ER-Central has 20 levels. These are derived from the Extensive Reading Foundation’s Levels.
The levels range from Alphabet level for someone who only knows the basic alphabet and about 50 English words. The next level is for someone who knows all the Alphabet level (Level 1) words and most of the Level 2 words (totalling a vocabulary of 100 words). Someone at level 8 would know all the level 1-7 words plus most of level 8. The top level is the 12,000-18,000 word level which is labelled Near -Native.
On first login users are invited to take a quick level check to find out their level. This test can also be taken at any time from a Student’s Settings area. The student’s level is then displayed on their main screen.
When users read texts they are asked to rate them. So for example is a user with level 7 reads a text at level 7 but things it is difficult, the user’s level will be fractionally lowered to say 6.9 or 6.94. Correspondingly the level of the text will be adjusted up from 7.0 to say 7.05. These adjustments are based on responses form level peers and people who share the same first language. In this way a given text may be rated level 15 by Korean students but say level 12 by say Dutch or Germans. Users only see ratings from users who share the same first language.
It is beyond the scope of this section to describe in detail which words are in which level but users will at some point be able to see these lists and make comment on them. However, please note that ER-Central counts inflections as the same word, so for example someone who knows book and books and walk, walked, walks and walking are counted as two words. In some cases (typically for lower frequency or ‘harder’ words) some inflections are included such as use, user, disuse, useless and usefulness and other members of the use family would be one word.