Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 21
2018-03-01 発行

Investigating the Lexical Profile of a Popular Children’s Storybook Series

The Family Reading Project (FRP), initiated in 2016, trains Japanese parents to read English language storybooks to their elementary schoolers (Ferguson, Sponseller, & Yamada, 2017). One challenge the FRP has faced is selecting storybooks that are not only interesting in terms of content but lexically within the reach of the participating parents. At present, no comprehensive corpus of children’s texts or principled manner for measuring the difficulty of a text for children exists. The primary aim of this research was to begin developing and refining a principled approach to analyzing candidate texts for inclusion in the FRP. A principled approach is needed if the FRP wishes to make lexically-informed book selections for future iterations of the program. Fifty-five titles from the popular children’s storybook series The Berenstain Bears were digitized in order to create a miniature corpus. The lexical profiles for the series overall as well as individual titles that were generated and investigated are discussed, and implications for evaluating potential texts for use in the FRP are briefly discussed.
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