Refitting the Lexile text complexity trajectory in the Chinese context: A corpus-based study

In May 2019 the Language Testing Research Centre was awarded a British Council Grant for this research project.

Refitting the Lexile text complexity trajectory in the Chinese context: A corpus-based study

2019-2020

The LTRC was awarded a British Council Grant for this research project as part of the Research into Reading Grants Scheme 2019.

Project details

As an innovative approach to reading comprehension, the Lexile Framework provides policy-makers, educators and learners with effective indicators of text complexity which can be used to guide teaching, learning, and assessment. Though the framework has been used widely in other educational contexts (e.g., the US), only scant data-based evidence is currently available on its application in the Chinese context, where English teaching and assessment play a prominent role. This project is aimed at mapping the text complexity trajectory across five distinct educational levels in China, based on a large corpus consisting of 7,000 text samples from English textbooks and retired test papers. The findings of this project will provide insights into 1) a link of the reading demands of Chinese EFL learners to global reading demands; 2) the growth pattern of English reading ability among Chinese EFL learners. Another area which is of interest to this project is the comparison between the Lexile Framework and Eng-Editor, a highly influential text selection tool developed to address the needs for EFL teaching and assessment in the Chinese context. A comparison of these two highly influential systems, whose development is couched into different theoretical orientations about reading and text complexity measurement, will shed light on the application of the Lexile Framework in the Chinese context.