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ERIC Number: ED518046
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
An Examination of Current Text Difficulty Indices with Early Reading Texts. Reading Research Report #10-01
Hiebert, Elfrieda H.; Pearson, P. David
Online Submission
This study considers the degree to which two quantitative indices--Lexiles and Coh-Metrix--discriminate across levels of difficulty and types of beginning reading texts. The database consisted of 444 texts, representing seven text types that are part of reading/language arts instruction. These text types were distributed across seven levels of text difficulty. Analyses showed that Lexiles predicted a clear progression in difficulty across the seven levels but that these differences were due almost entirely to Mean Sentence Length (MSL), not Mean Lexical Frequency (MLF). Findings were similar for the syntax and word abstractness variables of Coh-Metrix. Of three additional Coh-Metrix variables--non-narrativity, referential cohesion, and situation model cohesion--only referential cohesion showed a progression of easier to harder across the seven text levels. Of the seven text types, trade books had the highest Lexiles, while historical textbooks had the lowest. The results of the Coh-Metrix analyses showed that all text types fell within the easy range but trade books were predicted to be the hardest and the historical textbooks the easiest. These quantitative systems validate the general order of text levels and indicate some differences in the predicted ease or difficulty of text types. The usefulness of this information--general in nature--in matching beginning readers with appropriate texts is less certain. The report concludes with an identification of next steps for supporting optimal matches of texts and beginning readers' knowledge.(Contains 7 tables and 1 figure.) [This document was produced by TextProject, Inc.]
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A