Measuring and Explaining the Reading Threshold Needed for English for Academic Purposes Texts

Batia Laufer, Donald D. Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT  This study attempts to answer two questions concerning the reading threshold needed for English for A cademic Purposes texts: I. How can the threshold be measured and expressed numerically? II. How can it be described in terms of its components, linguistic and conceptual? The measurement of the threshold was conducted by: 1) location of a group of students who were on this level; 2) measuring the reading comprehension level of these students by the First Certificate of English exam; 3) testing a large group of students by both the FCE exam and a self‐produced reading strategies exam. The results of the three stages suggest that the threshold seems to be reflected in a 65%‐70% score on the reading comprehension section of the FCE exam. The nature of the threshold of reading comprehension is addressed in the interview part of the study. It appears that the most important element for interpretation is the vocabulary, then the knowledge of the subject matter, and then discourse markers and syntactic structure. The paper discusses possible implications of the findings for the teaching of L2 reading comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalForeign Language Annals
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


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