VYTEDU-CW: Difficult Words as a Barrier in the Reading Comprehension of University Students

  • Jenny Ortiz ZambranoEmail author
  • Arturo MontejoRáez
  • Katty Nancy Lino Castillo
  • Otto Rodrigo Gonzalez Mendoza
  • Belkis Chiquinquirá Cañizales Perdomo
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1066)


We present VYTEDU-CW (Educational Videos and Texts - Complex Word) as a corpus in Spanish made up of university educational texts containing difficult words. In its construction process, it worked with students of the different careers that make up the University of Guayaquil (Ecuador); the students were selected according to the level of studies with respect to the content of the texts of the corpus, this with the purpose that the text is not very easy for students who are in higher grades. The work consisted in the recognition and labeling of the complex words contained in the different texts that make up the VYTEDU corpus. It should be noted that one of the difficulties in reading comprehension is complex words, which become a barrier especially for those with special cognitive abilities. This new corpus had its origin in the VYTEDU corpus, whose demonstration was made at the congress of the SEPLN (Murcia-Spain, 2017) and on which several experiments were carried out. Currently, VYTEDU-CW is being used to continue researching the Automatic Simplification of Spanish Texts in the field of Natural Language Processing. A sample of students was taken from the different faculties and from the results the corpus statistics were obtained. The objective of this work is to determine that difficult words in educational texts become one of the main problems in the reading comprehension in the day to day of university students.


Difficult words University texts Barrier Reading comprehension 



I want to express my thanks to the PhD. Arturo Montejo-Ráez from the University of Jaén who with his valuable contribution directs the tutelage of the doctoral project, also to the authorities of the different faculties of the University of Guayaquil who have shown interest and contribute in a very collaborative way so that the development of this Project achieve its objective. I would also like to thank Christian González Espinoza, student of the Software Engineering degree at the University of Guayaquil, who contributed to the development of the EIL application.


  1. 1.
    Dell’Orletta, F., Montemagni, S., Venturi, G.: Read-IT: assessing readability of italian texts with a view to text simplification. In: Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Technologies, pp. 73–83 (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Štajner, S., Glavaš, G.: Leveraging event-based semantics for automated text simplifition. Expert Syst. Appl. 82, 383–395 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Torunoglu-Selamet, D., Pamay, T., Eryigit, G.: Simplification of Turkish sentences. In: The First International Conference on Turkic Computational Linguistics, pp. 55–59 (2016)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Štajner, S., Evans, R., Orasan, C., Mitkov, R.: What can readability measures really tell us about text complexity. In: Proceedings of Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Improving Textual Accessibility, pp. 14–22 (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carletta, J.: Unleashing the killer corpus: experiences in creating the multi-everything AMI Meeting Corpus. Lang. Resour. Eval. 41(2), 181–190 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rosas, V.P., Mihalcea, R., Morency, L.P.: Multimodal sentiment analysis of Spanish online videos. IEEE Intell. Syst. 28(3), 38–45 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ortiz Zambrano, J.A., Montejo Ráez, A.: VYTEDU: un corpus de vídeos y sus transcripciones para investigación en el ámbito educativo (2017)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ortiz Zambrano, J.A., Varela Tapia, E.A.: Reading comprehension in university texts: the metrics of lexical complexity in corpus analysis in Spanish. In: International Conference on Computer and Communication Engineering, pp. 111–123 (2018)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Aranzabe, M.J., de Ilarraza, A.D., Gonzalez-Dios, I.: First approach to automatic text simplification in basque. In: Proceedings of the Natural Language Processing for Improving Textual Accessibility (NLP4ITA) Workshop, pp. 1–8 (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Siddharthan, A.: Syntactic simplification and text cohesion. Res. Lang. Comput. 4(1), 77–109 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Al-Subaihin, A.A., Al-Khalifa, H.S.: Al-Baseet: a proposed simplification authoring tool for the arabic language. In: 2011 International Conference on Communications and Information Technology (ICCIT), pp. 121–125. IEEE (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bott, S., Saggion, H.: Spanish text simplification: An exploratory study. Procesamiento del lenguaje Nat. 47, 87–95 (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Carroll, J., Minnen, G., Canning, Y., Devlin, S., Tait, J.: Practical simplification of English newspaper text to assist aphasic readers. In: Proceedings of the AAAI-1998 Workshop on Integrating Artificial Intelligence and Assistive Technology, pp. 7–10 (1998)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    De Belder, J., Moens, M.F.: Text simplification for children. In: Proceedings of the SIGIR Workshop on Accessible Search Systems, pp. 19–26. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ferrés, D., Marimon, M., Saggion, H.: YATS: yet another text simplifier. In: International Conference on Applications of Natural Language to Information Systems, pp. 335–342. Springer, Cham (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Suter, J., Ebling, S., Volk, M.: Rule-based automatic text simplification for German. In: Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS 2016), pp. 279–287, Bochumer Linguistische Arbeitsberichte (BLA), Bochum (2016)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Burešová, K.: Text simplification in Czech (2017)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GuayaquilGuayaquilEcuador
  2. 2.University of JaénJaénSpain

Personalised recommendations