Using readability, comprehensibility and lexical coverage to evaluate the suitability of an introductory accountancy textbook to its readership
AbstractAt universities, textbooks are still a primary source of course content. However, this can only be efficacious if the intended readers are able to comprehend the content of the textbooks adequately. This study investigated three possible approaches to determining whether the intended readership of a prescribed Introductory Accountancy textbook (Cornelius & Weyers 2011) will be able to make meaning of that textbook. Such an investigation has important implications for authors, publishers of textbooks and subject lecturers prescribing the texts. Readability of the textbook was determined by using the Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level indices, as well as the average of five conveniently calculated grade level reading indices. A Cloze procedure test was administered to a selection of students to determine their reading comprehension of a reading text. Finally, Nations’ Vocabulary Size Test (Nation and Beglar 2007: 9, 11) was used to determine whether the vocabulary size of the selection of students provides adequate lexical coverage of the lexis used in the textbook to enable comprehension of the text. The findings were somewhat conflicting. The readability indices, and to a lesser extent the vocabulary size test, indicated suitability of the textbook to its intended readership. The Cloze test results suggested contradictory findings that users of the textbook will be reading at their frustration level. These conflicting findings are discussed.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).