The two companies join forces to develop an Arabic-based solution to match students with texts at the appropriate level to foster growth and boost literacy.
DURHAM, NC, February 6, 2024: MetaMetrics®, the US-based developer of the Lexile® Framework for Reading and Alef Education, a UAE-based global leader in education technology, announces a collaboration to launch a Lexile-powered Arabic reading scale to improve the literacy skills of K-12 Arabic speakers. The unique scale is set to become the de facto standard for Modern Standard Arabic, just as the Lexile Framework for Reading is now the standard for English readers and EL students. The new Arabic scale joins El Sistema Lexile® Para Leer and the original English-based Lexile Framework as the third scale for reading developed by MetaMetrics.
“We are excited to partner with Alef Education to introduce an Arabic reading scale, powered by the Lexile Framework, in the region. We aim to promote equity and excellence in education and accelerate learning for all students by providing innovative reading and assessment scales to improve teaching and learning standards,” stated Alistair Van Moere, Ph.D., President of MetaMetrics. “We look forward to working with Alef Education to make a lasting impact on the educational landscape and advance literacy in the region.”
This innovative partnership aims to provide Arabic speakers and learners with a powerful tool to improve their literacy in Arabic, promoting a more effective and personalized approach to learning. By leveraging the expertise of Alef Education and the MetaMetrics Lexile Framework for Reading, the initiative will launch in the Middle East and North Africa, providing students across the MENA region with the foundational skills they need for academic success and lifelong learning. The new scale will support approximately 100 million K-12 Arabic speakers across the Middle East and North Africa as ministries of education in the MENA region strive to preserve and promote Arabic language and culture.
“We are delighted to be working with MetaMetrics to develop an Arabic reading scale that will help increase the literacy rate of learners in the MENA region,” explained Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education. “The development of an Arabic reading scale with a universal framework to measure the level of students and Arabic texts will support student growth in Arabic language learning through actionable learning measurements. Arabic language learning is at the center of our work and is a key factor in educational success in the region.”
Benefits of the new Arabic reading scale include the ability for educators to identify and measure students’ reading levels and progress over time, regardless of the reading materials used. For Arabic-speaking programs, the scale provides learning data from the school level up to the regional level because it is built upon a consistent measure. In addition, publishers and authors of Arabic language content will be able to link their reading materials and assessments to the unified scale to meet learners’ needs for reading materials. It will be easier for teachers to measure their students’ abilities and create data-driven plans for their individual development. At the same time, parents will understand their children’s reading levels so that they can further develop and improve their reading skills.
MetaMetrics’ Lexile Framework for Reading provides the means to measure student ability and text complexity on the same universal scale. The Lexile-powered Arabic reading scale measures the level of any Arabic text and the ability of a student to read Arabic. The scale is scientifically based and will be developed by a team of psychometricians, researchers and educators who have extensive experience developing similar scales and understand the unique features and cultural nuances of the Arabic language. A field study is being conducted across the Arabic-speaking world in consultation with governments in the region.
MetaMetrics is dedicated to supporting literacy around the world and in collaboration with Alef Education, to fostering a new era of literacy in the MENA region by developing and implementing an Arabic reading scale. Hanan Khalifa, Ph.D., has joined MetaMetrics as the Director of Arabic Initiatives to spearhead the scale’s development. Hanan, with a 20-year tenure at Cambridge University Press and Assessment, led pioneering education and assessment initiatives globally, representing Cambridge at key policy and thought leadership forums. As a renowned figure, she chaired committees, including the 2018 PISA Foreign Language Assessment Committee, authored numerous publications, and her influential model in reading comprehension remains unmatched in second language assessment. Hanan has also led the work on K-12 Arabic Language Reference Level Descriptions now published on the Council of Europe website. Through Hanan’s leadership, this transformative initiative has the potential to redefine educational standards and equip a generation of learners with the necessary tools for success.
MetaMetrics Brings Meaning to Measurement
MetaMetrics is guided by a powerful north star—to support student growth through actionable learning measurement. Over the last 35+ years, MetaMetrics’ staff of educators, psychometricians, policy leaders and AI experts have developed reading and mathematics frameworks that now support over 35 million students across the globe. Over a hundred million pieces of content have corresponding measures to help educators and families find appropriate learning materials. MetaMetrics’ work supports English language learners around the world through collaborations with education leaders such as British Council and New Oriental Education. They also support literacy growth in students’ native languages through the development of language-based reading scales such as Spanish and Arabic, with more on the way. MetaMetrics was founded in 1984 by Dr. A. Jackson Stenner (retired) and Dr. Malbert Smith with the singular goal of making measurement meaningful by matching students to learning resources using a scientific, universal scale. Today, leveraging the most advanced AI technology and learning theory, MetaMetrics continues to innovate solutions for a wide range of applications including early reading, automated scoring of writing, career readiness and tutoring. For more information, visit Lexile.Global.
About Alef Education
Alef Education is a leading global education technology company at the forefront of using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to create personalized learning experiences that transform how the world is educated. Alef Education, alongside its products, the Alef Platform, Alef Pathways, Abjadiyat, and Arabits, has a growing presence in key education markets worldwide, including the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Indonesia, and Morocco. The award-winning Alef Platform provides AI-powered learning and teaching solutions that leverage real-time data to drive improvements across the education ecosystem. Abjadiyat is an Arabic language learning platform that offers engaging and interactive content from kindergarten to Grade 4. Arabits is a complete Arabic language learning system for non-native speakers that helps students of all ages learn, practice, and improve their Arabic language skills powered by AI.
For more information, visit www.alefeducation.com.
For further information, please contact:
Hanan Khalifa, Ph.D.
Director of Arabic Initiatives