Q. What is The Lexile Framework®?
The Lexile Framework® is a scientific approach to reading and text measurement. It includes the Lexile measure and the Lexile scale. The Lexile measure is a reading ability or text difficulty score followed by an 'L' (eg '850L'). The Lexile scale is a developmental scale for reading ranging from 200L for beginning readers to above 1700L for advanced text. All Scholastic Lexile Framework® products rely on the Lexile measure and scale to match reader and text.
Once you have a student's Lexile measure, you can match them to thousands of books to find material targeted to the student's reading level.
Q. What products, tools and services support The Lexile Framework®?
Scholastic Australia has a sophisticated online software program that includes tests to determine a student's Lexile level, a database of almost 7000 Lexile levelled books, around 2500 active computer quizzes, and tracking software that allows you to monitor your students' progress and generate reports. To get you started, we have a Scholastic Lexile Framework® Starter Kit that comes complete with access to the online software, 40 books, around 2500 quizzes, and technical support.
Additionally, Scholastic Australia regularly releases collections of new titles together with matching quizzes. Collections may be based around a series, theme, or grade level.
Q. How is a text's Lexile measure determined?
Lexile measures are based on two well-established predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend: semantic difficulty (word frequency) and syntactic complexity (sentence length). In order to Lexile a book, we start by removing the spine of the book and scanning the pages into an electronic text file. The text is then edited to remove chapter headings, page numbers and any sections of rhyme or verse.
The text is split into 125-word slices. Each slice is compared to the nearly 600-million word Lexile corpus-taken from a variety of sources and genres-and words in each sentence are counted. These calculations are put into the Lexile equation. Then each slice's resulting Lexile measure is applied to the Rasch psychometric model to determine the Lexile measure for the entire text.
For example, books such as Arthur and the Recess Rookie (370L), Arthur Goes to Camp (380L) and Arthur, Clean Your Room! (370L) fall within the Lexile Range of a typical second grader. These books have shorter sentences and words appear frequently. Conversely, books in the Harry Potter series (which measure between 880L and 1030L), Little Women (1300L) and Don Quixote (1410L) contain longer sentences and more complex words.
Q. How is a child's Lexile measure determined?
The Lexile Test utilises a database of over 3700 multiple-choice questions ranging from lower primary to university level. Each question a child is asked contains a text passage from a real book at a set Lexile level. If the child is able to answer the comprehension question correctly, the next question will step up in difficulty. If the child answers incorrectly, the next question will be a little easier.
The questions feature authentic fiction and nonfiction text passages, and no prior knowledge of the text is required. Also, there is no time limit, and the test only asks as many questions as the program needs to calculate the child's Lexile level. And because the test adapts to the child's ability level, no child is left with a feeling of failure.
Q. How will this benefit my students and me?
The Lexile Framework® helps teachers set measurable goals, monitor and evaluate reading practice, and easily track progress. In addition, it provides teachers with an excellent means of encouraging parental involvement by giving parents a clear idea of their child's progress, and a selection of books that the child should be reading. The short, online quizzes are a great tool for motivating your children to read. The bright colours and fun graphics are very rewarding.
Q. How can The Lexile Framework® help me with parents?
The Lexile Framework® provides a clear, non-judgmental way of communicating a student's reading abilities to parents. It helps you generate reading lists that help parents guide their children to appropriately challenging reading materials. Lexiles can also be used to promote summer reading, and to select books that will provide more easily understood background information for homework assignments. When standards and scores are reported in Lexiles, families can be provided with examples of student goals or achievements by converting the Lexile measure into a range of familiar texts for outside reading. Time spent reading outside of school is a powerful predictor of future academic and workplace success.
Q. What does a Lexile measure tell me about what a student can read?
Lexile measures allow you to manage student reading comprehension. When reader and text measures match, the reader is 'targeted'. This is the basis for selecting text that is targeted to a student's reading ability, and the result is an expected 75-percent comprehension rate-not too difficult to be frustrating, but difficult enough to encourage reading progress. The student's interests, parental views on what constitutes age-appropriate material and teacher's instructional aims are also vital issues in managing a reader's growth.
Targeted readers report competence, confidence and control over the text. When a text measure is greater than a reader's measure, comprehension drops dramatically, and the subjective experience is one of frustration, inadequacy and lack of control. Conversely, when a reader's measure exceeds a text measure, comprehension goes up dramatically, and the reader experiences total control and a lack of challenge. It is important to remember that a student's Lexile measure isn't a measure of their intelligence. The Lexile Framework® is designed to match a students' reading ability (wherever it falls on the scale) with a text's readability (likewise, wherever it falls on the scale) for optimal reading success and enjoyment.
Q. Why is the '75-percent comprehension' number so significant?
Lexile measures allow you to manage comprehension. Matching a reader's Lexile measure to a text with the same Lexile measure leads to an expected 75-percent comprehension rate-not too difficult to be frustrating, but difficult enough to be challenging and to encourage reading progress. You can further adjust anticipated comprehension simply by choosing more or less difficult texts within a student's Lexile range, which spans 50L above and 100L below their Lexile measure.
Q. Should my students always choose material with increasingly higher Lexile measures?
While students should be encouraged to move on to more demanding material as their skills develop, it is not necessary for them to advance to a higher Lexile measure with each new book. By reading several titles at one Lexile measure, young readers can build confidence and comfort in their degree of reading comprehension before moving on to books at a higher measure.
Q. Will The Lexile Framework® help me find books for my less advanced readers?
The Lexile Framework® is geared toward the needs of readers at all levels. By giving teachers a precise measurement of student performance that is based on an absolute, invariant standard, The Lexile Framework® permits more effective evaluation and monitoring of student progress. The Lexile Framework® is as important for readers who are advancing more slowly as it is for readers who are advancing rapidly. It enables teachers to select books that are targeted to students' current skill levels, reducing the risk of frustrating readers and 'turning them off' from the benefits and pleasures of regular reading.
The Lexile Online software allows teachers and students to generate individualised reading lists matched to the child's age, reading ability and interests. So for a struggling reader, it will help you to find books that are interesting enough to capture the reader's attention, yet have the simpler text they need to read with confidence.
Q. How do grade levels and Lexile levels relate?
Lexile measures do not translate specifically to grade levels. Within any classroom, there will be a range of readers and a range of materials to be read. For example, in a fifth-grade classroom, there will be some readers that are far ahead of the rest, and some readers far below the rest. To say that some books are 'just right' for fifth graders assumes that all fifth graders are reading at the same level. Lexiles track a student's reading progress over time, no matter what grade they are in.
In adapting The Lexile Framework® for use in Australian schools, Scholastic sought the advice and assistance of the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) to develop a visual map of the approximate reading levels you should expect from children in specific grades. The Lexile Map is available from Scholastic Australia-just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you a copy straight away.