Lexile Framework for Oral Reading

The Lexile® Framework for Oral Reading is a scientific approach for measuring both students' oral reading ability and the oral reading difficulty of text and reporting them on the same scale, the Lexile scale.

The Lexile Framework for Oral Reading includes two measures:
  • Student measures (Lexile oral reading measure)
  • Passage measures (Lexile oral readability measure)

The Lexile oral reading measure is an indication of a student’s ability to read passages aloud fluently and accurately. The measure evaluates how well a student is able to decode and identify words by sight to read passages fluently. The Lexile oral reading measure is calculated using WCPM and accuracy scores as well as the Lexile oral readability of the passage read aloud.

The Lexile oral readability measure of a passage is an estimate of the oral reading challenge presented by the text. For reading comprehension, we talk about “text complexity”, but for oral reading, we talk about “text readability”. Six features of the text, including those that measure word characteristics and others that address sentence characteristics, are used to determine the text’s Lexile oral readability measure.

Knowing the Lexile oral reading measure of a student can help educators monitor student progress in developing the decoding and fluency skills necessary for attaining reading comprehension proficiency. Students can practice reading passages at increasingly challenging oral readability levels to improve their oral reading skills.

MetaMetrics provides an API service that incorporates data on students' oral reading performance and returns a student Lexile oral reading measure and other information, depending on the data submitted (see About the Lexile Oral Reading API). The process used to report Lexile oral reading measures for students depends on the needs of our partner’s program.

Lexile oral reading measures (student) and Lexile oral readability measures (text) are expressed as numeric measures followed by an "L" (for example, 350L) and are placed on the Lexile scale. Measures range from below 0L for beginning readers and materials to above 1000L for advanced readers and materials. For more information about measures, see Lexile Oral Reading and Readability Measures and Construct and Models.

Benefits of the framework:
  • Accurately evaluates students’ abilities. Lexile oral reading measures provide consistent results because we take into account both the oral reading level of the student and the readability of the text.
  • Evaluates students’ oral reading abilities efficiently and removes subjectivity. Requires no manual scoring from educators.
  • Tracks changes in proficiency. Highly sensitive Lexile oral reading measures easily track growth in beginning readers and can be used for frequent progress monitoring – even weekly!
  • Reports student scores on a developmental scale. Highly sensitive Lexile oral reading measures easily track growth in beginning readers and can be used for frequent progress monitoring within and across years.
  • Puts text measures on a developmental scale. Publishers can use the Lexile oral readability analyzer to level Oral Reading texts and select more or less challenging texts for a specific grade and time of year.
  • Provides a more detailed student literacy picture. Lexile oral reading measures can be compared with other student Lexile results, such as the Lexile reading measures, for more diagnostic information about students’ abilities.