Edited by Eliane Segers and Paul van den Broek
[Not in series 206] 2017
Two technologies to help adults with reading difficulties improve their comprehension
A proficient reader is skilled at interpreting and comprehending text at multiple levels of language and discourse. This chapter describes two technologies that are designed to help adult readers who have reading difficulties at various levels. One technology (called AutoTutor) has two computer agents (a tutor and peer) that engage the adult reader in conversational trialogues designed to improve reading comprehension skills at multiple levels of language and discourse. A second technology (called Coh-Metrix) automatically scales texts on discourse formality as well as more specific levels, such as word abstractness, syntactic complexity, discourse cohesion, and narrativity (versus informational discourse). Scaling texts on difficulty is important for adults to read texts at an appropriate level of difficulty – not too easy or difficult.