ERIC Number: ED222581
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Attractiveness of "Black English" Foils: An Examination of a Potential Source of Item Bias.
Williams, Teresa Ernestine; Loyd, Brenda H.
The study investigated the issue of differential selection of foils (incorrect responses) with Black English structures by black and white examinees. Linguistic research revealed systematic differences between Black English and Standard American English. Grammatical and phonological features were important distinctions. Five categories of Black English structures were used to determine the effect of the structure's presence in the foil of an item on the selection of that foil by black and white students. The categories were Tense Formation, The Possessive "-s'," Existential "it," Usage of "like" or "as" in Comparisons, and Relative Pronouns. These structures were used as external verification of bias in items of a standardized English test. A chi-square technique identified several items as having statistically significant chi-squares. These items were linked to particular categories of Black English grammatical structures. Most measurement studies have ignored the linguistic research which delineated systematic differences between Black and Standard English. The information provided by this study would be useful in test construction of standardized examinations. More empirical verification of the differences in the two linguistic systems and their effect on test performance is recommended. (DWH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ACT Assessment; American College Testing Program
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (66th, New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982).