Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

From time to time we are asked questions that you may find interesting and informative. Below is a list of responses to the most commonly asked questions that we have received. We will continually add new questions and answers to the top of the list. Please remember to continue to ask us questions at presentations and webinars or by using our contact form.


A: CSAL’s research objectives included:

* Testing the underlying reading related strengths and weaknesses of adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels.

* Adapting reading instruction for adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels.

* Testing our instructional approach, to see if it shows promise of effectiveness.

* Dissemination of our studies’ findings.

A: The adult literacy population is VERY heterogeneous, and includes both native and non-native speakers of English. Therefore we did not want to exclude this group from our population.

A: All adults who struggle with reading, are worthy of literacy research efforts. Our funding was through IES (, and their request for applications required us to focus on the learners we had the most experience with. Because our team had research expertise with individuals who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels, we focused on them. We hope that others will also conduct research on the same population and adults reading at higher or lower levels.

A: We used Coh-Metrix because it served our needs better than other, somewhat similar tools. For example, compared to other readability measures, Coh-Metrix analyzes texts on multiple levels of language and discourse — not just one level. You can find out more information at: Readibillity | CSAL (