Not so much a classroom strategy as a tool to help you understand how complex a text will be for your learners. Readability calculators give you a judgement on what year / grade level the text you will read with your learners is at.
All you have to do it copy and paste the text into a readability calculator and then it will tell you the grade level the text is for using a number of different measurement tools.
The readability calculator that I use this one – readability calculator.
After you copy and paste your text in to the box and press the button ‘process text’ your text’s readability will be calculated. The calculator also gives you information such as:
- number of characters
- number of words
- number of sentences
Then under this list you will be given various grade systems that tell you how readable a text is according to the US grade system. The two grade systems that I use are (1) The Gunning Fog index which tells you the number of years of formal education you would need to comprehend the text and (2) The Flesch Kincaid Grade level which tells you which US grade the text would be appropriate for.
The Flesch Kincaid grade level is shown in the table below:
As you can see the column ‘school level’ will tell you the grade that the text can be read at. The calculator also gives you recommendations of sentences that you could adapt if you wanted to make the text more comprehensible.
Readability calculators can help you understand the complexities of a text and then plan strategies and approaches to support your EAL learners to develop their understanding of texts.