Readability of online hearing related information in Russian
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Purpose: To describe the readability of hearing-related Internet-information for the Russian language and to compare these results with the results of the Cloze test administered to native speakers of Russian.
Method: The readability of Russian online hearing-related information was examined by using the Google country-coded top-level domains (ccTLDs) in six countries where Russian is spoken by at least 5% of the population. These countries included; Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Turkmenistan. The key search terms used were; “deterioration of hearing”- “Ухудшение слуха”, “hearing impairment”- “Нарушения слуха”, and “hearing loss”- “потеря слуха”, and “снижение слуха”. The top 10 webpages that adhered to the inclusion and exclusion criteria of this study were retrieved for each search term in each ccTLD. Duplicates were removed and a total of 39 webpages were used for analysis. Readability was analysed using four readability formulas: Flesch-Kincaid (F-K), Simple Measure Of Gobbledygook (SMOG), Dale-Chall readability formula, and Coleman- Liau Index. The Cloze test was also used and was administered to 10 participants. It was performed to make a comparison between the webpages that had the highest and lowest readability scores.
Results: The analysis of the 39 webpages in this study concluded that the overall readability levels were high, meaning the general public needed to have at least 13-16 years of education to understand and comprehend the information available on the webpages. The lowest readability level was found when using the Dale-Chall formula, which gave a reading grade level (RGL) of 7.41 which showed adequate readability. The highest readability level was found when using the F-K formula which gave a RGL of 24.66 which showed poor readability. The mean RGL of all formulas ranged from 13.02-16.44 concluding that all analysed webpages had significantly higher RGLs than the recommended RGL of six. The Cloze test produced results comparable to the high RGLs found from the formulas. The webpage with the lowest reading grade level gave a mean Cloze score of 64.08% compared to the webpage with the highest reading grade level which gave a mean Cloze score of 45.78% showing that the lower reading grade level webpage was easier to complete.
Conclusion: Readability of the Russian language has not been well documented, and currently there have not been any studies looking at the readability of hearing-related information on the Internet of different countries in the Russian language. As many people now turn to the Internet for information, it is important that this information can be easily understood by the public. Clinicians and healthcare professionals should also be able to recommend appropriate websites and give their patients high quality materials that are easy enough for them to understand. This is important to achieve greater client satisfaction and improved decision making for the public.