Title

Revisiting the role of linguistic complexity in ESL reading comprehension

College

Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education

Department/Unit

Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Document Type

Article

Source Title

3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature

Volume

19

Issue

1

First Page

5

Last Page

18

Publication Date

5-1-2013

Abstract

This study investigated the two linguistic components positioned at the two ends of the continuum that influence ESL reading comprehension: lexical and syntactic features. Specifically, the present study aims to determine these two linguistic features of the texts most comprehensible to pupils. Sixty pupils from three grade levels (2, 4, and 6) were asked to read four texts with varying text difficulty level from which the most comprehensible text per grade level was identified after a comprehension test. The findings revealed that the pupils reading comprehension progressed as they advance in grade level. Moreover, the findings revealed that the lexical feature of the reading texts becomes more complex as grade level advances. This indicates that lexical features is a viable factor in determining the readability of the text; that is, as the lexical features of a reading text becomes more complex, the more difficult it is for learners to process such texts for comprehension. Unlike lexical features, the syntactic features of the selected reading texts exhibited an erratic pattern indicating that such features may not be a crucial factor in text readability and in reading comprehension as a whole.

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Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Language and Literacy Education

Keywords

Lexicology; Reading comprehension; English language—Study and teaching—Foreign speakers; English language—Syntax

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