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://aclanthology.org/U19-1018
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Phuoc Nguyen and Alexandra Uitdenbogerd. 2019. Measuring English Readability for Vietnamese Speakers. In Proceedings of the The 17th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association, pages 136–145, Sydney, Australia. Australasian Language Technology Association.
Cite (Informal):
Measuring English Readability for Vietnamese Speakers (Nguyen & Uitdenbogerd, ALTA 2019)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/U19-1018.pdf