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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 SPACHE Readability Formula

G. Spache devised the Spache Readability Formula in 1953 through an article, A New Readability Formula for Primary-Grade Reading Materials, published in The Elementary School Journal. The formula calculates the grade level of a text sample based on sentence length and number of unfamiliar words. The Spache Formula considers “unfamiliar words” as words that 3rd grade and below do not recognize. The Spache Formula is best used to calculate the difficulty of text that falls at the 3rd grade level or below.

** ( Use our free Spache Readability Calculator to grade your text using the SPACHE Readability Formula).

Spache Readability Formula is similar to the Dale-Chall Readability Formula. While Spache was designed to access the readability of primary texts through the end of third grade, The Dale-Chall is ideal to gauge the readability of more advanced texts -i.e., fourth grade and above. Which formula should you use, and when?

1. If your text sample is equivalent to a third grade text or below, use the Spache.

2. If your text sample is more advanced than third grade, use the Dale-Chall.

3. If you are not sure about the level of difficulty of the passage, first use the Spache formula. If the Spache readability results are higher than third grade, run the same passage again with the Dale-Chall.

The SPACHE Readability Formula

Step 1: Select a sample text of 100-150 words from a primary grade level text.

Step 2: Count the total number of words in the sample text.

Step 3: Count the number of sentences in the sample text.

Step 4: Divide the figure obtained in Step 2 by the figure obtained in Step 3 to arrive at Average Sentence Length (ASL)

Step 5: Count the number of words in the sample text that are not found on the Spache Revised Word List (as revised in 1974).

Step 6: Divide the figure obtained in Step 5 with the figure obtained in Step 2, and multiply the result by 100, to arrive at Percentage of Difficult Words (PDW).

Step 7: Compute the Spache Readability Index with the following formula:

Spache Readability Index/Grade Level = (0.141 X ASL) + (0.086 X PDW) +0.839

where,

ASL = Average Sentence Length

PDW = Percentage of Difficult Words
Guidelines to identify ‘Difficult Words’ in Spache Readability Formula

1. Count the following as ‘familiar’ or ‘known’ words:

- Words appearing on the Revised Spache Word List

- Variants of words appearing on the Revised Spache Word List that have regular verb form endings – ing, -ed, -es

- Plural and Possessive endings of nouns from Revised Spache Word List

- First Names

- Single letters standing alone as words. E.g., ‘C is the third letter of the alphabets’

2. ‘Difficult Words’, i.e., the words not appearing on the Spache Word List are counted only once, even if they appear later with other endings. Count the following as ‘unfamiliar’ or ‘unknown’ words:

- Words not appearing on the Revised Spache Word List (other than First Names)

- Variants of words appearing on the Revised Spache Word List that have irregular verb form endings – unless those variant forms also appear on the Spache List

- Variants of words appearing on the Revised Spache Word List that have adverbial, comparative, or superlative endings – ly, -er, -est

** ( Use our free Spache Readability Calculator to grade your text using the SPACHE 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