Simplification of open educational resources in English

Rets, Irina and Stickler, Ursula and Coughlan, Tim and Astruc, Lluïsa (2022) Simplification of open educational resources in English. In: Open World Learning. Routledge Research in Digital Education and Educational Technology . Routledge, London, pp. 89-102. ISBN 9781003177098

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Open Educational Resources (OERs) aim to provide equal access to education to all. Yet, the language level used in OERs in English was found to require native speaker or advanced English language proficiency. There is a call to make these resources more comprehensible, yet, few previous studies have explored the effects of simplifying OERs for non-native English speakers (NNES). This study aims to address this gap by testing whether text simplification of OER reading materials facilitates text processing. To that end, eye-tracking stimulated recall interviews were conducted with nine NNES at lower levels of English proficiency reading authentic and linguistically simplified OERs in English. Content analysis of participants’ thought processes during each eye fixation and look-back in the texts suggested that text simplification led to a reduction in cognitive load and the increase in the usage of higher-level processing. Both findings provide some emerging evidence in support of the use of simplification when adapting OERs to the global audience of NNES. These findings are further discussed in the light of their practical applications for online teaching with OERs.

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24 Jan 2022 14:20
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19 May 2024 23:06