their language proficiency.
After it was proved that the two groups were at the same level of language proficiency before the treatment, the time had come to see whether any change had occurred in the proficiency of the experimental group after the treatment. In order to arrive at a conclusion, the mean scores of the reading comprehension test administered after the treatment were compared. Table 4.2.4 presents the results of the statistical analysis performed to see whether there is any significant difference between mean scores of experimental and control groups. by conducting a Levin’s test, it was found that the variances of both groups are equal. The p-value was calculated to be 0.084, which was bigger than 0.05; as a result, the hypothesis concerning the equality of variances was not rejected. The mean scores were compared with an independent t-test. The p-value turned out to be 0.048 which is smaller than 0.05; therefore, the hypothesis concerning the equality of means was rejected and there was a significant difference between the performance of experimental and control groups.
Table 4.4. Independent Samples Test
Levene’s Test for Equality of Variances
t-test for Equality of Means
Std. Error Difference
95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
Equal variances assumed
Equal variances not assumed
In order to find out about the experimental group progress after the treatment, it was decided that the participants’ initial scores would be compared to the final ones. A paired t-test was performed to compare the mean scores of students before and after the treatment. As shown in table 4.2.5, the p-value was calculated to be 0.000, which is smaller than 0.05, indicating that there was a significant difference between the means of the experimental group before and after the treatment.
Table 4.5. Paired Samples Test
Std. Error Mean
95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
score_pretest – posttest
4.1. Results of Hypothesis Testing
The result of statistical analysis cleared that the experimental group outperformed the control group after the treatment sessions.
The result of this study suggests that textual modification on the whole contributes to improving the students’ reading comprehension.
When the students are trained how to learn, they will become effective learners and know how to comprehend the text better.
The results of this study reveal that textual modification has a positive effect on the reading comprehension of the students.
DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATION
Textual modification for second language learners is an important but somewhat controversial issue in the education community.
Some experts prefer the use of “authentic” texts, i.e., texts which are written for native speakers for a purpose other than instruction, while simplified texts are also very common in educational use.
Proponents of authentic texts tout positive effects on student interest and motivation and advantages of exposing students to “real” language and culture.
However, authentic materials are often too hard for students who read at lower levels, as they may contain more complex language structures and vocabulary than texts intended for learners [8, 13]. Studies of the lexical and syntactic differences between authentic and simplified texts, and their effects on student comprehension, show mixed results [14, 6], suggesting that both types of texts can have a place in education. Further, authentic texts are not always available for students whose reading level does not match their intellectual level and interests.
Since teachers report, spending substantial amounts of time adapting texts by hand, automatic simplification could be a useful tool to help teachers adapt texts for these students.
This paper presents an analysis of a corpus of original and manually simplified news articles with the goal of gaining insight into what people most often do to simplify text in order to develop better automatic tools. When creating simplified or abridged texts, authors may drop sentences or phrases, split long sentences into multiple sentences, modify vocabulary, shorten long descriptive phrases, etc.
5.2) Pedagogical Implication
Textual Modification is the process of reducing the grammatical complexity of a text, while retaining its information content and meaning. The aim of textual Modification is to make text easier to comprehend for human readers or process by programs.
In this thesis, it was described how textual Modification can be achieved using shallow robust analysis, a small set of handcrafted simplification rules and a detailed analysis of the discourse-level aspects of syntactically rewriting text. It was offered a treatment of relative clauses, apposition, coordination and subordination.
It was presented novel techniques for relative clause and appositive attachment. It was argued that these attachment decisions are not purely syntactic. This technique relied on a shallow discourse model and on animacy information obtained from a lexical knowledge base.
It was also showed how clause and appositive boundaries can be determined reliably using a decision procedure based on local context, represented by part-of-speech tags and noun chunks.
It was then formalized the interactions that take place between syntax and discourse during the simplification process. This is important because the usefulness of textual Modification in making a text accessible to a wider audience can be undermined if the rewritten text lacks cohesion. It was described how various generation issues like sentence ordering, cue-word selection, referring-expression generation, determiner choice and pronominal use can be resolved to preserve conjunctive and anaphoric cohesive-relations during textual Modification.
In order to perform textual Modification, It was addressed various natural language processing problems, including clause and appositive identification and attachment, pronoun resolution and referring-expression generation. This approach was evaluated to solving each problem individually, and also present a holistic evaluation of my textual Modification system.
5.3) Implication for teaching
Modified texts are commonly used by teachers and students in bilingual education and other language-learning contexts. These texts are usually manually adapted, and teachers say this is a time consuming and sometimes challenging task. Our goal is the development of tools to aid teachers by automatically proposing ways to modify texts. As a first step, this paper presents a detailed analysis of a corpus of news articles and abridged versions written by a literacy organization in order to learn what kinds of changes people make when modifying texts for language learners.
5.4 ) limitations of The Study
For one thing, this study is limited to the reading skill. Moreover, only syntax is being tackled in modifying the related texts. In addition the supposedly difficult syntactic structures are modified according to six steps of splitting the sentence, changing discourse marker, transformation to active voice, inversion of clause ordering, subject verb-o
bject ordering, and topicalization and detopicalization, not by other theories. Finally, only intermediate subjects at university level are being investigated.
5.5) Suggestions for Further Research
The focus of this study was on the effectiveness of strategy-based instruction of textual modification and its effect on EFL university students’ reading comprehension ability at intermediate level. Vocabulary was held constant here and only syntax of the text was simplified. Further investigations could be directed towards other types of modification such as lexical or discourse modification.
On the other hand, different types of modification could be studied in terms of their effect on students at elementary and advanced levels, both at the university or high school.
Furthermore, other studies could shed light on the relationship between modification and other language skills and sub-skills such as listening.
Moreover, the suggestion for further research in psycholinguistics would be to get more accurate and comprehensive insight into the process of reading comprehension and see what kind of textual modification can improve its readability more.
Finally, as a suggestion for further research in testing reading it is worth pointing out that reading tests in use generally suffer from a major problem; they are product-oriented. As reading has been proven to be a process that may succeed or fail at different levels, it would be ideal if testers could develop tests which can observe readers in the process of reading rather than focusing on the final product.
Anderson, R. & Davison, A. (1988). Conceptual and Empirical Bases of Readability Formulas. In Davison & green (eds). Linguistic Complexity and Text Comprehension. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Bartlett, C. (1983). Remembering: A Study in Experimental University Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Barzegar, GH. (1997). The Effect of lexical and Syntactic Simplification on EFL Learners Reading Comprehension Proficiency. A thesis submitted to Tehran University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department.
Beaumont, C. (1982). Language and School Failure: Some speculations about the relationship between oral and written language. In M.M. Clark (eds.). New Directions in the Study of Reading. London: Falmer Press.
Beck, I., McKeown, M., Omanson, R. & Pople, M. (1984). Improving the Comprehensibility of Stories: The Effects of Revisions That Improve Coherence. Reading Research Quarterly, 19(3), 263-277.
Berman, R.A. (1984). Applied Linguistics and Language Study. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.
Birjandi, P., Mosallanejad, P., & Bagheridoust, E. (2006). Principles of Teaching Foreign Languages. Tehran, Rahrovan Publications. pp, 210-219.
Boulware-Gooden, R., Carreker, S., Thornhill, A., & Joshi, R.M. (2007). Instruction of Metacognitive Strategies Enhances Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Achievement of Third – Grade Students. The Reader Teacher, 61 (1), 70-77. In Roshd Quarterly, 25 (2),53.
Brewer, B (2008). Effects of Lexical Simplification and Elaboration on ESL Readers’ Local-Level Received Comprehension. A thesis submitted to the faculty of Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department.
Breen, M. (1985). Authenticity in the Language Classroom. Applied Linguistics.
Buck, C. (1973). The Effect of Transformed Syntactic Structure on Reading. In Goodman, K. (ed.). Miscue Analysis: Application to Reading Instruction. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English.
Byrne, B. (1985). Deficient Syntactic Control in Poor Readers. Applied Psycholinguistic, 2. Pp. 201-212
Carrell, P. (1984). Evidence of a Formal Schema in Second Language Comprehension. Language Learning, 34, 87-111.
Carrell, P. & Eisterhold, J.C. (1987). Schemata Theory an ESL Reading Pedagogy. In M.H. Long & J.C. Richards (eds.). Methodology in TESOL. New York: Newbury House Publishers.
Carrell, P., Devine, J. & Eskey, D. (eds.). (1984). Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cervantes, R. & Gainer, G. (1992). The Effect of Syntactic