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

  • W. RadnerEmail author
  • G. Diendorfer



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.


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).


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.


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.


Visual acuity chart Visual acuity Optotypes Refractive error Spatial vision 



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.


  1. 1.
    Rubin G, West S, Munoz B, Bandeen-Roche K, Zeger S, Schein O, Fried L (1997) A comprehensive assessment of visual impairment in a population of older Americans. The SEE Eye Evaluation Project. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 38:557–568PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Turano K, Geruschat D, Stahl J, Massof R (1999) Perceived visual ability for independent mobility in persons with retinitis pigmentosa. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 40:865–877PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    West S, Munoz B, Rubin G, Schein O, Bandeen-Roche K, Zeger S, German S, Fried L (1997) Function and visual impairment in a population-based study of older adults. The SEE Eye Project. Salisbury Eye Evaluation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 38:72–82PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Whittaker SG, Lovie-Kitchin J (1999) Visual requirements for reading. Optom Vis Sci 70:54–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Friedman S, Munoz B, Rubin G, West S, Bendeen-Roche K, Fried L (1999) Characteristics of discrepancies between self-reported visual function and measuring reading speed. Salisbury Eye Evaluation Project Team. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 40:858–864PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stangler-Zuschrott E (1990) Verminderte Lesegeschwindigkeit und rasche Ermüdbarkeit als Zeichen der gestörten Sehfunktion. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd 196:150–157PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hakkinen L (1989) Vision in the elderly and its use in social environment. Scand J Soc Med Suppl 35:5–60Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Legge G, Ross J, Isenberg L, LaMay J (1992) Psychophysics of reading—XII: Clinical Predictors of low vision reading speed. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 33:667–672Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stifter E, Sacu S, Benesch T, Weghaupt H (2005) Impairment of visual acuity and reading performance and the relationship with cataract type and density. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 46:2071–2075PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mansfield JS, Ahn S, Legge G, Luebker A (1993) A new reading-acuity chart for normal and low vision. Opt Soc Am Techn Digest 3:232–235Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Radner W, Willinger U, Obermayer W, Mudrich C, Velikay-Parel M, Eisenwort B (1998) A new reading chart for simultaneous determination of reading vision and reading speed. Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd 213:174–181PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Colenbrander A, Runge P. Can Jaeger numbers be standardized? (2007) Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 48: Abstract 3563Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    CEN European Committee of Norms (1996) Europäische Norm Sehschärfenprüfung EN ISO 8596. Beuth-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    DIN 58220 (1997) “Sehschärfenbestimmung” Part 3, 5 und 6., Beuth Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Colenbrander A (1988) Consilium Ophthalmologicum Universale Visual Functions Committee, Visual Acuity Measurement Standard. Ital J Ophthalmol 11:5–19Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bailey I, Lovie J (1980) The design and use of a new near-vision-chart. Am J Opt Phys Opt 57:378–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mansfield JS, Legge G (2007) The MNREAD acuity chart. In: G. Legge. Psychophysics of reading in normal and low vision. Chapter 5:1–32Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Radner W, Obermayer W, Richter-Mueksch S, Willinger U, Velikay-Parel M, Eisenwort B (2002) The validity and reliability of short German sentences for measuring reading speed. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 240:461–467PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stifter E, Konig F, Lang T, Bauer P, Richter-Muksch S, Velikay-Parel M, Radner W (2004) Reliability of a standardized reading chart system: variance component analysis, test-retest and inter-chart reliability. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 242:31–39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Alió JL, Radner W, Plaza-Puche AB, Ortiz D, Neipp MC, Quiles MJ, Rodríguez-Marín J (2008) Design of short Spanish sentences for measuring reading performance: Radner-Vissum test. J Cataract Refract Surg 34:638–642PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Maaijwee KJ, Meulendijks CF, Radner W, van Meurs JC, Hoyng CB (2007) The Dutch version of the Radner Reading Chart for assessing vision function. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 151:2494–2497PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Maaijwee K, Mulder P, Radner W, Van Meurs JC (2008) Reliability testing of the Dutch version of the Radner Reading Charts. Optom Vis Sci 85:353–358PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Carver R (1990) Reading rate: a review of research and theory. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Radner W (2006) Ein Verfahren zur computergestützten Messung von Lesedauer, Lesegeschwindigkeit, Lesevisus und Lesevisus mit Lesefehlern (a Method for computer-aided measurements of reading duration, reading speed, reading acuity and reading errors). Patent AT 504635B1/10-2006, October 10th 2006Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Radner W, Obermayer W, Willinger U, Eisenwort B, Mudrich C (2000) “VIOCE 3.0” A new visually and acoustically controlled computer method for reading speed measurements with short sentences. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci 41:436 (Abstract 2306)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Koch KR, Muether PS, Hermann MM, Hoerster R, Kirchhof B, Fauser S (2012) Subjective perception versus objective outcome after intravitreal ranibizumab for exudative AMD. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 250:201–209PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    McAlinden C, Moore JE (2011) Multifocal intraocular lens with a surface-embedded near section: Short-term clinical outcomes. J Cataract Refract Surg 37:441–445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kiss CG, Barisani-Asenbauer T, Maca S, Richter-Mueksch S, Radner W (2006) Reading performance of patients with uveitis-associated cystoid macular edema. Am J Ophthalmol 142:620–624PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Joussen AM, Joeres S, Fawzy N, Heussen FM, Llacer H, van Meurs JC, Kirchhof B (2007) Autologous translocation of the choroid and retinal pigment epithelium in patients with geographic atrophy. Ophthalmology 114:551–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Huetz WW, Eckhardt HB, Rohrig B, Grolmus R (2006) Reading ability with 3 multifocal intraocular lens models. J Cataract Refract Surg 32:2015–2021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Huetz WW, Eckhardt HB, Röhrig B, Grolmus R (2008) Intermediate vision and reading speed with array, Tecnis, and ReSTOR intraocular lenses. J Refract Surg 24:251–256Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Stifter E, Sacu S, Weghaupt H, Konig F, Richter-Muksch S, Thaler A, Velikay-Parel M, Radner W (2004) Reading performance depending on the type of cataract and its predictability on the visual outcome. J Cataract Refract Surg 30:1259–1267PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Stifter E, Sacu S, Benesch T, Weghaupt H (2005) Impairment of visual acuity and reading performance and the relationship with cataract type and density. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 46:2071–2075PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Stifter E, Burggasser G, Hirmann E, Thaler A, Radner W (2005) Monocular and binocular reading performance in children with microstrabismic amblyopia. Br J Ophthalmol 89:1324–1329PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Richter-Mueksch S, Kaminski S, Kuchar A, Stifter E, Velikay-Parel M, Radner W (2005) Influence of laser in situ keratomileusis and laser epithelial keratectomy on patients’ reading performance. J Cataract Refract Surg 31:1544–1548PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Richter-Mueksch S, Stur M, Stifter E, Radner W (2006) Differences in reading performance of patients with drusen maculopathy and subretinal fibrosis after CNV. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 244:154–162PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Krepler K, Wagner J, Sacu S, Wedrich A (2005) The effect of intravitreal triamcinolone on diabetic macular oedema. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 243:478–481PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Stifter E, Sacu S, Weghaupt H (2004) Functional vision with cataracts of different morphologies: comparative study. J Cataract Refract Surg 30:1883–1891PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ergun E, Maar N, Radner W, Barbazetto I, Schmidt-Erfurth U, Stur M (2003) Scotoma size and reading speed in patients with subfoveal occult choroidal neovascularization in age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmology 110:65–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Richter-Mueksch S, Weghaupt H, Skorpik C, Velikay-Parel M, Radner W (2002) Reading performance with a refractive multifocal and a diffractive bifocal intraocular lens. J Cataract Refract Surg 28:1957–1963PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Legge GE, Ross JA, Luebker A, LaMay JM (1989) Psychophysics of reading VIII. The Minnesota Low-Vision Reading Test. Optom Vis Sci 66:843–853PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Delattre P (1965) Comparing the phonetic features of English, German. Spanish and Frencch, Julius GroosGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kline P (1999) The handbook of psychological testing, 2nd edn. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Nunnally J (1994) Bernstein I. Psychometric theory. 3rd ed. New York; McGraw-HillGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    George D, Mallery P (2003) SPSS for Windows step by step: A simple guide and Reference 11.0 update, 4th edn. Allyn & Bacon, BostonGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Streiner DL, Norman GR (2008) Health measurement scales: a practical guide to their development and use, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations