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A Multilingual Systematic Review on the Use of Easy Language in Educational Settings

Presented at7th International IATIS Conference, Barcelona (Spain), 14-17 September
Publication date2021
Abstract

Text simplification techniques have been used for decades with multiple purposes and tested in various linguistic and situational contexts. Over time, different simplified language varieties, such as Easy-to-Read and plain language, have emerged. Although they all aim to enhance textual accessibility, the lack of a solid distinction between them has led to a patchwork of scattered literature, hindering proper advancement of knowledge. Drawing on the results of a previous study investigating the potential of easy language in the classroom, we conducted a systematic review of studies, published in different languages, including English, French and Spanish, examining all forms of text simplification for educational purposes. The review had three main aims, namely to identify empirical work carried out in an educational context (including both process- and product-oriented research), to analyse and compare the methodology and target population of such work, and to flag research gaps within this topic. We have searched a wide range of databases and journals, and selected the studies that match a set of predetermined inclusion criteria. Our preliminary findings suggest that the number of studies with a focus on education is relatively small, compared to similar studies in other fields (e.g. healthcare or administration). Moreover, very few studies address students as a group, most focusing on sub-populations such as students with intellectual disabilities. The results of this review will contribute to shaping our project, which seeks to investigate text simplification as a tool to enhance Universal Design for Learning.

Keywords
  • Text simplification
  • Easy language
  • Systematic literature review
  • Education
Citation (ISO format)
CASALEGNO, Elisa, RODRIGUEZ VAZQUEZ, Silvia. A Multilingual Systematic Review on the Use of Easy Language in Educational Settings. In: 7th International IATIS Conference. Barcelona (Spain). 2021.
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