• The cognitive validity of reading and writing tests designed for young learners

      Field, John (Cambridge University Press, 2018-06-01)
      The notion of cognitive validity becomes considerably more complicated when one extends it to  tests designed for Young Learners. It then becomes necessary to take full account of the level of cognitive development of the target population (their ability to handle certain mental operations and not others). It may also be necessary to include some consideration of their level of linguistic development in L1: in particular, the degree of proficiency they may have achieved in reading and writing. This chapter examines the extent to which awareness of the cognitive development of young learners up to the age of 12 should and does influence the decisions made by those designing tests of second language reading  and writing. The limitations and strengths of young learners of this age range are matched against the various processing demands entailed in second language reading and writing and are then related to characteristics of the Young Learners tests offered by the Cambridge English examinations.
    • Reading in a second language: process, product and practice

      Urquhart, A.H.; Weir, Cyril J. (Routledge, 2014-01-01)
      Reading in a Second Language sets the testing and teaching of reading against a theoretical background, discussing research from both applied linguistics and cognitive psychology. Where possible, it focuses on research into second language readers and distinguishes different kinds of reading, particularly expeditious as opposed to careful reading, and emphasizes the validity of each.Sandy Urquhart and Cyril Weir relate testing and teaching, discussing similarities and differences, providing a comprehensive survey of both methods with the emphasis on those which have been substantiated or supported by research evidence. Finally, the book proposes specific research topics, and detailed advice on how to construct tests of language for academic purposes and suggestions for further research.
    • Researching the cognitive validity of GEPT high-intermediate and advanced reading : an eye tracking an stimulated recall study

      Bax, Stephen; Chan, Sathena Hiu Chong (Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC), 2016-07-01)
      It is important for any language test to establish its cognitive validity in order to ensure that the test elicits from test takers those cognitive processes which correspond to the processes which they would normally employ in the target real-life context (Weir 2005). This study investigates the cognitive validity of the GEPT Reading Test at two levels. High-intermediate (CEFR B2) and Advanced (CEFR C1), using innovative eye-tracking technology and detailed stimulated recall interviews and surveys. Representative reading items were carefully selected from across all parts of the GEPT High- Intermediate Level Reading Test and the GEPT Advanced Level Reading Test. Taiwanese students (n=24) studying Masters level programmes at British universities were asked to complete the test items on a computer, while the Tobii X2 Eye Tracker was used to track their gaze behaviour during completion of the test items. Immediately after they had completed each individual part, they were asked to report the cognitive process they employed by using a Reading Process Checklist, and a further (n=8) then participated in a detailed stimulated recall interview while viewing video footage of their gaze patterns. Taking into account all these sources of data, it was found that the High-Intermediate section of the GEPT test successfully elicited and tested an appropriate range of lower and higher cognitive processes, as defined in Khalifa and Weir (2009). It was also concluded that the Advanced sections of the test elicited the same set of cognitive processes as the High- Intermediate test, with the addition in the final section of the most difficult of all in Khalifa and Weir's scheme. In summary, it is apparent that the two elements of the GEPT test which were researched in this project were successful in requiring of candidates the range of cognitive processing activity commensurate with High-Intermediate and Advanced reading levels respectively, which is an important element in establishing the cognitive validity of the GEPT test.