Readability Level Assessment of Tigrinya Textbook , for Grade four Students

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Addis Ababa Universiy


The principal objective of this study was to assess the readability level of Tigrinya textbook for grade four students. For doing so, the readability level of the textbook was computed using the Fog Index readability formula. In order to assess the comprehension level of the target students and the readability of the textbook, three cloze tests were administered to Wofri Selam elementary school fourth grade students. In order to see the possible effect of grade difference on the result, the tests were administered to third and Fifth grade students. Interviews were also conducted with the students to gather their opinions about the textbook's readability level. Finally, readability checklist was used to gather Tigrinya teachers' opinions about the readability of the textbook. The finding from the Fog Index readability formula indicated the textbook IS appropriate for ninth grade students rather than for grade four students. The result of the cloze tests also indicated that the comprehension level of the students (including fifth grade students who took the tests) was at a 'frustration level'. This means that the students couldn't comprehend the textbook even with the help of their teacher. The findings from interviews revealed that the textbook readability level was beyond the learners' level. The interviewees attributed this to presence of long and difficult words and sentences; lack of proper text organization and layout. Finally, the checklist's result also showed that teachers rated the textbook to have fair level of readability. Considering all the findings, it is recommended that the textbook readability level should be lowered to the appropriate level in the coming edition. This can be done by:* Presenting passages centered learners' background, experiential and cultural knowledge. * Supplying enough number of charts, pictures and lists. * Rewriting the passages to make the organization more explicit and relevant for the intended learners. * Replacing difficult words and sentences by those already frequently used and familiar to learners. Replacing difficult words by relatively easier and frequently used ones and avoiding irrelevant details, attempt was made by the present researcher to simplify the first passage used in the study. Accordingly, the passages readability level was lowered to fifth grade and the target students' comprehension level was raised to instructional level. This means that the students can comprehend the text with the help of their teacher. So the simplified passage is recommended as possible sample passage appropriate to the intended grade. F.inally it is also recommended that till the textbook readability level is improved, Tigrinya language teachers should be informed about the readability level of the textbook so that they will take their own measures in simplifying the textbook's contents. This can be done by prepaling a sort of workshop or seminar for the local teachers .



Readability Level Assessment of Tigrinya Textbook