ABU DHABI/ WAM
Alef Education, a UAE-based global leader in education technology, announced a strategic collaboration with MetaMetrics®, the US-based developer of the Lexile® Framework for Reading, to launch an Arabic reading scale to improve the literacy skills of approximately 100 million K-12 Arabic speakers across the Middle East and North Africa.
This collaboration aims to provide native Arabic speakers with a powerful tool to improve their literacy in Arabic, promoting a more effective and personalised approach to improving literacy in the region.
By leveraging the expertise of Alef Education and the MetaMetrics® Lexile® Framework for Reading, the initiative aims to provide students across the MENA region with the foundational skills they need for academic success and lifelong learning.
Benefits of an Arabic reading scale include the ability for governments to identify and measure students’ reading levels and progress over time, regardless of the reading materials used, by comparing geographic regions, school districts, and individual schools using the same scale.
In addition, publishers, EdTech companies, 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’ levels 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.
Recent data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that six Arab countries scored an average of 406 points in their PISA exams, while the international OECD average is 480.
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) shows that eight Arab countries scored an average of 432 points in elementary school and 441 points in secondary school, while the global average is 500. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) shows that seven Arab countries scored an average of 441, while the worldwide average is 500, underscoring the urgency to address the literacy crisis among today’s learners.
The need for action requires a reimagined solution: an Arabic reading scale powered by the Lexile scale, which will serve as the foundation for a unified ecosystem of assessments and instructional resources.
Geoffrey Alphonso, CEO of Alef Education, said, “We are committed to a long-term strategic alliance to develop and deliver educational products using an Arabic reading framework. 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.”
Alistair Van Moere, President of MetaMetrics®, said, “We are excited to partner with Alef Education to introduce an Arabic reading scale built upon the Lexile® Framework for Reading in the region to improve the literacy rate of learners. 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.”