What Is a Lexile Measure?
The framework is based around a range of Lexile measures. A Lexile measure is a number assigned to a book or magazine that helps the reader identify how challenging it is in relation to their own reading comprehension skills. The higher the number, the more difficult the text. Lexile measures range from 5 to 2,000, and the numbers are often followed by the letter 'L' to identify it as a Lexile measurement. Anything below five is designated as BR, or a beginning reader level.
The Lexile measure for an individual student can often be derived from standardized state tests, but other assessments and reading programs will also provide an accurate measurement. Depending on the method used to obtain a Lexile score, a student may have a single Lexile measure, (e.g. 650L), or a range of Lexile measures, (e.g. 550L - 675L).
Books are assigned Lexile measures based on MetaMetrics' analysis of vocabulary and sentence structure. The popularity of the Lexile Framework has meant that the majority of new books published today will have a Lexile measure assigned to them. However, not all books have a Lexile measure. Publishers need to pay MetaMetrics to analyze their texts, and while most are happy to do this, not all deem a Lexile measure worthwhile for the audience they are seeking to attract. Additionally, older books that are out of print may also not have a Lexile measure.
By matching student reading levels with an appropriate Lexile measure, you can be sure that you are providing the student with a text that is equal to their ability level. In this way, students should be able to avoid reading texts that are either too easy, or too difficult for them.