Német Beáta:

Is the message really more easy-to-read?

2021/1 | #curriculum #easy-to-read communication #lower secondary education #research results #to cook instant soup #understandable | DOI: 10.31287/FT.hu.2021.1.5

The preparation of instant soups is a competence to develop obligatory at the 6th grade of the Hungarian primary schools for intellectually disabled students. The question arises as to whether 6th grade students are able to prepare the instant soups based on the description on the bag. Whether the learning process of preparing the bagged soups is supported more adequately with easy-to-read information? The empirical research was carried out in a special school of the Southern Great Plain Region with the written consent of the involved students and their parents. We involved eight intellectually disabled students in the research. The instant soup was prepared by four people first according to the description of the sachet and then a month later according to the easy-to-read description created by the author of the current study. Four people followed a reverse order. The photos were taken on the real spot of the cooking. Two types of easy-to-read information of the thirty- step process were applicated: one with text and photos and another with photos. The effectiveness of the cooking process is obviously not only influenced by the availability of the recipe. In order to exclude other factors with a good chance, we selected students with nearly identical characteristics. The students’ level of language competence (their reading skills) and their prior knowledge of preparing bagged soup (P-A-C test, special educational interviews, personal observation) were taken into consideration. The entire cooking process was recorded. Analyzing the videos, we observed that without further assistance the students couldn’t prepare the soup solely according to the instructions of the sachets. However, the second cooking’s success didn’t depend on the usage of the original recipe or the easy-to-read version. Thus, practice, repetition could play a greater role than avail- ability itself. At the same time, using an easy-to-read recipe provides greater sense of success and promotes the learning process more effectively than the original recipe that causes many difficulties and failures.