Lexile Framework for Reading

The Lexile Framework for Reading is a scientific approach for measuring both reading comprehension ability and text complexity and places both measures on the Lexile scale. When used together, these measures can help match a reader with reading material at an appropriate difficulty or help give an idea of how well a reader will comprehend a text. Students may be matched with reading material that facilitates the optimal growth in their reading comprehension ability.

The Lexile Framework for Reading includes two measures:
  • Student measures (Lexile reading measure)
  • Text measures of the material (Lexile text measure)

The Lexile reading measure indicates a student’s ability to successfully read and comprehend professionally edited text. A student receives a Lexile reading measure after taking a reading test that reports Lexile reading measures. MetaMetrics works with test publishers to develop reading tests or designs and executes studies to link with existing reading tests so the tests may report Lexile reading measures. MetaMetrics can report Lexile reading measures from tests for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and above.

The Lexile text measure is a quantitative feature that represents the complexity of a text. Lexile text measures come from submitting a text file to a software application called the Lexile Text Analyzer. The Lexile Text Analyzer examines text characteristics such as word frequency and sentence length to determine its Lexile text measure.

Lexile measures are expressed as numeric measures followed by an “L” (for example, 850L). They are placed on the Lexile scale, ranging from below 0L for beginning readers and beginning reader materials to above 2000L for advanced readers and materials.

The Lexile reading measure can also be used to monitor a reader’s growth in reading ability over time. When a Lexile text measure matches or is in the range of a Lexile reading measure, this is called a targeted reading experience. The reader will encounter some level of difficulty with the text, but not enough to get frustrated. This is the best way to grow as a reader – reading text that’s not too hard but not too easy.

For more information about Lexile measures, see Lexile Reading and Text Measures. You can also find detailed information about the development and validity of the framework in Lexile Framework for Reading Development and Validity Evidence. There are many benefits of the Lexile Framework for Reading. Educators can use the reading and text measures to monitor comprehension and develop instructional materials targeted at students' reading levels.
  • Provide an interpretive framework for looking at reading test data. Test scores have more meaning in the context of the Lexile Framework for Reading because they can be evaluated in terms of the reading challenge of specific texts and, through the data in the Lexile Career Database, the reading challenges of texts used in various careers. Normative data also enables users to understand student scores in terms of typical reading measures for students in the same grade.
  • Connect test results with classroom instruction. Educators can use the Lexile reading and text measures to anticipate the reading challenges students will encounter with specific texts. With this information, they are better able to plan appropriate instruction and scaffolding.
  • Monitor and forecast reading growth. The Lexile scale is a developmental scale, which means that scores can be compared across grade levels and years as students grow. Students' reading comprehension can be assessed in the early grades and monitored to ensure growth continues. The Lexile Growth Planner can help educators anticipate likely growth pathways for students and plan strategies to close possible gaps.
  • Link the reader to text under a common measure and forecast student reading comprehension. Educators, parents, and students can use the Lexile measures to connect students with books that are at the right level to challenge but not overwhelm students to optimize their reading growth.
  • Communicate student reading level and progress to parents. Using the Lexile reader and text measures to provide context for parents, teachers can communicate where students are in their reading comprehension development and show parents how to support their child's reading progress. Educators and parents can use the Lexile Map to find examples of texts with measures across the Lexile scale.