & J. Schachter (Eds.) On TESOL ‘79 (pp. 193-205). Washington, DC: TESOL.
3. Bickley, A. C., Ellington, B. J., & Bickley, R. T. (1970). The cloze procedure: A conspectus. Journal of Reading Behavior, 2, 232-234.
4. Bormuth, J. R. (1966). Readability: A new approach. Reading Research Quarterly, 1, 79-132.
5. Bormuth, J. R. (1967). Comparable cloze and multiple-choice comprehension tests scores. Journal of Reading, 10, 291-299.
6. Brown, J. D. (1978). Correlational study of four methods for scoring cloze tests. Unpublished MA thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.
7. Brown, J. D. (1980). Relative merits of four methods for scoring cloze tests. Modern Language Journal, 64, 311-317.
8. Brown, J. D. (1988). Tailored cloze: Improved with classical item analysis techniques. Language Testing, 5, 19-31.
9. Brown, J. D. (1989). Cloze item difficulty. JALT Journal, 11, 46-67.
10. Brown, J. D. (1998). An EFL readability index. JALT Journal, 20(2), 7-36.
11. Brown, J. D., Chen, Y., & Wang, Y. (1984). An evaluation of native-speaker self-access reading materials in an EFL setting. RELC Journal, 15, 75-84.
12. Carrell, P. L. (1987). Readability in ESL. Reading in a Foreign Language, 4, 21-40.
13. Chall, J. S. (1958). Readability: An appraisal of research and application. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University.
14. Cronbach, L. J. (1970). Essentials of psychological testing (pp. 145-146). New York: Harper & Row.
15. Flesch, R. (1948). A new readability yardstick. Journal of Applied Psychology, 32, 221-233.
16. Fry, E. B. (1977). Fry’s readability graph: Clarifications, validity, and extension to level 17. Journal of Reading, 21, 242-252.
17. Fry, E. B. (1985). The NEW reading teacher’s book of lists. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
18. Gilliam, B., Peña, S. C., & Mountain, L. (1980). The Fry graph applied to Spanish readability. The Reading Teacher, 33, 426-430.
19. Greenfield, G. (1999). Classic readability formulas in an EFL context: Are they valid for Japanese speakers? Ed.D. dissertation, Temple University.
20. Greenfield, J. (2004). Readability formulas for EFL. JALT Journal, 26(1), 5-24.
21. Hamsik, M. J. (1984). Reading, readability, and the ESL reader. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
22. Haskell, J. (1973). Refining the cloze testing and scoring procedures for use with ESL students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York.
23. Klare, G. R. (1963). The measurement of readability. Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
24. Klare, G. R. (1984). Readability. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, & P. Mosenthal (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 681-744). New York: Longman.
25. Larson, R. (1987). How Readability was created. In Scandinavian PC Systems. Readability program for the IBM PC, XT and AT (pp. 8-1 to 8-20). Rockville, MD: Scandinavian PC Systems.
26. Miller, G. R., & Coleman, E. B. (1967). A set of thirty-six prose passages calibrated for complexity. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 6, 851-854.
27. Moyle, D. (1970). Readability—the use of cloze procedure. In J. Merrit (Ed.), Reading and the curriculum (pp. 159-168). London: Ward Lock Educational.
28. Nguyen, L. T., & Henkin, A. B. (1982). A readability formula for Vietnamese. Journal of Reading, 26, 243-251.
29. Ransom, P. E. (1968). Determining reading levels of elementary school children by cloze testing. In J. A. Figurel (Ed.), Forging ahead in reading (pp. 477-482). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
30. Taylor, W. L. (1953). Cloze procedure: A new tool for measuring readability. Journalism Quarterly, 30, 414-438.
31. Taylor, W. L. (1957). “Cloze” readability scores as indices of individual differences in comprehension and aptitude. Journal of Applied Psychology, 41, 19-26.
32. Zakaluk, B. L., & Samuels, S. J. (1988). Readability: Its past, present, and future. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
33. Zamanian, M., & Heydari, P. (2012). Readability of texts: State of the art. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(1), 43-53.
For citation: Brown J.D., Janssen G., Trace J., Kozhevnikova L. USING CLOZE PASSAGES TO ESTIMATE READABILITY FOR RUSSIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: PRELIMINARY STUDY. Focus on Language Education and Research. 2019;1(1):16-27.
- There are currently no refbacks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.