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English sentence optotypes for measuring reading acuity and speed—the English version of the Radner Reading Charts

  • W. RadnerEmail author
  • G. Diendorfer
Miscellaneous

Abstract

Purpose

To develop 28 short sentence optotypes for the English version of the Radner Reading Charts that are as comparable as possible in number and length of words, as well as in difficulty and syntactical construction.

Methods

Thirty-four English sentences were constructed following the method used for other Radner Reading Charts to obtain “sentence optotypes” with comparable structure and the same lexical and grammatical difficulty. Best comparable sentences were statistically selected and standardized in 50 volunteers. Reading speed and the number of errors were determined. Validity was analyzed with a 124-word long 4th-grade paragraph of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test®. Computerized measurements of reading parameters were performed with the RADNER Reading Device (RAD-RD©; in conjunction with a PC and microphone).

Results

The mean reading speed obtained with the 28 selected short sentences was 201.53 ± 35.88 words per minute (wpm), as compared to 215.01 ± 30.37 wpm for the long paragraph. The mean reading times were 4.30 ± 0.79 s and 35.26 ± 4.85 s, respectively. The mean number of reading errors was 0.11 ± 0.34. The correlation between the short sentences and the long paragraph was high (r = 0.76; p < 0.05; n = 50). Reliability analyses yielded an overall Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.9743.

Conclusion

The present study indicates that the 28 selected English sentence optotypes are comparable in terms of both lexical difficulty as well as in reading length, and it demonstrates the validity and reliability of such sentences as test items for determining reading parameters such as reading acuity and speed.

Keywords

Visual acuity chart Visual acuity Optotypes Refractive error Spatial vision 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Prof. Gordon Legge PhD for his valuable contribution on writing the paragraph explaining the MNread cards in the introduction.

We thank Deborah McClellan PhD for her contribution on the development of the sentence optotypes.

Conflict of interests

The corresponding author receives royalties for the reading charts.

Financial disclosure

The RAD-RD© and its reading test setup are patented (AT 504635B1/10-2006). The RAD-RD© is currently used only for research purposes and is not commercially available. For the Radner Reading Charts, one author (W. Radner) receives royalties.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austrian Academy of Ophthalmology and OptometryViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of PhoniatricsMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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