Presentation on theme: "THE FRY READABILITY GRAPH -- MEASURING THE READING LEVEL OF TEXTS USED IN ELI CLASSES Ellen Kohn & Laurie Miller George Mason University ELI Learning Lunch."— Presentation transcript:
THE FRY READABILITY GRAPH -- MEASURING THE READING LEVEL OF TEXTS USED IN ELI CLASSES Ellen Kohn & Laurie Miller George Mason University ELI Learning Lunch February 12, 2008
Overview What is Readability? Why should ELI instructors measure it? The Fry Readability Graph How Can the Graph be Used to Measure ELI Texts? Example Try It Our sample text Your sample text Use it
Readability Definition “The factors that make some texts easier to read than others” (Dubay, 2004). “The sum total of those elements within a given piece of printed material that affect the success a group of readers have with it. The success is the extent to which they understand it, read it at an optimal speed, and find it interesting” (Dale & Chall, 1949).
Readability Why ELI instructors should measure it Attempt to make a progressive curriculum with measureable student outcomes at each level Writing = ibT TOEFL Writing Scale; we have target scores for each ELI level Reading = we should use a measure of readability To choose level appropriate texts for ELI classes To measure student progress / proficiency at different ELI levels
The Fry Readability Graph How it came into being While Edward Fry was working as a Fullbright scholar in Uganda trying to help teachers teach English as a second language, he created this popular readability test that uses a graph. Fry would go on to become the director of the Reading Center of Rutgers University and an authority on how people learn to read.
The Fry Readability Graph How to Use the Graph Select samples of 100 words. Find y (vertical), the average number of sentences per 100-word passage (calculating to the nearest tenth). Find x (horizontal), the average number of syllables per 100-word sample. The zone where the two coordinates meet shows the grade score.
Other Advice 1 Randomly select three 100- word passages from a book or an article. Plot the average number of syllables and the average number of sentences per 100 words on the graph to determine the grade level of the material. Choose more passages per book if great variability is observed and conclude that the book has uneven readability. Few books will fall into the solid black area, but when they do, grade level scores are invalid.
The Fry Readability Graph Other Advice 2 Randomly select three sample passages and count exactly 100 words beginning with the beginning of a sentence. Don't count numbers. Do count proper nouns. Count the number of sentences in the hundred words, estimating length of the fraction of the last sentence to the nearest 1/10th. Count the total number of syllables in the 100- word passage. If you don't have a hand counter available, an easy way is to simply put a mark above every syllable over one in each word, then, when you get to the end of the passage, count the number of marks and add 100. Graph the average sentence length and number of syllables; plot dot where the two lines intersect. Area where dot is plotted will give you the approximate grade level. If a great deal of variability is found, putting more sample counts into the average is desirable.
Using the Fry Readability Graph Example 1 – Laurie’s World Bank Article Use online syllable, word, sentence analysis tool @ http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp to get http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp Sentences per 100 words Syllables per 100 words Plot numbers on Fry Graph
Using the Fry Readability Graph 100 words from the sample text:
Using the Fry Readability Graph Results from “Online Text Readability” website:
Using the Fry Readability Graph Results from “Online Text Readability” plotted on the Fry Graph: 5 sentences 163 syllables Fry Level 12
Use It Measure at least 3 texts used in class Check ELI Curriculum Guidelines to see if the texts you are using are the recommended Fry reading level for your class – find texts @ your level Conduct an assessment of student reading of these texts to see if students are able to read @ the target level for your class Retain records Curriculum modification/validation
The Future Keep trying! We are trying to develop a curriculum that promotes advancing student skills with measureable outcomes & we need instructor help to validate the current reading outcomes @ each level Software
References / Resources Adamovic, Mladen. (2006). Online Text Readability. Available @ http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp http://www.online-utility.org/english/readability_test_and_improve.jsp Deal, Justen. (2006, January 3). Reproducible Fry Graphs. Available @ http://justendeal.com/blog/2006/01/03/reproducible-fry-graphs/ http://justendeal.com/blog/2006/01/03/reproducible-fry-graphs/ DuBay, William. (2004). The Principles of Readability. Available @ http://www.impact-information.com/impactinfo/readability02.pdf http://www.impact-information.com/impactinfo/readability02.pdf Johnson, Keith. (1998). Readability: Measuring the Reading Age of Books and Other Reading Matter. Available @ http://www.timetabler.com/reading.htmlhttp://www.timetabler.com/reading.html Long, Martyn. (2000). The Fry Readability Program (online). Available @ http://www.educational-psychologist.co.uk/fry_readability_program.htm http://www.educational-psychologist.co.uk/fry_readability_program.htm Moreon nextslide
References / Resources Schrock, Kathleen. (2008). Teacher Helpers: Fry Readability Graph: Directions for Use. Available @ http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/fry/fry.htmlhttp://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/fry/fry.html Taylor, Dave. (2007). Readability Scores for Web pages and Microsoft Word documents in a flash! Available @ http://www.readability.info/http://www.readability.info/
THE END Ellen Kohn & Laurie Miller George Mason University ELI Learning Lunch February 12, 2008