Tekstcomplexiteit in therapiemateriaal.

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Purpose: The current study investigated the effect of text complexity, through subordinate clauses, on the reading comprehension of healthy people in the age range 50 to 75. The study is part of the development of the new therapy program TEXT to treat aphasia. Method: The performance of the 50 participants on easy texts without subordinate clauses was compared with the performance of the same participants on difficult texts manipulated with subordinate clauses. Every participant read four versions of the 25 texts and reading comprehension was considered in responding to true/false questions and multiple choice questions tapping comprehension of the text. After the experiment, the participants rated the difficulty of the texts they had read on a scale of 1 to 10. Subsequently, people with aphasia (N = 3) worked with the texts and gave their opinion about it. Results: There was no significant effect of complexity on reading comprehension. There was also no significant effect of age or education level on reading comprehension. The type of question made no difference in comprehension. There was low negative correlation between the rating of the difficulty of the text and the score on the comprehension questions. The complexity of the text had no significant effect on the rating of the difficulty of the text. Many participants said that the complexity of a text depended on personal background/interests. Conclusions: Complexity of texts, manipulated through subordinate clauses, did not show a significant effect on reading comprehension of healthy people from 50 to 75 years. Follow-up research should show whether this also holds for people with aphasia.
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