Measuring English Readability for Vietnamese Speakers

Phuoc Nguyen, Alexandra Uitdenbogerd


Abstract
Reading is important for any language learner, but the difficulty level of the text needs to match a reader’s level to enable efficient learning of new vocabulary. Many widely used traditional readability measures are not effective for those who speak English as a second or additional language. This study examines English readability for Vietnamese native speakers (VL1). A collection of text difficulty judgements of nearly 100 English text passages was obtained from 12 VL1 participants, using a 5-point Likert scale. Using the same basic features found in traditional English readability measures we found that SVMs and Dale-Chall features were slightly better than linear models using either Flesch or Dale-Chall. VL1 participants’ text judgements were strongly correlated with their past IELTS test scores. This study introduces a first approximation to readability of English text for VL1, with suggestions for further improvements.
Anthology ID:
U19-1018
Volume:
Proceedings of the The 17th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association
Month:
4--6 December
Year:
2019
Address:
Sydney, Australia
Venue:
ALTA
SIG:
Publisher:
Australasian Language Technology Association
Note:
Pages:
136–145
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/U19-1018
DOI:
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/U19-1018.pdf