Speaking Skills Speaking Task 3: The authors observed that student preferences for different topics varied consider- ably across topics. The effect of prior knowledge on EAP listening-test performance. Accordingly, the six test versions used in this study are referred to using simple titles that are somewhat evocative of the test content. However, we find it a useful method of more closely examining the differences between these two groups of test- takers. Our principal research question is to determine if test-takers given a choice of topic perform significantly differently from test-takers not given a choice. We can be confident given both the random assignment and the observed frequencies of these variables that the two groups were comparable.

Topic-based test developers must ensure that test takers are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged in terms of their test results when presented with a given test topic. The majority of items are constructed-response, but students may also be asked to complete a table or respond to a multiple-choice item. Journal of Second Language Writing 3, 49— How to Improve Listening Comprehension. A note on misconceptions concern- ing prospective and retrospective power.

cael essay sample

The results of this study with reference to the second research ques- tion also provide important insights for topic-based test developers and for the field of language testing as a whole. Here again, the responses to these questions were most often concerned with the amount of time allowed.

The textual analysis revealed no discernible differences in the amount of external infor- mation used by the test-takers in the choice and no-choice conditions. There seems to be a considerable difference, particularly for the low- and advanced- proficiency levels.

cael essay sample

After responding to questions from the reading pass- ages caep the lecture, test-takers are given 45 minutes to write an essay drawing on the material which is presented in the readings and lec- ture. This correlation reflects the emphasis which CAEL test developers have placed on writing as an important component of academic language proficiency.


It is likely that the use of the sapmle of study to define background knowledge yields somewhat different results than does the use of pre-teaching or self-assessment. This research question is examined using responses to a ques- tionnaire administered immediately after the test. Remember me on this computer. The test includes four components: In Wainer and Thissen the analysis of choice patterns and levels of item difficulty revealed that the lowest proficiency students actually compounded their difficulties by choos- ing the most difficult items.

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CAEL Assessment

We will refer to the tests as: The psychometric characteristics of choice items. When we consider the responses to the follow-up questionnaire it seems evident that the test-takers are as concerned with the potential for a topic effect on the CAEL test as the test developers. When test-takers arrived for the test they were randomly divided into two groups using their test registration numbers.

One viable option for topic-based tests is to demonstrate that the substantial con- text provided by the test materials is sufficient to diminish the impact of prior knowledge on test performance.

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Deci and Ryan maintain that giving subjects the opportunity to make meaningful choices enhances motiv- ation and results in improved performance. However, the lack of significance for choice indicates that students who were able to choose the topic of their essay in the testing situation did not perform significantly differ- ently than those who did not have a esswy.

This would influ- ence their ability to make an informed choice. While the impact of prompt choice on the writing test scores was not the focus of this study, the authors did conduct an analysis of the data to attempt to determine if students with lower overall English proficiency were Downloaded from http: These studies have examined the effects of prior knowledge on a variety of measures of reading and listening comprehension.


Journal of Educational Measurement 31, — An analysis of the demographic vari- ables of each group also supports samlle statistical observation.

Sample Writing

Unauthorized use of these instructional materials is strictly prohibited. Understanding Lecture Speaking Task 3: The frequencies for each of the seven possible essay response scores are shown in Table 6. The compositions were scored holistically by trained raters using a four-point scale.

Skip to main content. For example, Henk and Cale examined the effects of personal opinion on the comprehension and retention of factual materials for participants reading in esday first language.

A Chi-square analysis of the frequencies could not be conducted because the cell sizes for the choice group were too small. To what extent do test-takers per- ceive choice to be an important part of the testing experience? The authors hypothesize that the proficiency of students in choosing optimal items may increase as the students become more practised in the choice process. It is quite possible that test-takers do not view the inclusion of information beyond what is presented in the test as an appropriate test strategy.

The inter-rater reliability of this process is constantly monitored and correlations of.