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11h:23' 01-03-2011
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Background in
Tests and Test Preparation
Đặng Hiệp Giang
Types of tests
Proficiency tests: TOEFL; IELTS; FCE; CAE; CPE, etc. No specific course based, general knowledge and skill based. Independent of teaching. Measure general language ability.
Achievement tests: directly related to classroom teaching and learning. Content based or objective based. Final or progressive.
Types of tests
Diagnostic tests: to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses
Placement tests: to classify students according to their language ability
Approach to testing
Direct versus Indirect testing: written transcripts of word are supposed to test pronunciation
Discrete point versus integrative testing: one element at a time, item by item versus a combinations of many language elements.
Approach to testing
Norm-referenced versus criterion-referenced testing:
Norm-referenced refers to the relative ability of the test takers against the same group.
Criterion-referenced refers to what the test takers are supposedly able to do in real life.
Approach to testing
Objective versus subjective testing:
Objective testing means no judgement is required from the scorer, the more objective the test, the more reliability the test may bring.
Communicative language testing:
Ability of partaking in communication is measured.
Writing vocabulary test items
Where can we select the words?
How can we choose the question types?
What is the implied skill(s) or purpose in selecting the item?
Multiple-choice completion
(1) Select the words to be tested.
(2) Get the right kind of sentence to put each word in (this sentence creating the context is called the stem).
(3) Choose several wrong words to put the right word with (these wrong words are called distractors). Three distractors plus the right word are enough for a written item.
(4) Finally, prepare clear and simple instructions.
Advantages of Multiple-Choice Completion
1. It helps students see the full meaning of words by providing natural contexts. Also, it is a good influence on instruction: It discourages word-list memorization.
2. Scoring is easy and consistent.
3. It is a sensitive measure of achievement.
Limitations of Multiple-Choice Completion
1. It is rather difficult to prepare good sentence contexts that clearly show the meaning of the word being tested.
2. It is easy for students to cheat by copying what others have circled.
Word formation
1. It reflects teaching approaches.
2. It is generally faster and easier to construct than are items with distractors.
1. Fewer words can be tested this way than with multiple choice.
2. There is some difficulty in avoiding ambiguous contexts.
Work in groups of 4 to complete the tasks, page 21. Refer to the material if needed.
In the same group, prepare 2 items, one multiple choice and one word completion and show to the other groups.