Language Assessment

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Language Assessment
Chap. 8 Assessing
Reading
Introduction
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To become efficient readers, two fundamental
strategies are needed. They are:
(1) bottom-up strategies– processing separate letters,
words, and phrases, and
(2) top-down strategies– conceptually driven
strategies for comprehension. Besides, appropriate
content and formal schemata—background
information & cultural experience– to carry out
interpretations effectively.
Types of Reading
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1. Academic reading: general articles, technical
reports, dictionaries, textbooks, editorials, opinion
writings, and so on.
2. Job-related reading: phone messages, letters,
schedules, signs, applications, questionnaires,
manuals, and so on.
3. Personal reading: newspapers, magazines, notes,
recipes, advertisements, cartoons, etc.
Types of Reading Performance
1.
2.
Perceptive: The tasks involve attending to
the components of discourse: letters, words,
punctuation, and other graphemic symbols.
Bottom-up processing is implied.
Selective: Tasks include picture-cued tasks,
matching, true/false, multiple-choice, etc.
Stimuli are sentences, brief paragraphs,
and simple charts and graphs. Brief
responses are intended. Both bottom-up &
top-down processing may be used.
Continue
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3. Interactive: Included tasks are stretches of
language of several paragraphs to one page or more
in which the reader must interact with the text.
Typical genres are anecdotes, short narratives,
descriptions, announcements, directions, recipes,
and the like. Top-down processing is typical of such
tasks although bottom-up performance may be
necessary.
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4. Extensive: Extensive reading includes
professional articles, essays, technical
reports, short stories, and books. Top-down
processing is assumed for most tasks.
Perceptive Reading
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Tasks are fundamental and basic, which are
often referred to as literacy tasks, such as
recognition of alphabetic symbols, capitalized
and lowercase letters, punctuation,and words.
Reading Aloud
The test-taker sees separate letters, words,
and/or short sentences and reads them in the
presence of an administrator.
Written Response
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The test-taker’s task is to produce the probe
in writing.
Multiple-Choice
Formats include same/different, circle the
answer, true/false, choose the letter, and
matching.
Picture-Cued Items (P. 192-193)
Selective Reading
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Multiple-Choice: the most popular method of testing
a reading knowledge of vocabulary and grammar is
the multiple-choice format. (p. 194-195)
Advantages: easy to administer & quick to be scored.
Matching Tasks: the test-taker responds to the
matching format.
Typical formats: vocabulary matching task &
selected response fill-in vocabulary task (p. 197).
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Editing Tasks: Editing for grammatical/rhetorical errors is widely
used test method for assessing linguistic competence in
reading.
Example:
There are two way of making a
A
B
gas condense: cooling it or putting it
C
D
under pressure.
Pictured-Cued tasks: the complexity of the language is more
varied in this section than the previous one.
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Gap-Filling Tasks: Test-takers read a
part of a sentence and then
complete it by writing a phrase.
Example:
Oscar: Doctor, what should I do if I
get sick?
Doctor: It is best to stay home and
__________. If you have a fever,
_________. You should drink as
much ______. The worst thing you
can do is _______. You should also
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Disadvantages: (1) requiring both
reading & writing performance.(2)
scoring a variety of creative responses.
Interactive Reading
At this level, tasks have a combination
of form-focused and meaning-focused
objectives but with more emphasis on
meaning. Texts are from a paragraph
to a as much as a page. Charts,
graphs, and other graphics may be
complex in their format.
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Cloze Tasks: The readers need to fill in
gaps in an incomplete image and supply
omitted details by using formal schemata,
content schemata, and strategic
competence.
Typically every seventh word is deleted
(fixed-ratio deletion), but many cloze test
designers use a rational deletion procedure
according to the grammatical/discourse
functions.
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Two approaches to the scoring: (1) the
exact word method (2) the appropriate
word scoring.
Fixed-ratio deletion (every seventh word)
The recognition that one’s feelings of
(1)____ and unhappiness can coexist
much like (2)____ and hate in a close
relationship (3) offer valuable clues on
how to (4)____ a happier life.
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Rational deletion (prepositions and
conjunctions)
The recognition that one’s feelings
(1)____happiness (2) ____
unhappiness can coexist much like
love and hate (3) ____ a close
relationship may offer valuable clues (4)
____ how to lead a happier life.
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Comparisons: the second version
allows the test taker to tap into
predictions of prepositions and
conjunctions in particular. It also
provides more washback as students
focus on targeted grammatical features.
Variations on standard cloze testing:
C-test & cloze-elide procedure.
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C-test procedure:
The recognition th_ _ one’s feel _ _ _ _
of happ_ _ _ _ _ _ can coe_ _ _ _
much li_ _ love a _ _ hate I_ a cl_ _ _
relati _ _ _ _ _ _ may of _ _ _ valuble
cl_ _ _ on h_ _ to le_ _ a hap_ _ _ _
life.
In the above example, the second half
of every other word is obliterated and
the test taker must restore each word.
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Cloze-elide procedure:
The recognition that one’s now feelings
of happiness and unhappiness can
under coexist much like love and hate
in a close then relationship may offer
valuable clues on how to lead a
happier with life.
The cloze-elide procedure inserts
words into a text that don’t belong.
The test-taker’s task is to detect and
cross out the intrusive words.
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Impromptu Reading Plus Comprehension
Questions (p. 205)
It includes a typical reading comprehension
passage and a set of questions.
Question features: main idea
(topic)/expressions, idioms,or phrases in
context/inference (implied idea)/grammatical
features/detail/supporting ideas/vocabulary in
context
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Short-Answer Tasks: A reading passage is
presented, and the test-taker reads
questions that must be answered in a
sentence or two.
Example: In a passage on the future of
airline travel.
1. What do you think the main idea of this
passage is?
2. What would you infer from the passage
about the future of air travel?
Editing (Longer Texts)
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Contextualized grammar editing tasks
(1) Ever since supermarkets first appeared,
A
B
they have been take over the world. (2)
C
D
Supermarkets have changed people’s life
A
styles, yet and at the same time, changes in people’s
B
C
life styles have encouraged the opening of supermarkets.
D
Scanning
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Scanning is a strategy used by all readers to
find relevant information in a text.
Assessment of scanning is carried out by
presenting test-takers with a text and
requiring rapid identification of relevant bits
of information.
Possible stimuli include
An essay/a menu/an application form/a
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technical report/ a news article
The test-taker must locate
the setting for a story
the cost of an item on a menu
specified data needed to fill out
the principal research finding
a data, name, or place in an article
Ordering Tasks
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“stripe story” technique
Sentence-ordering task: put the sentences in
the correct order
Information Transfer: Reading Charts,
Maps, Graphs, Diagrams
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Learners must be able to (p. 211)
Comprehend specific conventions of the
various types of graphics
Comprehend labels, headings, numbers, and
symbols
Comprehend the possible relationships
among elements of the graphic; and
Make inferences that are not presented
overtly
Extensive Reading
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Journal articles, technical reports, longer
essays, short stories, and books fall into this
category.
Skimming Tasks
Skimming is the process of rapid coverage of
reading matter to determine its gist or main
idea. The test-taker skims a text and answers
questions such as the following:
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What is the main idea of the text?
What is the author’s purpose in writing the
text?
What kind of writing is this (newspaper article,
manual, novel, etc.)?
What do you think you will learn from the text?
How useful will the text be for your
(profession, academic needs, interests)?
Summarizing and Responding
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Directions for summarizing
Write a summary of the text. Your summary should
be about one paragraph in length (100-150 words)
and should include your understanding of the main
idea and supporting ideas.
Criteria for assessing a summary
1. Expresses accurately the main idea and
supporting ideas.
2. Is logically organized.
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3. is written in the student’s own words; occasional
vocabulary from the original text is acceptable.
4. displays facility in the use of language to clearly
express ideas in the text.
Directions for responding to reading
In the article “Poisoning the Air We Breathe,” the
author suggests that a global dependence on fossil
fuels will eventually make air in large cities toxic.
Write an essay in which you agree or disagree with
the author’s thesis. Support your opinion with information from the article and from your experience.
Holistic scoring scale for S & R
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3 clear, unambiguous comprehension of the
main and supporting ideas.
2 comprehension of the main idea but no
supporting ideas.
1 only a partial comprehension of the main
and supporting ideas.
0 no comprehension of the main and
supporting ideas.
Note-Taking and Outlining
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A teacher, in one-one-one conferences with
students, can use student notes/outlines as
indicators of the presence or absence of
effective reading strategies, and thereby
point the learners in positive directions.
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