• Lexiles

    NoveList"s reading (or audience) levels are determined by age, but reading abilities and interests vary widely within a specific age group.  MetaMetrics is a North Carolina-based company that developed Lexile ratings, a scientific measure of how difficult a book is to read.  The Lexile Measure is a number indicating the reading demand of the text in terms of semantic difficulty (word frequency) and syntactic complexity (sentence length).  The Lexile scale ranges from below 200 for beginning-reader material to above 1700 for advanced text.  Metametrics also uses additional Lexile Codes, or alphabetic designations to indicate special characteristics of the text.

    You can use Lexiles to find books that are at an appropriate level of difficulty for your child or student.

    Grade Level If Reader Measures Text Measure (Lexile Range)
    1 up to 300L 200L to 400L
    2 140L to 500L 300L to 500L
    3 330L to 700L 500L to 700L
    4 445L to 810L 650L to 850L
    5 565L to 910L 750L to 950L
    6 665L to 1000L 850L to 1050L
    7 735L to 1065L 950L to 1075L
    8 805L to 1100L 1000L to 1100L
    9 855L to 1165L 1050L to 1150L
    10 905L to 1195L 1100L to 1200L
    11-12 940L to 1210L 1100L to 1300L


    For example, a father whose twelve-year old son is a reluctant reader but has read and enjoyed Brian Selznick"s The Invention of Hugo Cabret,could use NoveList to discover that The Invention of Hugo Cabret has a Lexile rating of 820.  This father could then use the Lexile limiter at the Advanced Search page, to only retrieve titles that are within his son"s reading ability: one hundred point below and fifty points above the rating of 820 would be what Lexile"s creators recommend.  A search limited to a Lexile range of 720-870 for books with twelve-year-old boys as characters retrieves many potential titles.

    Beginning your search with a book your young reader has already conquered will probably bring the best results from Lexiles.  The chart above displays the typical Lexile measure of students and the typical Lexile measure of texts for a given grade level.  You may also use this chart to estimate the reader"s Lexile range based on grade level.  Keep in mind, however, that approximately 50 percent of students read at a higher or lower Lexile level than what is represented in the chart for their grade level.  Not all students of a particular grade level will read at the same Lexile level.

    Although Lexiles can assist you in finding titles that address readability, these titles may not address the intended audience or maturity level.  In NoveList you can perform a search for all book titles within a certain Lexile range, as well as one that also restricts the results to a particular reading level. 

    1. From the Advanced Search screen, at the "Limit your results" section you can define your Lexile range by either selecting a predefined range from the Lexile Reading Level menu, or entering a score at the Lexile Reading Search field.  If you enter a score at the Lexile Reading Search, NoveList will automatically search a range one hundred points below and fifty points above the rating, as recommended by  Lexile"s creators.

    2. Also under the "Limit your results" section, select a reading level from the Reading Level menu. Select multiple reading levels using the Control or the Shift key.

    3. Click the Search button.

    You can learn more about how to equate Lexile scores to reading levels by reading MetaMetrics" FAQ on the subject at http://www.lexile.com.


    Lexile Codes

    The following designations are used in conjunction with the Lexile measure of a text to indicate special characteristics of the text.

    Illustrated Glossary (IG): A text designated as "IG" consists of independent pieces of text such as the glossary of a book.  These independent pieces may be interchanged without affecting the flow of the text.  "IG" texts typically contain some of all of the following characteristics:

    • The definitions of words or their pronunciations are contained directly in the text.
    • Technical vocabulary is printed in a contrasting type (e.g., bold, italic).
    • Each topic is presented on one or two pages, with titles and/or captions for each paragraph.
    • Illustrations are incorporated into the text.
    • Texts designated as "IG" are good resources when conducting research on an unfamiliar topic.

    Non-conforming Text (NC): A text designated as "NC" consists of semantic difficulty (vocabulary) and syntactic complexity (sentence length) that is inconsistent with the developmental appropriateness of the text.  Typically these texts are written at a higher level than would be suggested by the content and format of the text.  Texts designated as "NC" are useful when matching advanced readers with text at an appropriate developmental level.

    Beginning Reading (BR): A text designated as "BR" is any text that has a Lexile measure of zero or below.  The measure is shown only as "BR" without the zero or negative number appearing.

    Non-prose Text (NP): A text designated as "NP" is any book whose content is at least 50 percent nonstandard prose.  Some examples are poems, plays, songs, and books with incorrect or no punctuation.

    Adult-directed Text (AD): A text designated to be read to or with readers.  The following guidelines should be used when examining an "AD" text:

    • Text placement
    • Sentence length
    • Font size and placement
    • Basic word usage
    • Illustration context
    • Book size

    Texts designated as "AD" are useful when reading to a group, and can be used to improve listening comprehension skills (e.g., making predictions, engaging in discussion, identifying meaning, and acquiring vocabulary).

    For more information about the Lexile Framework, visit the MetaMetrics Web site at http://www.lexile.com.