What are "levels of text complexity"?

Document created by Community User on Sep 27, 2016Last modified by Community User on Feb 14, 2019
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What are the “levels of text complexity” in the MAP Skills Technical Manual and Reading Framework?


Unlike math and language usage, reading skills generally remain constant across the grades. The difference between grades arises from the text complexity, and how students use those skills. The “levels of text complexity” referred to in the MAP Skills Technical Manual are the grade levels (1 through 8) of each of the reading skills.

The 8 levels of text complexity (referring to grades 1 through 8) are defined by a mixture of quantitative factors including length, Lexile and Flesch-Kincaid reading levels, and qualitative considerations including age appropriateness, background knowledge required, and general interest.

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Length and topic of passages designed to be age-appropriate

MAP Skills is designed for readers and may be widely used in an intervention situation. For this reason, we focused on passages where the length and content of passages are age appropriate. For example, passages in the lowest reading level of text complexity (roughly first grade) are appropriate for 8+ year old students at that reading level and may seem different in terms of length and topics than passages developed for 6 year old children reading on grade level. MAP Skills passages were designed to be age-appropriate and comprehension-task-appropriate instead of strictly grade-level-appropriate. We did not want 8 and 9 year old students to feel uncomfortable when they encounter passages that look like they are for 6 year old readers.

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