The LEMI team, represented by Karla Csürös, Florina Andercău and Roxana Delia Prohap, presented the paper “Children’s Literature with LEMI: Preliminary Steps in the Development of the First Romanian Text Readability App” (see excerpt from the presentation below) at “The First Baia Mare Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults: Identifying the Addressee of Contemporary Literature for Children and Young Adults: Border Crossings Towards a Mixed Readership”, organised on 8-10 June 2023, by the Department of Philology and Cultural Studies of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (North University Centre in Baia Mare). The presentation is part of the project LEMI (Reading for Me. Science for Children), supported by the AFCN / National Cultural Fund Administration grant within the session I/2023), area Promotion of Written Culture, no. P0299/10.02.2023, awarded to the West University of Timișoara for the proposal submitted by the project coordinator, CS II dr. Habil. Madalina Chitez.
A contrast has pervaded Romanian schooling recently: an ever-increasing interest in reading activities (through numerous school textbooks, auxiliary materials, NGO initiatives, and publishers’ offers) is mirrored by unsatisfactory reading scores in PISA tests (OECD 2019). Having this conundrum in mind, linguists from the West University of Timișoara’s Centre for Corpus Related Digital Approaches to Humanities (CODHUS) initiated the LEMI (Lectura pentru mine, EN: Reading for me) research project in January 2023 to produce a tool for assessing children’s literature according to linguistic complexity during initial reading activities (ages 7-11). As a first step, the children’s needs and observations on school reading were surveyed through a questionnaire, with responses recorded from all target groups (teachers, parents and pupils). This paper reports the questionnaire results – favourite literature texts, textbook assessment, and recommendations for children’s literature. Ultimately, we will explain the integration of these results into the future functionalities of the LEMI tool.
Keywords: LEMI, children’s literature repository, text complexity automatic assessment for Romanian, LEMI questionnaire