Volume 82, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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How much of the vocabulary in a text needs to be known ('text coverage') to arrive at a proper comprehension of the text? On the basis of a vocabulary test, 175 pupils of grade 4 were divided into four groups with different vocabulary sizes. Next, in three sessions they read six texts differing in word-level difficulty. Each time after they had read a text, the children answered questions about it and their knowledge of unknown words from the text was tested. The results show that text comprehension and word learning is dependent on the word-level difficulty of the text: the more difficult words there were in the texts, the less well the children understood the texts, and the fewer words they learned from them. Children with a smaller vocabulary learned fewer words and understood less than the children with larger vocabularies. Optimum text coverage was reached at a level of 88.7 percent, with the children answering correctly more than half of the text comprehension questions, and having learned at least one out of five unknown words from the text.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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