Language Features and Readabilities of Singapore’s Chinese Language Texts for Primary and Secondary Schools

Author
SOH, Kay Cheng

Source
International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2020; Issue No. 8; p.109 - 126

Publisher
Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

Abstract
Language features and readability of Chinese texts are the essential conditions for the success of Chinese teaching. There are many English readability formulas, and they are often used to test the difficulty of English texts. Although there are a few readability formulas, they are appropriate for analyzing texts targeting at Chinese native speakers. This article first analyzes the language features of Chinese texts for primary schools in Singapore and then uses a newly developed Chinese as a second language readability formula to evaluate the difficulty levels of the texts, and further compares the language features and readability of Chinese textbooks for three streams of the secondary school. Results showed that text readability of primary textbooks was greatly affected by language features related to characters and words but not much by those related to sentences. Moreover, the readability of primary school texts increases by grade, but there is a lack of regularity in the texts for the secondary school.

Keywords
language features readability formula Chinese as a second language regression analysis

Language
Chinese

ISSN
2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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