How Comprehensible Must Reading Be?

Marcos Benevides’ Slideshare PPT has been floating around for over a year now. It’s a powerful illustration of how unknown words affect reading fluency (speed + accuracy), especially for anyone who thinks students will be OK reading anything that’s less than 98% comprehensible.

Still, the syntactical clues in Marcos’ PPT helped native speakers. In order to simulate a student’s reading experience more accurately, I removed those clues. Here’s the result (download, here, for sharing):


One thought on “How Comprehensible Must Reading Be?

  1. I am especially sensitive to this issue now that I’m teaching and training Hebrew teachers. When I scan Hebrew trade books and textbooks for usability, I’m astonished by the long list of new/glossed terms on each page. These materials are considered appropriate for absolute beginners and novice level learners! While this is not new for us CI teachers, going back and looking at lesser taught language materials with fresh CI eyes is so disconcerting! However, it’s also an invitation and an opportunity to create new comprehensible resources for language learners everywhere!

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