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C.S. Kallie, G.E. Legge, R. Cudeck, C. Tamaki; Comparing Visual Parameters of Reading Performance Across Languages in Bilingual Subjects . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):4360.
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Purpose: Unlike acuity charts that can be used across languages with the same alphabet, reading acuity charts contain words or sentences, and must be designed separately for each language. How then can data from tests with these charts be compared or combined across languages? We investigated whether three key properties of reading performance—reading acuity, critical print size, and reading speed—are related between English and Portuguese versions of the same test. Methods: Twenty bilingual individuals with normal vision were tested on both the English and Portuguese versions of the MNREAD reading–acuity charts. Ten were native Portuguese speakers, and ten were native English speakers. The English and Portuguese charts were designed to be identical in font, layout and passage length, differing only in their linguistic content. Results: Plots of reading speed vs. logMAR print size have virtually identical form for Portuguese and English versions of the test. Significant correlations on key measures of reading performance were found between MNREAD–English and MNREAD–Portuguese for Americans and Brazilians. Critical Print Size (CPS) measures correlated well (American r = 0.87, Brazilian r = 0.70). Surprisingly, correlations for maximum reading speed (MRS) were found to be significant (American r = 0.79, Brazilian r = 0.69). Passage reading speed in both languages correlated highly with MNREAD MRS measurements, providing external validation for both versions of the test. Conclusions: These results indicate that measures of reading performance, such as critical print size and, to a lesser extent, maximum reading speed can transcend linguistic differences when obtained with suitably designed reading–acuity charts.
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