This study examines the effects of single word modification on the perceived comprehension of individual sentences. A test was created by randomly selecting sentences from a college level American history textbook. Each sentence was analyzed using Nation's Range program, and the lowest frequency verbs were selected for modification. Each target verb was simplified (replaced with a higher frequency equivalent) or elaborated (left in the sentence, but followed by a parenthetical definition). Subjects received both treatment types and unmodified control items in a fifty-sentence test. Each sentence was rated by the subjects, as it was read, according to the amount of information the subject felt they comprehended. Results indicated no statistically significant difference in the comprehension ratings for simplified, elaborated or unmodified items. However, some trends were evident, indicating the possibility of effects that might become apparent with further study.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Brewer, Beth Ann, "Effects of Lexical Simplification and Elaboration on ESL Readers' Local-Level Perceived Comprehension" (2008). All Theses and Dissertations. 1665.
ESL, vocabulary, simplification, elaboration, perceived comprehension