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Simplification of open educational resources in English

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  • Irina Rets
  • Ursula Stickler
  • Tim Coughlan
  • Lluïsa Astruc
Publication date26/01/2022
Host publicationOpen World Learning: Research, Innovation and the Challenges of High-Quality Education
EditorsBart Rienties, Regine Hampel, Eileen Scanlon, Denise Whitelock
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003177098
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Digital Education and Educational Technology


Open Educational Resources (OERs) aim to provide equal access to education to all. Yet, the language level used in OERs in English was found to require native speaker or advanced English language proficiency. There is a call to make these resources more comprehensible, yet, few previous studies have explored the effects of simplifying OERs for non-native English speakers (NNES). This study aims to address this gap by testing whether text simplification of OER reading materials facilitates text processing. To that end, eye-tracking stimulated recall interviews were conducted with nine NNES at lower levels of English proficiency reading authentic and linguistically simplified OERs in English. Content analysis of participants’ thought processes during each eye fixation and look-back in the texts suggested that text simplification led to a reduction in cognitive load and the increase in the usage of higher-level processing. Both findings provide some emerging evidence in support of the use of simplification when adapting OERs to the global audience of NNES. These findings are further discussed in the light of their practical applications for online teaching with OERs.