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Re: Clear writing and testability

From: Patrizia Bertini <patrizia@patriziabertini.it>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 18:47:28 +0200
To: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BBC075BF.71EA%patrizia@patriziabertini.it>
Hi Slatin,

I do agree. Language clarity can't be machine tested, but it can be
evaluated though some linguistics metrics.

I am out from my usual place and have no my references to check
documentation, but there are some aspects that can be tested and verified
like:
- standard language usage (in each language there is a core dictionary of
easy and well understand words, so if we refer to that standard language we
can work on a basis if easy and clear words) - if there are substandard
words explain them properly using standard words
- preference for SOV / SVO structures (according to the language structure)
- preference for parataxis than Hypotaxis
- usage of abbr and alt elements in order to clarify the meanings of
substandard and superstandard words not considered the core vocabulary.

I have recently told that the Sweden government have just presented a
version of it's site for dislessic and cognitive impaired people,
unfortunately the link is in Swedish and I have no chance to do any
Linguistic analysis, but there are some sociolinguistics studies dome by
Berruto in Italy about this topic.

I can look for more details as soon as i get back in Italy defenitevly.

M2p -- Pat


Da: "John M Slatin" <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Data: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 15:23:55 -0500
A: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Oggetto: Clear writing and testability
Rinvio da: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Data rinvio: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 16:31:09 -0400 (EDT)


Gregg said on this afternoon's joint call with ATAG that "Write clearly"
isn't testable.  I beg to differ. Clarity isn't *machine-testable.( However,
it *is* possible to achieve a high degree of inter-rater reliability for
written work.  In the US, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) trains teams
of people to score high-stakes examinations that can determine whether
students are or are not admitted to university.  These evaluators read and
score student essays, and achieve enough inter-rater reliability for their
results to be accepted by many coleges and universities.  Teachers using the
Learning Record (a portfolio-based learning assessment tool) achieve
inter-rater reliability ratings of 89% last time I heard the statistics.
 
The key is in Gregg's phrase about raters "who know what they're talking
about."  I would argue that it's possible to train people to read Web
content and make informed judgments about its clarity.
 
John
 

"Good design is accessible design."
Please note our new name and URL!
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/
Received on Saturday, 25 October 2003 12:47:37 GMT

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