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Assessing Variability in Reading Performance with the New Greek Standardized Reading Speed Texts (IReST)

Gleni, Angeliki BSc1; Ktistakis, Emmanouil MSc1; Tsilimbaris, Miltiadis K. PhD1,2; Simos, Panagiotis PhD3; Trauzettel-Klosinski, Susanne MD4; Plainis, Sotiris PhD1*

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001434
ORIGINAL INVESTIGATION
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SIGNIFICANCE This article evaluates the standardized Greek version of the International Reading Speed Texts (IReST) set, which enriches interlanguage comparisons and international clinical studies of reading performance. Moreover, it investigates how specific textual and subject-related characteristics modulate the variability of reading speed across texts and readers.

PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to develop a standardized Greek version of the IReST set and investigate how specific textual and subject-related factors modulate the variability of reading speed across texts and readers.

METHODS The English IReST texts were translated to Greek and matched for length, content, and linguistic difficulty. The Greek IReSTs were presented at a distance of 40 cm and size of 1 M to assess reading speeds of 25 normally sighted native speakers (age range, 18 to 35 years). The participants read the texts aloud while reading time was measured by stopwatch. Reading performance included measurement of reading speed in three units of analysis. Reading efficiency was assessed using a word-level oral reading task. Statistical analysis included evaluation of subject- and text-related variability, as well as correlations between reading speed and specific textual and subject-related factors.

RESULTS The average reading speed between texts was 208 ± 24 words/min, 450 ± 24 syllables/min, and 1049 ± 105 characters/min. Differences between readers accounted for the 76.6%, whereas differences across texts accounted for the 23.4% of the total variability of reading speed. Word length (in syllables per word) and median word frequency showed a statistically significant contribution to the variability of reading speed (r = 0.95 and 0.70, respectively). Reading speed was also statistically correlated with word reading efficiency (r = 0.68).

CONCLUSIONS The addition of the Greek version in the IReST language pack is expected to be a valuable tool for clinical practice and research, enriching interlanguage comparisons and international studies of reading performance.

1Laboratoty of Optics and Vision, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

2Ophthalmology Department, University Hospital, Heraklion, Greece

3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

4Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

*plainis@uoc.gr

Submitted: February 20, 2019

Accepted: July 10, 2019

Funding/Support: University of Crete Special Account for Research (“General Research-Type B”; 4721; to PS).

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: None of the authors have reported a financial conflict of interest.

Author Contributions: Conceptualization: ST-K, SP; Data Curation: SP; Formal Analysis: AG, EK, SP; Funding Acquisition: SP; Investigation: AG, EK, SP; Methodology: AG, PS, ST-K, SP; Project Administration: SP; Resources: PS; Supervision: MKT, PS, ST-K, SP; Validation: AG, EK, SP; Writing – Original Draft: AG, SP; Writing – Review & Editing: MKT, PS, ST-K, SP.

© 2019 American Academy of Optometry