Easy English vs Plain Language

Why Easy English is the best choice?

Difference at a glance

Easy English example

Access Easy English project. COVID - 19. It is also called Coronavirus.
Access Easy English project. COVID - 19. It is also called Coronavirus.

Easy English 

  • developed in Australia since 2005​
  • has evolved​
  • measurable & repeatable elements across format, linguistic elements and images for people with low literacy ​
  • uses universal design & incorporates plain language principles​
  • designed for any person with low literacy, including those people with intermittent or situational low literacy. ​

Plain Language example

Plain Language

A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.

Plain Language writers are developing content for the 56% of the adult Australian population ‘who do have the literacy to manage a range of day to day reading tasks.’ (ABS, 2013. #4228). 

IOS link

Difference in detail


Easy English

Plain Langugage

Flesch - Kincaid Reading equivalence range

Range: Grade 0 to Grade 3.

Range: Grade 3 to grade 12.

Flesch - Kincaid Reading equivalence average

Grade 2.
This is a person who is learning to read. For an adult, it is a person with low literacy.

Grade 5.
This is a person who has the building blocks to use their reading to learn. For an adult, it is not a person with low literacy.

Sentence length

5- 8 words

11 - 14 words

Use of hard words

Never. Uses the words known to the audience.

Introduces hard words, and then continue to include throughout text. Increases cognitive load.

Use of if...then... statements




Front cover

Always included. Image and text which tells the reader what it is about.

Not always included. Image and text often corporate. Image may not be included at all.

Headings for images

Always has an image for headings


Number of images per page

Maximum 4

5 - 7 images per page

Text in images


Often - text in an image is a barrier

White space

Lots of white space

Congested spaces

Image type

Specific. Reflects message and audience need. Will choose images that meet need. Use photos only of people or places in the text.

Non specific. Can be generic photos that are not reflective of the text.

Length of document

Maximum of 20 pages of correctly formatted text and images.

Often 40 or 50 or more pages of text and images.

Consumer review

With people with low literacy. This person does not see themselves as a reader, and does not regularly try to read content.


Easy English example

Plain Language example

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