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Plain language for financial content: Assessing the impact of training on students' revisions and readers' comprehension

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PLanTra" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PRINSSTRAAT 13
postcode: 2000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 166˙320 €
 EC max contribution 166˙320 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-08-01   to  2022-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT ANTWERPEN BE (ANTWERPEN) coordinator 166˙320.00


 Project objective

With the responsibility for financial decisions shifting from institutions to individuals, the ability to understand financial information (known as ‘financial literacy’) is paramount. Having reduced financial literacy results in higher risk of over-indebtedness, and in reduced ability to manage one’s wealth. Text simplification, involving the use of plain language, is one of the strategies adopted to meet the needs of low-literacy readers. The comprehensibility of financial texts has received attention at the European level. An action plan developed as part of the EU policy on consumer financial services lists opaque terms and conditions among the concerns raised by customers when conducting cross-border shopping. Despite plain language efforts, the comprehensibility of financial content has not been increasing consistently. Scholars have therefore emphasised the need to train business (communication) students in text simplification and provided resources to that end. There is, however, lack of empirical evidence on the benefits (or lack thereof) of plain language training. This project aims to address this research gap by investigating the impact of plain language training on: (i) how financial texts are simplified by business students; and (ii) the resulting comprehensibility of simplified financial texts among lay readers with different levels of financial literacy. To do so, I will conduct two experimental studies. For the first study, focusing on the simplification process, I will use keystroke logging, retrospective interviews, and screen recording. For the second study, dealing with the comprehensibility of financial content, I will use multiple-choice questions. This project can identify simplification-oriented revisions that are implemented by business students and that are beneficial for comprehension of financial content. Ultimately, these findings can guide financial institutions in their efforts to meet the needs of readers with low financial literacy.

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The information about "PLANTRA" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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