Testing Overall Ability

information on different
abilities (listening, speaking,
reading, writing) are NOT needed.
estimate of candidates overall
ability is enough.
One way of testing overall ability is to
build a test with a number of
components (e.g reading, listening,
grammar, vocabulary)
Proficiency Test, TOEFL, IELTS
Such a test is not economical,
especially when
 overall
ability is for decision making.
 possible
backwash is not a serious
e.g Placement Test
Traditional Cloze Test (p. 188)
is constructed by deleting every seventh word
in a passage, leaving it blank, and requiring
the person taking the test to attempt to
replace the original words.
The deletion of every nth word did created
questions about the test validity
Selected Deletion Cloze ( see p. 190)
The deletions were carefully chosen to
provide interesting items although most of
the Items are related to grammar; yet to get
the correct response requires an overall
Conversational Cloze ( pp. 191-192)
It reflects oral and written abilities
The passages should be of an appropriate level
The passages should be of an appropriate style
Deletion should be made to fit the testing of
interesting items
The passages should be tried out on native
Clear instructions should be devised
The layout of the test should facilitates scoring
(see p. 190)
Familiarity with the cloze test techniques on the
part of test takers
Validating cloze test scores
Mini-Cloze Items
 cover structures and vocabulary
 are more economical
A: What time is it?
B: ____ a quarter to three.
A variety of cloze in which instead of whole words, it is the
second half of every second word that is deleted (An example p.
194 )
It requires exact scoring
Shorter passages are possible
It takes little space and short time to complete
It may include a large number of items
Possible to design mini-c-tests
Puzzle-like nature of the task
Correct responses can often be found in the surrounding text
However, research indicates that it functions well as a
measure of overall ability in an EFL
It does not test word order and vocabulary
Words can be identified from context
It only tests spelling and punctuation
Research revealed high correlation with complex tests
Words and word order are not really given; the candidates
heard only a stream of sound which had to be decoded
into a session of words, stored, and recreated on paper
Identifying words from context is a very desirable ability to
It involves listening ability
It is easy to administer
The passage determines the limits of what can be
A series of mini-dialogues, possibly mixed with
monologues can be constructed
An example,
A: When can I see you again?
B: How about …... Thursday?
And hears:
When can I see you again? How about a week
on Thursday?