An investigation into the task features affecting EFL listening comprehension test performance

| June 28, 2006
Title
An investigation into the task features affecting EFL listening comprehension test performance

Keywords: test task, construct validity, CET, EFL listening tests

Authors
Hu Ying-hui
Shanghai Jiaotong University, China

Bio Data
Hu Ying-hui is a postgraduate student at Shanghai Jiaotong University, majoring in English language testing. She is also an experienced university lecturer in college English classes in China. Her interests cover teaching and testing of English listening and speaking, language learning strategies, and classroom evaluation. Several papers on these topics have been published in Chinese publications.

Abstract
The construct validation of a multiple-choice listening test requires some evidence that text and text associated variables play a significant role in predicting item difficulty. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of task features on test performance in EFL listening tests by determining how well item difficulty can be accounted for by text factors, item factors and text-item factors. A sample of 159 items of CET listening tests was analyzed, based on which a summary of task features of CET listening passages is presented. Furthermore, the results of correlation and regression analyses indicate that text-by-item interaction variables contribute significantly to item difficulty, thereby providing evidence favoring the construct validity of CET listening tests. Two best predictors of item difficulty are the redundancy of necessary information, and lexical overlap between words in the text and words in an item’s options.

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See pages 33-54

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 8 Issue 2