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Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Guessing at a multiple-choice test of listening comprehension EALTA, Krakow 20.5 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Guessing at a multiple-choice test of listening comprehension EALTA, Krakow 20.5 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Guessing at a multiple-choice test of listening comprehension EALTA, Krakow

2 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Data  Short written introspection:  226 test-takers justify their selection of a particular option at 17 items  973  973 responses (25% of all responses): ”a guess”, ”to guess” or similar  Why & how?     247 of these include further comments  10 types of guessing

3 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Examples ’They talked too quickly, the answer is a pure guess’ ‘I did understand what was said on the tape, but I don’t understand options B and C, B is a stronger guess’ ’I made a guess, as I wasn’t sure’

4 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland MC-tests and guessing  Seldom completely random  Informed guessing: –language use situations –problem solving in general  Use affected by: –personality characteristics, –ability level –nature of the task (Haladyna, 1994; Bachman & Palmer, 1996; Linn & Miller, 2005)

5 10 types of guessing

6 Type of guessing and success

7 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Examples ’I heard the word restaurant and I made a guess’ ’A half-guess, she said something about losing weight’ ‘At least it can’t be A so either B or C. C is a guess…’ ’Not a complete guess, nor a sure answer either’

8 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland Comments on guessing at a MC-test  Guessing is indeed seldom random guessing, but is often based on available knowledge  Guessing is not automatically a bad strategy associated with the MC-test format.  Rather, bad items require bad guessing; a good item may lead to the use of the strategies of inferring, reasoning and elimination - ingredients of many communicative language use situations!

9 Joanna Anckar CALS, Jyväskylä University, Finland


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