Have you ever wondered how graded readers are made? (I actually wrote my first MA on that ages ago, and I wish this post had been around then!) Nicola Prentis describes how she writes stories for LearnEnglishTeens at 3 CEFR levels: she begins with the higher-level text (writing more or less naturally) and then grades it down using several tools like the Cambridge Assessment English Vocab Profiler or Readability.io. There are a few questions left unanswered: what should be the ratio of higher and lower level vocabulary to determine a certain level? What’s the Flesch-Kincaid test? How did publishers compile their vocabulary lists before all these tools?
Still, even not knowing the answers, you can get a very good idea of the process, especially when you compare Nicola’s excerpts of the same story at different levels. It makes me want to sit down and start writing! Or have students do a similar activity in class – do you think it could work?