Semantically Acceptable Scoring Procedures (SEMAC) Versus Exact Replacement Scoring Methods (ERS) For ‘Cloze’ Tests: A Case Study

| March 28, 2006
Title
Semantically Acceptable Scoring Procedures (SEMAC) Versus Exact Replacement Scoring Methods (ERS) For ‘Cloze’ Tests: A Case Study

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Authors
David R. Litz & Allison K. Smith
UAE University

Bio Data
David Litz has completed a BA, B.Ed, and an M.A. in TESL/TEFL. He is presently working towards a doctorate in Educational Administration and Management. He has taught in South Korea, Canada and the UAE and his professional interests include testing, assessment and higher education administration.

Allison Smith has completed a BA, Bed, and an MA in TESL/TEFL. She is also working towards a doctorate in Educational Administration and Management and she has taught both math and ESL/EFL in South Korea, Canada, and the UAE. Her professional interests include testing, assessment, statistics and educational administration.

Abstract
It has been suggested by a number of theorists that a semantically acceptable scoring procedure (SEMAC) is preferable to an exact replacement scoring method (ERS) for ‘Cloze’ tests. They argue that the SEMAC procedure is fairer for testees and that it provides a better indication of communicative competency and the overall linguistic abilities of ESL/EFL students. While this may be the case, it has also been noted that SEMAC scoring requires considerable effort on the part of the scorers. Moreover, ERS and SEMAC scores have been shown, in some instances, to correlate highly when compared to one another. This demonstrates that it is possible, in some instances, for testees to rank similarly, whether one uses either the exact word or the SEMAC scoring procedure. This paper will report on an experiment that was conducted with a group of forty-five Korean EFL students in order to confirm the truth of the claim that SEMAC scoring and exact word scoring do, in fact, correlate very highly. The findings from this study show that these two scoring methods did correlate with high statistical significance. Thus, the decision of which method to use can be based on language learning objectives.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 8 Issue 1