Regarding the Lexile Framework for Reading:
As teachers, we must take care what we tell parents about lexile measures. Lexiles seem like an easy answer when choosing reading material, but these measures are a quantitative measure only and do not take into account text complexity, content, themes, literary quality, or whether or not the material is appropriate for the maturity and values of the child.
Lexiles are sometimes valuable for choosing guided reading and for specific reading instruction. For individual leisure reading, students should have the freedom to choose what they enjoy. If they love reading, their fluency and comprehension will improve with practice, and they won’t practice if they hate books. The data in To Read or Not to Read (2007) says that more people can read but don’t than people who can’t read at all.
Stephen Krashen has made a career of studying reading research, and his conclusion is that it doesn’t matter what kids read as long as they do read. (Krashen. The Power of Reading. 2004)
A Complete Reader must be proficient in phonetics, fluency, comprehension, semantics, and syntax, yes, but the interest, attitude, motivation, and engagement must underlie the technicalities. (Mayne, 1915; cited in Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers by Steven Layne) “It should be the teacher’s aim to give every child a love of reading, a hunger for it that will stay with him through all the years of his life.”
Choosing books by lexile measures alone changes students’ priorities so the only thing that matters is the reading level. This cuts the soul right out of literacy and what it means to be a literate person.
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