ERIC Number: ED173759
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Pitfalls in the Use of Readability Formulas by Classroom Teachers.
Kingston, Albert J.
Among the problems of using readability formulas in education are: reporting standardized scores as grade levels is often meaningless since in a single grade classroom there may be children reading two or three grades above or below grade placement; social mobility, busing policies, and changed patterns of living have increased the heterogeneity of classrooms; and such formulas do not measure motivation. In addition, readability formulas tend to measure the number of multisyllabic words, the length of sentences, whether the sentences are complex or simple, and the percentage of familiar and unfamiliar words while paying little attention to the author's style. Such obstacles to understanding as figurative language, short but abstract words, and specialized vocabulary also are not measured by readability formulas. As a general rule, readability formulas are best used to get a general idea concerning the type of person who might be able to read and understand a given article or story but it is dangerous to use them exclusively to match a pupil with a story or book. (TJ)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the World Congress on Reading (6th, Singapore, August 17-19, 1976)