Google Docs, the web-based word processing application from Google, has recently added some features that might be helpful to teachers of English Language Learners.

I’ve read about them in a few places this week, but a post in the Google Blogoscoped blog gives the clearest information and examples about them.  These changes allow you to now calculate the “readability” and “grade-level” of your text (and anybody’s else’s you copy and paste).

I also saw another post (I unfortunately don’t remember where) that said some versions of Word have the same ability.

I’ve never paid attention to these measurements, and have generally used my experience and instincts (and also just asked my students) about what was comprehensible to them.  However, I can imagine that these would be helpful tools to have sometime.