Barriers in Reading Comprehension of University Students: Analysis of the Complicated Words Annotated in the VYTEDU-CW Corpus

Jenny Alexandra Ortiz-Zambrano, Arturo Montejo-Raéz


Students often require a greater understanding of the lexicon that teachers use when dictating an assignment in class or in written texts as supporting material. Identifying and labelling difficult words has allowed us to examine the problem. A sample of students from the University of Guayaquil (Ecuador) was taken to experiment in a corpus of video transcripts that correspond to the different careers. After performing the analysis of the tagged words, the conclusions reached by other research papers in lexical simplification are confirmed and corroborates the recommendations of the Easy Reading guide prepared by Inclusion Europe in 2009. The investigation determined that the words labeled as difficult were specialized words, common lexical words, slang, English words, acronyms, among others. It was difficult for students to understand its meaning; in some cases, they either ignored its definition or just had the wrong idea of the lexicon. This work aims to be a contribution to future research in the area of lexical simplification applied to the development of solutions for detecting difficult words in the university academic field. Also, the type of complex expressions identified in the VYTEDU-CW corpus were characterized by the software, which enriches this resource while opening the possibility to organize a workshop where to promote research in the detection of difficult words to the Spanish. The support to validate these solutions is available to the scientific community.


complex words; university scope; lexical simplification.

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