Determining a lesson's diffculity

I have wondered for a while what generally constitutes for this. There is the CEFR and alike, along with the B-A categories here in LingQ, but this isn’t always very clear (part of me enjoys the ambiguity; as I might just do a lesson anyway, even if I don’t comprehend it.) But I suppose in these early stages for myself, it’s nice to have a general direction.

Here is my criteria;

  1. Vocabulary (word’s known and unknown)
  2. The subject matter.
  3. Word, phrase and sentence construction, and determination of lexical items.


The first one is the most simple to quantify; “the more words I see unknown the harder material is likely to be, generally speaking” (This is one of the key appeals for me using lingQ)

The second is a little trickier; but not too bad. For example "a lesson about the daily routine of x person in x country is probably going to be generally more approachable than say “Topics on Advanced Mechanics”. Obviously, it’s not always about the language itself but the knowledge that is required to understand it in the first place, but it can be more tricky when it is unclear that the content may be of a similar topic.

The third is most difficult; and that is the “lexical complexity”, i’m certainly no linguist, but I’ll do my best to explain this, via a picture from a taken from a LingQ Lesson.

As you can see, a lot of these “constructions” are quite simple in essence, but 3 things come to mind;

  1. Translation units (phrases, groups of words that can be translated in some combination of the 7 translation techniques)
  2. Lexical units (phrases, groups of words.)
  3. “Grammatical” constructions.

It’s quite hard to conceptualize without grammar and translation, but I’m trying not to use them as much. Saying this, i figured that this type of identification is used in some capacity in a more “Intuitive TL perspective” sort of way, like native speakers do.

Perhaps this is just a way I currently interoperate things as I transition into becoming more intuitive with the language, admittedly it can be quite taxing seeing it this way. For most experienced language learners/acquirers this may not really be as much of a problem since the content is comprehensible enough not to think about it too much.