Date of Award

8-6-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Jeannine M. Fontaine, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mary R. Jalongo, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lisya Seloni, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this sequential mixed methods study was to gather three types of information the writing center staff at Mountain View University (pseudonym) in Taipei, Taiwan needs in order to select the best anthologies of paragraphs and essays for purchase as self-access materials. These are (a) what anthologies are available on the Taiwan Market, (b) whether these materials are suitable for the reading levels of the students who visit the center as indicated by the Lexile Readability Formula, and (c) what features beyond the two measured by the Lexile Readability Formula (i.e., vocabulary and sentence length) the students perceive as influencing text difficulty when interacting with exemplars found in the anthologies. The study found that 12 anthologies are available on the local market. It additionally found that (a) none of the anthologies are accessible to 53.85% of the students' reading levels and (b) only a limited number of the exemplars in the anthologies are accessible to the other 46.15%. It further found that the students who can access the texts feel that the two features measured by the Lexile Readability Formula and 14 others influence the difficulty they have with the exemplars.

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