Simplification for Less-Able Students
Rachel Tal, Amal English Inspector
 

The following are principles for preparing simplified texts for less able students:

1. Anaphoric repetition.
 Example:  Tel Aviv is a city.  The city is big.
 We try to avoid pronoun reference and repeat the noun instead.
 The principle:  A new word has to recur frequently in order to be internalized.

2. Word density.  Do not include too many new words.  It is advisable to present a new word approximately every four lines.  The new word will then be repeated a few times.

3. Re-entry of vocabulary.  The same passage will include words which have already appeared in previous passages.

4. Glossed words.  Glossed words may appear to aid comprehension.  (These words are "throw away vocabulary" - They are neither for active use nor passive recognition.)

5. Interlinked passages.  Try to interlink the reading passages through re-entry of vocabulary.  This will facilitate mastery and comprehension.

6. Simplification of structures.  Try to avoid complex structures, such as the gerund, condition III, inverted forms, etc.   Stick to the structures introduced in junior high EFL.

7. Syntax.  Avoid compound sentences.  Make sentences short and clear.

8. Length.  Making a passage shorter does not necessarily make is easier.  Word and sentence repetition may make a simplified passage longer than the original but this will enable slower students to cope with the material.  On the other hand, a short passage which is concise may be difficult in terms of both language and ideas.  Donít hesitate to present your students with longer passages provided they are easy to read.