Tekst trudny, czyli... jaki? O czynnikach wpływających na trudność tekstu
A difficult text — what does it really mean? Factors affecting text difficulty
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The article is concerned with factors affecting text difficulty while reading in a foreign language with particular attention to reading in Polish as a foreign language. Assessment of text difficulty is crucial both for developing reading skills in foreign language class and for language testing purposes. Text difficulty may, among others, stem from its lexical and syntactic complexity, text structure, genre and topic. Numerous studies in the field of applied linguistics have been conducted in order to establish the impact of these variables on text comprehension. In quest of solution to this problem, researchers sometimes resort to mathematical formulas and readability indices. Text comprehension and the level of text difficulty, however, depends greatly on the reader himself — his language competence, cognitive skills, preparation, background knowledge, specific and cultural knowledge, motivation, training as well as the purpose of reading. The author of this article argues that all the above-mentioned factors have to be taken into account while assessing text difficulty.
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