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Are Easy Language Best Practices Applied in Educational Texts for Children in French?

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Presented at International Easy Language Day Conference (IELD) 2021. Germersheim (online) - Germany - 27-28 May 2021 - . 2021
Abstract Prior research identifies children with aphasia, learning difficulties, and cognitive and hearing impairments as part of the primary target groups with legal rights to Easy Language (EL) texts (Hansen-Schirra and Maaß 2020). However, little is known about the potential of EL texts for children and adolescents in general, regardless of their reading abilities. Psycholinguistic studies have shown that some practices, such as the use of anaphoric expressions (Joseph et al. 2015) or temporal connectors (Lecorvé 2020) could have an effect on children’s reading comprehension. In this context, it would be interesting to have a closer look at EL and educational texts to highlight shared patterns and pin down what their distinctive features are. Our ultimate goal is to empirically test whether EL texts can be successfully used as a tool to enhance Universal Design for Learning (UDL). As a first step towards this goal, we conducted a study aiming to identify common guidelines among different sets of EL principles used in French-speaking countries and investigate whether educational texts for children aged 7-12 comply with them. In the first stage of the study, we analysed and compared five of the most popular sets of EL principles available in French. Guidelines were classified into five groups based on an adapted version of O’Brien (2003) categories for controlled languages, i.e., lexical, syntactic, text structure, pragmatic and typography. During the second stage, we will examine a corpus comprised of children’s journalistic texts (e.g., Le P’tit Libé) and check for compliancy with the common guidelines identified. Determining to what extent children’s educational texts follow EL guidelines will not only inform the next phase of our project for the validation of EL materials, but might also provide some concrete examples on how to implement French EL guidelines, some of which tend to be general and uncorroborated.
Keywords Easy languageEasy to readFrenchFacile à lire et à comprendreFALCChildrenEnfantsEducational texts
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CASALEGNO, Elisa, BOUILLON, Pierrette, RODRIGUEZ VAZQUEZ, Silvia. Are Easy Language Best Practices Applied in Educational Texts for Children in French?. In: International Easy Language Day Conference (IELD) 2021. Germersheim (online) - Germany. 2021. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:152752

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Deposited on : 2021-07-05

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