A collaboration between British Council and Metametrics
The aim of the grants is to build insights into the interaction between features of text and reading tasks that impact comprehension and can inform teaching, learning and assessment and evaluation. In addition, the grants are intended to provide a body of validity evidence which can contribute to the validation of The Lexile Framework for Reading and EFL reading assessment instruments, such as the Aptis test system developed by the British Council. The projects sponsored by the grants will contribute to improving the application, use and interpretation of these instruments in learning, teaching and evaluation.
Projects will be for a period of one year.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Educational institutions and suitably qualified individuals are invited to apply for funding to undertake applied research projects of relevance to the areas of interest outlined below.
The financial support for individual projects will, in principle, be limited to a maximum of £15,000, although it is expected that projects requesting financial support in the region of £10,000 to £15,000 will be most positively considered.
AREAS OF INTEREST FOR 2017
The research grants support researchers around the world in conducting and disseminating the highest quality research. The areas of particular interest to MetaMetrics and the British Council in 2017 include:
- Studies investigating the impact of controlled vocabulary on reading comprehension level.
- Studies investigating the features of text that impact comprehension level.
- Studies that investigate the relevance of criterial features of texts with different levels of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
- Studies on the English language progression among persons, including studies on the relationship between age, instruction (e.g., hours of study, method) and typical gains in Lexile measures and Aptis reading scores.
- Studies investigating the relationship between the use of feedback derived (i.e. Lexile measures) from Aptis and the impact on teaching and learning.
READING COMPREHENSION GROWTH
- Studies investigating the relationship between reading comprehension level (i.e. interaction between person and text) and growth in reading and the impact on the comprehension level needed for optimal growth.
- Studies investigating the level of comprehension of reading materials needed to be successful in the global community and in careers.
- Studies investigating the similarities and differences between EFL reading contexts and English medium instruction contexts in terms of reading demands, the cognitive processes elicited as a part of typical reading tasks, and interpretation of Lexile measures and EFL reading test scores.
IS ACCESS TO STUDENT OR TEXT LEXILE MEASURES AVAILABLE?
Aptis scores and Lexile person measures for research purposes are available by working with the British Council to administer Aptis. Lexile text measures for research purposes are available by working with MetaMetrics to measure the complexity of the text. For more information on Lexile person or text measures, visit www.Lexile.com
Grant recipients 2017
Benjamin Kremmel, Carol Spöttl, Franz Holzknecht & Matthias Zehentner (Language Testing Research Group, University of Innsbruck, Austria) for their project which will explore text and task features of university reading materials in relation to Aptis and Lexile scores.
Ian Tuersley & Saeede Haghi (The University of Warwick) for their study which will look at the impact of academic texts readability on students’ comprehension of and engagement with these resources.