A software application for assessing readability in the Japanese EFL context

Toshiaki Ozasa, George R. S. Weir, Masayasu Fukui


We have been engaged in developing a readability index and its application software attunedfor Japanese EFL learners. The index program, Ozasa-Fukui Year Level Program, Ver. 1.0, wasused in developing the readability metric Ozasa-Fukui Year Level Index but tended to assumea high level of computer knowledge in its users. As a result, the application proved to bedifficult to operate for ‘lay’ users. Since the majority of its expected users are not computerspecialists, it is of crucial importance to develop a user-friendly program that can be usedeasily without any professional knowledge or skills. The goal of the present study was toprovide a readability application that was informed by our index development work andsufficiently user-friendly for use by EFL professionals, i.e., Ozasa-Fukui Year Level Program,Ver. 2.0. The present paper describes the background context in which this work wasundertaken and details our approach both to readability measurement and to the design ofthis software application for assessing readability in the Japanese EFL context.

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