. .

Research on text difficulty

 

"Second language readers are frequently panicked by the occurrence of unknown words, and they stop reading to look them up in their dictionaries, thereby interrupting the normal reading process." (Eskey, D. & Grabe, W.)

"Syntactically complex questions produced significantly lower marks than the same question phrased in a simpler way." (Kennedy, C. & Bolitho, R.)

"The least syntactically complex questions tended to be selected." (Kennedy, C. & Bolitho, R.)

"In cases where full and accurate comprehension is required quickly and reliably, as in an examination, even isolated textual difficulties may cause the reading process to slow or even break down" (Shoebottom, P.)


References:

Eskey, D. & Grabe, W., R. Interactive models for second language reading, CUP 1988
Kennedy, C. & Bolitho, R. English for Specific Purposes, MacMillan, 1984
Shoebottom, P. The language of the International Baccalaureate Computing Studies examination, Unpublished MA dissertation, 1993