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About Readability >> READABILITY FORMULAS
New Dale-Chall - Flesch Reading Ease - Flesch Grade Level - Fry Graph -Gunning FOG -
Powers-Sumner- Kearl - SMOG - FORCAST - Spache - Readability Software

The New Dale-Chall Readability Formula

The New Dale-Chall Formula improves the original Dale-Chall Readability Formula as expounded in A Formula for Predicting Readability in 1948. The creators of this formula were Edgar Dale and Jeanne Chall.

** ( Use our free Dale-Chall Readability Calculator to grade your text using the new Dale-Chall Readability Formula).

Edgar Dale was a professor of education at Ohio State University and a well-known authority on communications. He devoted much of his life to improve the readability of reading materials, such as books, pamphlets, and newsletters. Jeanne Chall was the founder-director of the Harvard Reading Laboratory for 20 years. She was also the reading consultant for the hit TV show Sesame Street and The Electric Company. She was in the forefront in the battle for teaching early reading systematically with phonics. Many professionals consider her book, Learning to Read: The Great Debate, a great contribution in the phonics debate.

Rudolph Flesch and his Flesch Reading Ease Formula inspired Edgar Dale and Jeanne Chall to revolutionize the way most people perceive documents. Dale and Chall created The Dale-Chall Formula for adults and children above 4th grade as a way to improve upon the Flesch Reading Ease Formula.

The Dale-Chall Formula was unique because, unlike other formulas that use word-length to assess word difficulty, the Dale-Chall Formula uses a count of ‘hard’ words. The Dale-Chall Formula calculates the US grade level of a text sample based on sentence length and the number of ‘hard’ words. These ‘hard’ words are words that do not appear on a specially designed list of common words familiar to most 4th-grade students.

The original Dale-Chall Formula had a list of 763 non-hard or familiar words. However, the New Dale-Chall Formula, revised by Readability Revisited: The New Dale-Chall Readability Formula, in 1995 expands the list of familiar words to 3000.

The New Dale-Chall Readability Formula

Compute the following equation:

Raw Score = 0.1579 * (PDW) + 0.0496 * ASL

Raw Score = Reading Grade of a reader who can comprehend your text at 3rd grade or below.

PDW = Percentage of Difficult Words

ASL = Average Sentence Length in words

If (PDW) is greater than 5%, then:

Adjusted Score = Raw Score + 3.6365, otherwise Adjusted Score = Raw Score


Adjusted Score = Reading Grade of a reader who can comprehend your text at 4th grade or above.

Step 5: Use the following table to get the Adjusted Grade Level:

ADJUSTED SCORE GRADE LEVEL
4.9 and Below Grade 4 and Below
5.0 to 5.9 Grades 5 - 6
6.0 to 6.9 Grades 7 - 8
7.0 to 7.9 Grades 9 - 10
8.0 to 8.9 Grades 11 - 12
9.0 to 9.9 Grades 13 - 15 (College)
10 and Above Grades 16 and Above (College Graduate)

The New Dale-Chall Formula is an accurate readability formula for the simple reason that it is based on the use of familiar words, rather than syllable or letter counts. Reading tests show that readers usually find it easier to read, process and recall a passage if they find the words familiar.

** ( Use our free Dale-Chall Readability Calculator to grade your text using the new Dale-Chall Readability Formula).

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About Readability >> READABILITY FORMULAS
New Dale-Chall - Flesch Reading Ease - Flesch Grade Level - Fry Graph -Gunning FOG -
Powers-Sumner- Kearl - SMOG - FORCAST - Spache - Readability Software

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