The Text Inspector Scorecard (subscribers only) gives you an instant score in terms of the CEFR (the Common European Framework of Reference), the most widely used reference point in the world for language levels.
When you analyse a text, the Scorecard page will give you a Lexical Profile © Score, and a guide to your text’s CEFR level, A1-C2, like this, below. The metrics are different depending on whether you choose Writing, Reading or Listening when you enter your text.
This gives you a clear idea of the level of your text in terms of the CEFR (the Common European Framework of Reference), the most widely used reference point in the world for language levels. The CEFR scales are as follows:
We also use a grading which we have called D (divided into D1 and D2) which is not part of the original CEFR scales. We use these labels to denote a level above C, roughly Academic undergraduate level (D1) and more advanced Academic level (D2). This is our own terminology, designed to show texts which come above the C level, and so you should explain this if you cite Text Inspector.
Although a departure from the CEFR itself, this is consistent with previous discussions of the CEFR and how it relates to higher levels of proficiency, which are summed up well in this remark from Nick Saville:
Take, for example, the top level – C2. This is not described with reference
to the competence of a well-educated native speaker (however that may be
defined), but is conceived of as the highest level that learners might aspire to
reach within the normal educational processes available to them in learning
another language. Language specialists such as interpreters, professional
writers and so on may develop skills which exceed the C2 level thus allowing
for a possible D level.” (Saville, 2012:20, emphasis added)
On the first page of Text Inspector you can choose the mode of your text – Reading, Writing or Listening. This is important because different metrics are used for each mode.
You can choose the text mode below the input box in the Mode of Text dropdown, as in this picture:
The tool will then calculate different metrics for your text. When using this Lexical Profile ©, you should remember the following:
- Lexical Profile © is only an estimate; you should not use it, for example, for assessment purposes, without taking account of other factors.
- These measures are calculated using texts in English – so they should not be treated as valid for texts in other languages.
- Currently, Lexical Profile © is based on analysis of student writing, reading and listening so be careful when using it to assess speaking data.
- The Lexical Profile © assesses only vocabulary and metadiscourse. To get a full idea of your text’s difficulty you must take account of other aspects also, such as grammatical complexity, context of use, and so on.
- Lexical Profile © uses only a limited number of measures, i.e. those which have been seen to give statistically significant distinctions between CEFR levels. So do not assume it is the whole story about a text’s level.
- when citing the Lexical Profile ©, you should report the number of measures which were used in the calculation, and explain which ones were involved.
- Savile, N. (2012) “The English Profile: Using Learner Data to Develop the CEFR for English” in Tono, Y., Y. Kawaguchi, M. Minegishi
- Developmental and Crosslinguistic Perspectives in Learner Corpus Research John Benjamins Publishing, 2012 pp17-26