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TESTING

GRAMMAR
What are we trying to MEASURE?

“English grammar is chiefly a system of


syntax that decides the order and
patterns in which words are arranged into
sentences.” (Close, 1982)
DANCE
Dance (v) + -ing = Dancing (v)

Baby is dancing gracefully.


n v v adv
2018/10/5
WHY DO WE NEED TO TEST GRAMMAR?

Because ….
To measure students’ proficiency in
every field of language from inflections
to syntax like word order, use of
negative and questions.
• Probably, most proficiency tests that
are administered on a large scale still
retain a grammar section.
• How do you teach English? Mainly
grammar-based teaching
• Measure the progress of students
• Diagnose students’ needs
When should we go for grammar recognition?

When…
•You want to test different levels of
learning.
•You have a large number of test takers.
When should we go for grammar production?

When…
•You want to evaluate a person’s ability to
formulate a correct answer.
•You have more time to score the items.
•You want to test a person‘s ability to
apply
concepts and information to a new
So, should we test grammar?
Whether or not grammar has an
important place in an institution’s
teaching, it has to be accepted that
grammatical ability, or rather the lack of
it, sets limits to what can be achieved in
the way of skills performance.
What are the components of
grammar?
Different Approaches in Testing
Grammar
•True/False
•Multiple –Choice Completion
•Gap Filling
•Cloze Tests
True/False
Is this sentences true or false?
“He works from Monday to Friday”

•Does not demonstrate broader knowledge


•Difficult to construct in higher levels
•Encourages guessing due to 50/50 chance
Multiple Choice
John usually ______from Monday to Friday
a. works b. worked c. has worked d. is working

•They can be tricky


•Knowledge is limited to options provided
•Difficult to construct at higher levels
•Encourages guessing (25% chance)
•More than one option may be possible
•All options must be grammatically possible
Multiple Choice Completion Questions
Advantages
• Scoring is easy and reliable.
• Helpful for teachers to
diagnose specific problems
of students
• Very good to evaluate
students’ grammar point
knowledge making students
study all of them
Multiple Choice Completion Questions
Limitations
• Not easy to prepare good items
• Easy for students to cheat
• To prevent students’ cheating answer
choices may be re-changed with groups =
time-consuming
• Not evaluate students’ productive skills
but only sub-skills not main skills.
• Usage of this type of questions as an only
way of assessment may decrease students’
motivation to use the language
productively
Gap-Filling
John usually ______(work) from Monday to Friday

•They must be part of a broader context


•More than one option may be possible
•First gap may be offered as a sample
•Knowledge is limited to options provided
•Limitations result in negative backwash
•Focus should be on the aspect assessed.
SIMPLE COMPLETION SENTENCES-
ADVANTAGES
• Easy to prepare
• Flexible items entailing productive
skills
• Increase creativity of students =
original answers
• No exposure to the incorrect
answers
• Provides sensitive measure of
achievement
SIMPLE COMPLETION SENTENCES -
LIMITATIONS
• Time-consuming to correct the
errors
• Inexperienced teachers may have
difficulty to create
• Irrelevant errors may occur rather
than the items to be tested
• Students may unexpectedly avoid
the structure aimed to be tested
Cloze/C-test
John ______ works ______Monday ______Friday

•Tests student’s understanding of the whole language


•More than one option may be possible
•First letter may be offered as a sample
•Some words may be impossible to guess
•Can test student’s IQ rather than language proficiency
•Difficult for some students (bias)
Cloze Procedure - Advantages
•A good measure for an
overall proficiency
•Easy to prepare and to
score
•Good and easy to assess
integrative skills
Cloze Procedure - Limitations

•Not measure short-term goals


very well
•Difficult for non-native English
teachers to determine the
acceptable equivalent words