Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds OK. We’ll use the number of syllables in the excerpts to understand textual complexity. So, counting the syllables. We have words with one, two, three, four, or five syllables for the Jane Eyre extract, J E, the A Christmas Carol extract, C C, or the Father and Son extract, F S. The Jane Eyre extract has 124 one-syllable words, 23 two-syllable words, six three-syllable words, two four-syllable words, and no five-syllable words. Giving a total of 155 words. For A Christmas Carol there was 110 one-syllable words, 28 two-syllable words, six three-syllable words, three four-syllable words, and one five-syllable word. So there’s 148 words in the extract. And the Father and Son.
Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds 128 one-syllable words, 30 two-syllable words, 14 three-syllable words, two four-syllable words, and four five-syllable words. Giving 178 words. Again it is difficult to compare these syllable counts because the extracts have a different number of words. So we shall express them as percentages of the total number of words for each extract. Like this. Constructing a similar table. 80% of the Jane Eyre extract contains one-syllable words, 15% two-syllable words, 4% three-syllable words, 1% four-syllable words. There’s no five-syllable words. A Christmas Carol. 74% to one-syllable words, 19% to two-syllable words, 4% to three-syllable words, 2% to four-syllable words, and 1% to five-syllable words.
Skip to 2 minutes and 12 seconds For the Father and Son extract, 72% to one-syllable words, 17% to two-syllable words, 8% to three-syllable words, 2% to four-syllable words, and 1% to five-syllable words.
Skip to 2 minutes and 32 seconds Now that you have this information in terms of percentages given by this table, you can construct a stacked bar chart so that you can compare the different excerpts. Like this. And you can use this stacked bar chart to construct any arguments based upon the number of syllables in the texts.
Skip to 3 minutes and 3 seconds There are other ways of measuring textual complexity. One common way is the mean sentence length, which is equal to the total number of words in the excerpt divided by the total number of sentences in the excerpt.
Skip to 3 minutes and 18 seconds For Jane Eyre this is 51.66 words. For A Christmas Carol it is 37 words. And for Father and Son it is 29.66 words.
Solution to the histogram question
Here is the video which give you the solution to the three extracts, looking at the complexity of the language.
In the next step you will be answering some questions which ask you to think about how you have approached these self assessment questions and the material in this lesson in general.
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