Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6
Testing listening 13 Testing grammar and vocabulary READER ACTIVITIES 1. appropriate Choose an wouldextended of
Testing listening
13
Testing grammar and vocabulary
READER
ACTIVITIES
1. appropriate
Choose
an
wouldextended
of basis
language
be
a
familiargroup
of
students
you
(you
nativemay
get or
athis
from
published
you
may
stretchspeaker
the the materials,
a five-minuteradio). notes,
Play
to
eightyourself
and something for
take
notes.
of or whom the
the
Testing grammar
and are record constructOn commentshort-answer that
items.
Ask recording on
colleagues
to with spoken
take
it.ontest
ofAmend
as necessary,
and
administer
itto comments.
studentsthe
group
Why one
test justify
grammar?
theyou
had
in test
mind,
if the possible.
Analyse
the for results.
testGo
through
Can
the separate testing of grammar? There was a time when
far,item
by the
item
Howwith
students
and
ask
their
seemed
very core
odd of question.
Control and of it grammatical
this
would was
have seen
test?and
how short items
is each
testing what
you thought
would have
language ability
structures
as the a very
whether it candidates2. wouldwell,
Design
that item
attempt
canto
discover
onrecognise:
sarcasm,
surprise,
boredom, to elation.
colthese
leagues a test
as above.and
students
been unthinkable not to test it. But times have changed. As far as
proficiency tests are concerned, there has been a shift towards the view
that since it is language skills that are usually of interest, then it is these
simple3.
complete)Design
that requires
candidates
draw (or Try
Think Administertechniques.things whatpictures.
Decide
exactly what
othermeasuring.
which should be tested directly, not the abilities that seem to underlie
them. For one thing, it is argued, there is more to any skill than the sum of
could
be measured
using the this test or is similar
accurately
mastery
the skill it. by For measuring
its
parts; of one
cannot
if the students agree with you about whatthe
test and
is beingsee
another,
to be predict
the abilities
that of underlie
control
what
we believe
measured.
as has been argued earlier in this book, the backwash effect of tests which
Further reading
measure mastery of skills directly may be thought preferable to that of
tests which might encourage the learning of grammatical structures in
isolation, with no apparent need to use them. Considerations of this kind
have resulted in the absence of any grammar component in some
thatExamples
theof
recordings
basismight
be used
ofas
well-known
proficiency tests
tests. which are administered on a large scale still
(1975);listening
and Trudgilltests
are
Crystal
and
Davy
(1987),Hughes
But most proficiency
relevant.if
regional British
accents in
are English
retain a grammar section. One reason for this must be the ease with
which large numbers of items can be administered and scored within a
short period of time. Related to that, and at least as important, is the
directly,
we number
decide to
test writing
question
of severely
content limited
validity. in If the
and
of topics,
styles ability
of writing,
then
we are
what we earlier referred to as ‘operations’, that we can cover in any one
that
the be sample
We cannot grammar of
be all completely
confident
version
the test.
Neither
can sample
we
sure,
possibilities.
chosen
is of truly
a good
of
all
test includes
of course,
that
a representative
(proficiency)
possible grammatical elements. But the very fact that there can be so
the grammar
test at grammar
an advantage.
many
does
in a proficiency test,
about testing
Even items
if one
has put doubts
there is often good cause to include a grammar component in the
achievement, placement and diagnostic tests of teaching institutions. It
seems unlikely that there are many institutions, however ‘communica
tive’ their approach, that do not teach some grammar in some guise or
Testing grammar and vocabulary andTesting vocabularygrammar teachingWhereverother. thoughtgrammarofthe
Testing grammar
and
vocabulary
andTesting
vocabularygrammar
teachingWhereverother.
thoughtgrammarofthe
thennecessary,is
WRITING
ITEMS
of
advisabilitythegivenbeshouldconsideration
includingto
the testing
grammaraof
handbooks encourage
most,
language testing
of just
however,isthisIftests.achievementincomponent
seemwoulditdone,
Many, if not
grammar by
often to the exclusion
means of
multiple choice items,
pointfromprudent,
number
of
viewthe
backwash,of
comsuchgivetonotof
method.
8Chapter
of this
book
gave
a
about
any
other
use
of
muchponents
relationprominencetoo
oftoin
developtheskills,tests
within institutions
should avoid
excessive
reasons
why
testing
whichment
normallyof
primaryconstitutewill
lanofobjectivesthe
of multiple
in this
section,
there will be
no examples
multiple
choice.
courses.guage
multiple choice
techniques
can be
given a
choice
items.
Though all the
to
angrammarnotorWhether
institution’saninplaceimportanthas
attempts to
write such items
can often expect
format, the
reader who
hasteaching,
acceptedbeit
lacktheratherorability,grammaticalthatto
distractors.
have problems
in finding
suitable
para
limitsit,of
whatsets
achievedbeto
skillswaytheincan
number:
performance.of
are just
three in
The
techniques
to
be
presented here
academicwritingsuccessfulThe
mustexample,forassignments,of
with
imagination,
these
modified
doze.
Used
phrase, completion, and
extenttodepend
themoreofcommandonsome
elementarymostthan
most grammar
testing purposes.
They have in
should prove
sufficient for
they
wouldstructures.grammatical
toorderinthatthisfromfollowtoseemIt
appreciated as a
highly desirable
quality:
common what
should be
appropriatetheinplace
students
appropriately
and
suchofdevelopmenttheforclassmost
grammatical structures
require the
student to
supply
in
usefulverybewouldabilitygrammaticalstudent’saofskills,
knowledge
their correct use.
Ways of scoring
are suggested
not simply to
recognise
roomtoappearsThereinformation.
atincomponentgrammaraforbe
the next section.
tests.placementsomeleast
I
for(andstudentsindividualforknowtousefulparticularlybewouldk
It
PARAPHRASE
students)groups
repertoire.grammaticaltheirinexistgapswhatof
meaning to
sentence
equivalent in
These require
the
student to write
a
forChapterinexplainedsUnfortunately,
order to
toleast,atmomentthe3,
helpful to give
part of the
paraphrase in
one that is
given. It is
thanandreliableobtain
thisofinformationdiagnosticrudimentarymore
grammatical
structure being tested.
restrict the students
to the
developmentinvolvewouldkind
andlongofadministrationandthe
Thus:
Computer-basedunwieldy
infieldthisinprogressbringmaytestingtests.
form.
1.
Testing passive,
past continuous
future.the
near
was questioning
the bank clerk.
When we arrived, a
policeman
When we arrived,
the bank clerk
SPECIFICATIONSWRITING
thelistsyllabustheorobjectivesteachingwheretestsachievementFor
present perfect
with for.
2.
Testing
taught,structuresgrammatical
shouldcontentspecificationbeto
hesaf
six years since
last saw him.
I
suchisthereWhenstraightforward.quite
isIt
necessarybecomesitlistingno
six years.
arestructureswhatmaterialsteachingotherandtextbooksfrominferto
placementforSpecificationstaught.being
normallytesta
allincludewill
COMPLETION
structuresof
thoseperhaps,as,wellasway,thisinidentifiedthe
structures.
Note how the
technique can be
used to
atest
variety of
This
commandstructures
whichthe
lowesttheeveningrantedfortakenisof
from
the
Cambridge
First
like
the
following,
context
ain
passage
classes.
allows
the
tester
to
elicit
specific
Certificate
in
English
Testpack
1,
this case
interrogative forms.
structures, in
SAMPLING
selectingvaliditycontenttestthegivetoattemptanreflectwillThis
by
shouldspecified.structuresthefromwidely
whataccounttakealsoIt
of
have
(6)to
the
sentences
numbered
(1)
conversation,
In the following
the
whole
structures.importantmosttheasanotherorreasononeforregardedare
suitably.
Read
incomplete.
before you
wants a job
Complete
them
been
left
tohappenwhichstructurestheonconcentratedeliberatelynotshouldIt
begin to
answer the
question.
conversation
come for
an
business.
He has
export
test.easiestbe
to
in Mr
Gilbert’s
(Mr Cole
interview.)
Now let
come in and
sit down.
Mr Cole.
Please
Good
morning,
Mr Gilbert:
Which
school
me see.
(1)
and Testing vocabularygrammar Testing grammar and vocabulary Cole:Mr Whitestone College. Testing articles required
and
Testing
vocabularygrammar
Testing
grammar and vocabulary
Cole:Mr
Whitestone College.
Testing articles
required
GilbertMr
(2)
(Candidates
are
to write
the, a
or
NA
No Article.)
And when
Cole:Mr
endatIn
1972,
the
summertheof
term.
In England children
togo
school from Monday to Friday.
school that
goesMary
isto
very small.
She walks there each
GilbertMr
what(3)
thenAnd
since
morning with
friend.
One morning they saw
Cole:Mr
inI
worked
year.abanka
for
mytookIThen
job,present
man throwing
stones
and
pieces of wood at
Butcars.selling
awouldI
like
now.change
dog
dog was
afraid of
man.
ajob
GilbeftMr
p
whatWell,
And
of(4)
sort
so on.
Cole:Mr
toreallyI’d
like
Exportyourwork
in
Department.
of grammatical structures
Testing a variety
GilbertMr
beThat
might
difficult.a
little
qualifications?yourWhat
are
text
(The
is
taken
from
Cohn Dexter
The Secret
of Annexe 3.)
meanI what(5)
languages
English?besides
When the old man died
was probably no great joy
Cole:Mr
heaven;
and quite certainly little if any real grief in
littleonlyWell,
a
French.
Charibury Drive,
the pleasantly unpretentious cul-de-sac
Gilbert:Mr
bigThat
awould
be
mewhy
Mrdisadvantage,
CouldCole.
(6)
tellyou
semi-detached houses to which
he
retired.
Cole:Mr
likeI’dBecause
andtravelto
peoplemeetto
Testing sentence linking
otherfrom
countries.
one-word
(A
answer is required.)
IMr
Gilbert:
thinkdoa’t
helpcanI
Mrpresent,you
at
PerhapsCole.
you
The council must do something
to improve transport in
the city.
travelatrytoought
agency.
,
they will lose the next election.
MODIFIED
CLOZE
SCORING
PRODUCTION
GRAMMAR
TESTS
prepositions
impoitant
The
thing
tois
be clear
about what
Testing
each item
testing,is
and to
placeof
award points
that
for
only.
There may
be just one element, such
as the
definite
article,
and
all
available
points should
be
awarded
for
that;
nothing
non-grammatical
should be deducted for
errors,
or for errors in
grammar
not
which is
candidate
being tested by the item. For instance,
a
not
should
be penalised for
a
missing
third person
-s
when the
item
is
pronouns; opend
for opened,
without
testing relative
should be accepted
penalty.
two
If
elements are being tested in an item,
then points may be assigned
to
each
of them
(for example present
perfect form
and
since
with
past
time
reference
point).
Alternatively,
it
can
be
stipulated
that
both
awarded,
elements have to be correct for any points to be
which makes
sense
in
those
cases
where
getting
one
element
wrong
means
that the
student
not
control
structure.
does
have full
of the
grammar
For valid and reliable scoring of
items
theof
kind
advocated
preparation
here,
careful
of the scoring key
is necessary.
A key for items
thein
lines.
previous section might be along the following
lookedJohn
theround
Theroom.
wasbook
still
table.the
catThe
was
chair.the
wonderedHe
waswhat
boxthe
telephone.the
on.soAnd
grammarTesting and vocabulary Testing grammar and vocabulary Paraphrase Must1. have Was being ed point—
grammarTesting
and
vocabulary
Testing grammar and vocabulary
Paraphrase
Must1.
have
Was being
ed
point—
Similar reasons may be advanced
for testing vocabulary in proficiency
1
1
haven’t2.
have[or
not]
point—
1
tests to those used to support
the inclusion of a grammar section (though
seen
point—
1
vocabulary has its
special sampling problems).
However, the arguments
yearsfor
six
point—
1
for
a
separate component
in other kinds of test may not have the same
threeAlternatively,
all
elements
be
afor
strength.
One
suspects
that
much
less
time
requiredcould
is devoted to the regular,
point to be given,
depending
theon
information
isthat
conscious
teaching
of
vocabulary
than
to
the
similar
teaching
of
lookedbeing
for.
grammar.
If there is little teaching
of vocabulary,
mayit
be argued that
Completion
CambridgeThe
CertificateFirst
fromTestpack,
which
the
there
is little call for achievement tests of vocabulary.
At the same time,
it
completion
wereitems
istaken,
lessrather
thanexplicit
mightone
wish
tois
be hoped that vocabulary
learning is taking place. Achievement
tests
doubt(though
no
actualin
an
examination
wouldscorers
givenbe
more
that measure the extent
of this learning
(and encourage
it)
perhaps
do
detailed
instructions).
Thus:
have
a
part to
play
in institutional testing. For those who believe that
markWhole
eachfor
question
formed
withcorrectly
auxiliary
systematic teaching of vocabulary
is desirable, vocabulary achievement
inversion
and
No.(except
‘why6
wantyou
andto’
etc.)
tests are appreciated for their backwash effect.
to
tensewith
suitable
Bonuscontext.
continuousfor
in No.tense
The3.
college’‘quit
phraseAmerican
The usefulness
‘leavefor
(and indeed the feasibility)
of a general diagnostic test
allowed.school’
of vocabulary
is
not
readily
apparent.
As
far
as
placement
tests
are
dozeModified
wasAs
concerned, we would not normally require, or expect,
a particular set of
Chaptermentioned
in
is8,
it
ifhelpful
arecandidates
torequired
theirput
lexical items to
be
a prerequisite for a particular language class.
All we
inresponses
numbered
atspaces
the
right-hand
siderof
page.the
Checking
iskey
would be looking
for
is some general indication of the adequacy of
the
theagainst
verythen
straightforward.
student’s
vocabulary. The learning of specific lexical items
in class will
rarely
depend
on
previous
knowledge
of
other,
specified
items.
One
Prepositions
Articles
alternative
is
to
use
a
published
test
of vocabulary.
The
other
is
to
on1.
1.NA
2.
construct one’s own vocabulary
proficiency test.
under/beneath
The2.
in/inside3.
a3.
WRITING
SPECIFICATIONS
4.
near/beside
a4.
How do we specify
test? If vocabulary
5.NA
the vocabulary for an achievement
is
being
consciously
taught,
then presumably
all
the
items
thereby
Various
structures
6.NA
presented
to
the
students should
be
included
in
the specifications.
To
there1.
7.
a
2.
in
these we can add
all the new items that the students
have met in other
The8.
etc.). A subsequent step is to group the
items
of3.
activities (reading, listening,
the9.
in
had4.
terms of their relative importance.
We have suggested that a vocabulary placement
test will be in essence a
Sentence
proficiency test.
The usual way to
specify the lexical items that may
be
linking
tested in
a proficiency test is to make reference to one of the
published
otherwise
word lists that indicate
the frequency with which the words have been
found to be used
(see Further reading).
Testing
vocabulary
SAMPLING
testWhy
Words can be grouped
according to their frequency
and usefulness. From
vocabulary?
each
of these
groups
items
can
be
taken
at random,
with more
being
doubtsAny
theabout
ofadvisability
testing
selected from the groups containing
the more frequent and useful words.
applygrammar
toequally
testingthe
vocabulary.of
Clearly
ofknowledge
vocabulary
essentialis
the
to
development
and
ITEM
WRITING
demonstration
linguisticof
Butskills.
doesthat
necessarily
not
thatmean
shouldit
testedbe
Recognition
This
is one testing problem for which multiple
choice can
separately.
be recommended without too many reservations. For
one thing, distract-
vocabulary Testing grammar and vocabularyandgrammarTesting
vocabulary
Testing grammar
and
vocabularyandgrammarTesting
betounlikelyseemsthereanother,Foravailable.readilyusuallyors
are
guessingeffect,backwashharmfulseriousany
meaningthesince
of
(multiple choice)
wouldwhichsomethingisitems,vocabulary
3.
Gap filling
towishprobablywe
be
used
to
test
or
a
synonym,
can
definition
Context,
rather than
a
writingHowever,encourage.
notitemssuccessfulofthe
itswithoutis
knowledge of a
lexical item.
difficulties.
the man’s
efforts to
upput
the tent.
involveItems
operations:differentofnumberamay
The strong
wind
C.
deranged
A.
disabled
Synonyms1.
D.
regaled
B.
hampered
alternativeChoose
meaningclosestiswhich(A,B,C,D)the
wordthetoin
words which
the
candi
should not
itself contain
Note that the
context
lefton
page.theofthe
to know.
dates
are unlikely
shinegatherA.gleam
cleanD.welcomeC.B.
PRODUCTION
thiswriterThe
probablyitemof
alternativethechosenhas
becausefirst
is
practically
productively
difficult that it
is
so
The testing
of vocabulary
theofbecausechosenbeenhavemayfourthTheglean.wordtheof
Information on
receptive
ability is
proficiency
tests.
woulddistractorstheseWhethergleam.ofthattosounditsofsimilarity
never
attempted in
presented below
are intended
only
The suggestions
pretesting.throughdiscoveredbeonlywouldintendedwork
as
regarded as
sufficient.
tests.
use in
achievement
optionsofallthatNote
arecandidatesthewhichwordsarethe
for possible
groyne,byreplacedwerewelcomeexample,forIf,know.toexpected
isthatmost
candidatesrecognising
1.
Pictures
meaningit
onstem(gleam)theofthe
limit
testing
productive lexical
ability is
the need to
The main
difficulty in
immediately.groynedismisswouldtested,beingaretheywhich
have in mind,
while
the candidate
to the (usually
one) lexical
itemthat we
commonhavecoulditemthehand,otherOn
the
stemtheasworda
to
use
One
way
round this is
vocabulary
ourselves.
using
only simple
options:aswordsfrequentlessfourwith
pictures.
maimshine
gleamA.
snarlD.loamC.B.
the
drawn below has a
letter against
Write down
it.
Each of
the objects
inNote
itboththat
tested.beingiswhichgleamwordtheisitems
names of the objects:
A
Definitions2.
B
C
intenselydislikeA.meansloathe
D
illseriouslybecomeB.
F.
carefullysearchC.
angryveryD.
look
allNote
thatsaidisItlength.sametheaboutofareoptionstheofthat
uncertainwhotest-takers
tendwillcorrectisoptionwhichofare
to
whichthechoose
noticeablyone
dislikeIfothers.thefromdifferentis
theusedbetoisintensely
beshoulddistractorsthethendefinition,as
itemcasethisInit.resembletomade
notionsomeincludedhaswriterthe
options.theofallinintensityof
options.theofonebecouldworddifficulttheAgain
A.intenselydisliketomeansthatwordOne
growlis
screechB.
sneerC.
loatheD.
restricted to
concrete
vocabulary is
obviously
This
method of testing
drawn.
nouns which
can be
unambiguously
Testing grammar and vocabulary vocabularyandgrammarTesting of the tests by writing two items for each
Testing grammar
and vocabulary
vocabularyandgrammarTesting
of the
tests
by
writing
two
items
for each
Definitions
2.
Produce two vocabulary
2.
number
of production
items.
including, if
apossible,
aworkmayThis
items:lexicalofrangefor
following words,
comparable) group
of students
(you
Give each
test to a
different (but
personisA
teeth.ourafterlookswhoa
Compare performance
on the pairs of
one class into
two).
could divide
water.is
frozen
be
attributed
ato
difference in
items.
Can differences
of performance
year.theofmonthis
secondthe
technique?
allBut
anydefinition:afromuniquelyidentifiedbecanitemsnot
deaf
genial
beard
sigh
bench
feeblesaydefinition
excludeunlikelybewouldof
itsofto
synonyms.all
callow
tickle
weep
greedy
mellow
simplerorcommonmorewordsinentirelydefinedbewordsallcanNor
themselves.than
Further reading
fillingGap3.
singlewithsentencesmoreoroneofformthetakecanThis
missing.worda
West (1953)
standard word
list.
ais
snow,ofBecause
theuntilwasmatchfootballthethe
week.following
hashusbandyourbutJones,Mrsthis,youtelltohavetoI
anhad
accident.
the;eToo
alternativeisoften
mind.inhaveweonethetowordan
responsesacceptabletwoleastathasaboveitemsecondtheIndeed
itintendednotwas(which
becanproblemThiswritten!).waswhen
anevenandmore)(possiblywordtheofletterfirstthegivingbysolved
letters.ofnumbertheofindication
Postscript
andgrammarawhilethatreminderawithendshouldchapterThis
betorarelyaretheyskills,communicativetocontributevocabulary
isthemselves.inendsasregarded
accordnotshouldteststhatessentialIt
thateffectbackwashacreatesoandimportance,muchtoothem
theachievementtheundermines
teachingobjectivesof
learningof
and
nature.incommunicativearethesewhere
CT/V/TIESREADER
A
thetoitemsConstruct1.
following:test
IfConditional:
havewouldhad
equalityofComparison
whosepronounRelative
when-ing,wascontinuousPast
struceachsuitschaptertheinsuggestedtechniquestheofWhich
why?sayyouCanbest?ture