Article Text

PDF
New standardised texts for assessing reading performance in four European languages
  1. G A Hahn1,
  2. D Penka6,
  3. C Gehrlich1,
  4. A Messias1,
  5. M Weismann1,
  6. L Hyvärinen2,
  7. M Leinonen2,
  8. M Feely3,
  9. G Rubin3,
  10. C Dauxerre4,
  11. F Vital-Durand4,
  12. S Featherston5,
  13. K Dietz6,
  14. S Trauzettel-Klosinski1
  1. 1Department of Pathophysiology of Vision and Neuro-Ophthalmology, University Eye Hospital Tübingen, Germany
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Turku University Hospital, Finland
  3. 3Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, UK
  4. 4INSERM U 371 Lyon, France
  5. 5SFB441 Linguistic Data Structures, Tübingen University
  6. 6Ocuserv, Tübingen, Germany
  7. 7Department of Medical Biometry, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  8. 8Department of Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaringology and Head and Neck Surgery, USP, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to: S Trauzettel-Klosinski Department of Pathophysiology of Vision and Neuro-Ophthalmology, University Eye Hospital, Tübingen, Schleichstrasse 12-16, 72076 Tübingen, Germany; setrauze{at}med.uni-tuebingen.de

Abstract

Aims: To develop standardised texts for assessing reading speed during repeated measurements and across languages for normal subjects and low vision patients.

Methods: 10 texts were designed by linguistic experts in English, Finnish, French, and German. The texts were at the level of a sixth grade reading material (reading ages 10–12 years) and were matched for length (830 (plus or minus 2) characters) and syntactic complexity, according to the syntactic prediction locality theory of Gibson. 100 normally sighted native speaking volunteers aged 18–35 years (25 per language) read each text aloud in randomised order. The newly designed text battery was then applied to test the reading performance of 100 normally sighted native speaking volunteers aged 60–85 years (25 per language).

Results: Reading speed was not significantly different with at least seven texts in all four languages. The maximum reading speed difference between texts, in the same language was 6.8% (Finnish). Average reading speeds (SD) in characters per minute are, for the young observer group: English 1234 (147), Finnish 1263 (142), French 1214 (152), German 1126 (105). The group of older readers showed statistically significant lower average reading speeds: English 951 (97), Finnish 1014 (179), French 1131 (160), German 934 (117).

Conclusion: The authors have developed a set of standardised, homogeneous, and comparable texts in four European languages (English, Finnish, French, German). These texts will be a valuable tool for measuring reading speed in international studies in the field of reading and low vision research.

  • AMD, related macular degeneration
  • MNREAD, Minnesota Reading Test
  • standardised texts
  • reading performance
  • low vision
  • AMD, related macular degeneration
  • MNREAD, Minnesota Reading Test
  • standardised texts
  • reading performance
  • low vision

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Support: European Commission, Key action No 6, AMD-READ-Project, QLK 6-CT-2002-00214.

  • The authors have no commercial interests.

  • This study was presented in part at the ARVO meeting 2004 in Fort Lauderdale: Weismann M, Hahn GA, Gehrlich C, et al. New standardised texts in four European languages for assessing reading performance. ARVO abstract 2004:4347/B808.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.