Summary of Research Findings

Summary of Research Findings

Title of Article Publication or Journal
Examining Text Complexity in the Early Grades Phi Delta Kappan
Important Text Characteristics for Early-Grades Text Complexity Journal of Educational Psychology
Has First-Grade Core Reading Program Text Complexity Changed Across Six Decades? Reading Research Quarterly
Primary Teachers’ Views of Text-Complexity Literacy Research and Instruction

Examining Text Complexity in the Early Grades. By Jill Fitzgerald, Jeff Elmore, Elfrieda Hiebert, Heather Koons, Kimberly Bowen, Eleanor Sanford-Moore and A. Jackson Stenner. 2016.

Citation: Fitzgerald, J., Elmore, J., Hiebert, E. H., Koons, H. H., Bowen, K., Sanford-Moore, E. E.,
& Stenner, A. J. (2016). Examining text complexity in the early grades.
Phi Delta Kappan, 97(8),
60–65.

Summary: Aimed at a broad audience, this article provides a general overview of recent research into text complexity and the characteristics that were found to matter most. It was the first publication to introduce the early-reading indicators (formerly referenced as “composites”). Main points include:

Link to Article: lexile.com/research/167

Important Text Characteristics for Early-Grades Text Complexity. By Jill Fitzgerald, Jeff Elmore, Heather Koons, Elfrieda Hiebert, Kimberly Bowen, Eleanor Sanford-Moore and A. Jackson Stenner. February 2015.

Citation: Fitzgerald, J., Elmore, J., Koons, H., Hiebert, E. H., Bowen, K., Sanford-Moore, E. E., & Stenner, A. J. (2015). Important text characteristics for early-grades text complexity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(1), 4–29.

Summary: This article provides an in-depth and technical study of the text characteristics that matter the most for K-2 text complexity. The analysis revealed nine most important characteristics. It also discusses how these characteristics work together to make a text more or less complex. The article discusses:

Link to Article: lexile.com/research/169

Has First-Grade Core Reading Program Text Complexity Changed Across Six Decades? By Jill Fitzgerald, Jeff Elmore, Jackie Relyea, Elfrieda Hiebert and Jackson Stenner. 2016.

Citation: Fitzgerald, J., Elmore, J., Relyea, J. E., Hiebert, E. H., & Stenner, A. J. (2016). Has First‐Grade Core Reading Program Text Complexity Changed Across Six Decades? Reading Research Quarterly, 51(1), 7–28.

Summary: This article examines the trend in text complexity of first grade reading anthologies developed by best-selling publisher Scott Foresman from 1962 through 2013. For the most part, texts have become more complex in recent years. However, this is not the only trend. Over the past half century, what is introduced at the beginning of a school year for first graders and what is offered towards the end of the year are different. Main points include:  

Link to Article: lexile.com/research/171

Primary Teachers’ Views of Text-Complexity. By Jill Fitzgerald, Elfrieda Hiebert, Kimberly Bowen and E. Jackie Relyea-Kim

Citation: Fitzgerald, J., Hiebert, E. H., Bowen, K., Relyea-Kim, E. J., Kung, M., & Elmore, J. (2015). Text complexity: Primary teachers’ views. Literacy Research and Instruction, 54(1), 19–44.

Summary: This article discuss one of the studies that was used to obtain educators’ judgments on text complexity. The result of the study and findings for how educators assess text complexity were incorporated into the enhanced Lexile Analyzer. It addresses how:

Link to Article: lexile.com/research/170