Educational Research Journal


1989.第4卷(Vol. 4).pp. 50–56


Comparative Study of Reading Comprehension of Chinese Classical and Modern Passages for Hong Kong Secondary School Students

梁婉萍(Yuen-Ping LEUNG)




This paper investigated the difference of reading ability between Chinese classical and modern passages for Form four students. The Chinese passages in same content were reconstructed into four kinds of written style which were named as more difficult and classical essays (MDCE), less difficult and classical essays (LDCE), more difficult and modern essays (MDME), less difficult and modern essays (LDME).

The study was a Latin-square design with different written styles and different passages as between-subjects factors. Each sample-student should read four passages so as to cover four kinds of written style. Then they would answer the multiple choice questions according to the passages. Their test results were the information to taking comparison of reading comprehension in chinese classical and modern passages. Three hundred and twelve Form four sample-students coming from eight different grammar schools in Hong Kong were tested. The validity and reliability of the test were found satisfactory.

The analysis results indicated that (1) the results of MDCE group was the worst. The difference between this group and the other three were significant, (2) results between LDCE and MDME group were not taking significant difference. The MDME group and LDME group were the same also, (3) the academic results of LDCE group were significantly different with the LDME group. The scores of those results meant that the alternative groups were significantly different. The MDCE group contained 75% or above chinese classical vocabularies and sentences, and at the same time the LDCE group contained (50–74%) of them. In short, the study tells that 50% or above difficult and classical component in Chinese passage would have bad effect for reading. This finding was a little bit different from Korea's (1983). Korea found that a bright and clever reader could handle a passage which included only 30% of difficult vocabularies and sentences.