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Title:An Examination of the Confounding in Measures of Foreign Language Listening Comprehension
Author(s):Ku, Earl Juang-Ell
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Tests and Measurements
Abstract:Most current foreign language listening comprehension tests require examinees to read and understand multiple choice (MC) items printed in the test booklet in order to make responses. As a result, reading is confounded with listening in such tests. This study proposed a true-false (T-F) listening test as an alternative to reduce the confounding problem in the traditional listening test.
The specific hypotheses for this study were: (1) the disattenuated correlation between the reading and the traditional listening examinations is not different from 1.00; (2) the disattenuated correlation between the reading and the T-F listening examinations is less than 1.00; and (3) there is a difference between the two disattenuated correlations.
Subjects included 150 Chinese students at the University of Illinois. Data collection instruments included the listening and reading comprehension subtests from TOEFL. The T-F listening test form was constructed by converting the TOEFL listening MC items to T-F items.
The disattenuated correlations between the scores on the reading test and the traditional listening test and the T-F listening test were each significantly different from 1.00. There was no significant difference between these two disattenuated correlations. The most plausible explanation for the similarity between the correlations related to the apparently high reading achievement level of the samples which resulted in a low test ceiling. The hypothesized reading confounding was essentially non-existent because the reading was so easy for these particular groups.
Two conclusions were drawn from this study. First, the disattenuated correlation between the scores on the reading test and the traditional listening test or the T-F listening test suggested that either listening test is measuring unique skills not shared by the reading test. Because there was no significant difference between these two correlations, both listening test forms seemed to provide equally unique information about listening comprehension. Second, the traditional listening test items were more effective than the T-F listening test items in measuring listening abilities in a foreign language. The traditional listening test had a higher discrimination power than the T-F listening test and its items were more difficult.
Issue Date:1982
Description:104 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8209599
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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