eLADDA Conference Presentation, Porto, Portugalia

The classroom trial stage for the LEMI instruments was the focus of the study titled “Validating LEMI: A New Readability Tool for Children’s Literature in Romanian”, conducted by Alexandru Oravițan, Mădălina Chitez, Roxana Rogobete, Karla Csürös and Sorin Hagiu, presented as a poster at the e-LADDA Closing Conference / ELN Pre-Summit Event, held at the University of Porto, Portugal, in October 18-22, 2023.

The poster can be seen here.


The increased rates of school dropout and functional illiteracy in Romania are reflected in Romanian students’ poor PISA test results (OECD 2019). Considering this, a team of linguists from the West University of Timișoara, Romania, initiated a research project focusing on the linguistic complexity assessment of the texts that schoolchildren read. The project resulted in the development of LEMI, a literacy support tool which has been created in partnership with representatives from the Romanian school system and an educational NGO. LEMI offers several functionalities, among which: a searchable children’s literature repository and an interface for the automatic assessment of short reading text complexity. This paper showcases the classroom trial stage of the readability levels according to which texts are distributed in the digital repository. By asking children to evaluate the difficulty of the texts we proposed to them and by comparing their evaluation with our automatically generated text complexity reports, we were able to calibrate and consequently validate the readability and complexity formulas designed for the tool’s pilot version. Thus, within the wider frame of tool development, we demonstrate how both linguistic research and user-generated data can be employed to enhance reading motivation and promote autonomous learning among schoolchildren.

More about the event here.