ERIC Number: ED341235
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Instructions in Testing Summarizing Ability.
Cohen, Andrew D.
The effects of specific guidelines in the taking and rating of tests of language summarizing ability were investigated, as well as interrater agreement regarding the rating of specific ideas within the summaries. The tests involved respondents reading source texts and providing written summaries as a measure of their reading comprehension and writing abilities. The subjects of the study were 63 native-Hebrew-speaking students from the Seminar Hakibbuttzim Teacher Training College in Tel Aviv. Twenty-six subjects were from two high-proficiency English-foreign-language (EFL) classes and 37 were from 2 intermediate EFL classes. Five texts were used in the study: two texts in Hebrew and three in English. Two sets of instructions were developed: one "guided" version with specific instructions on how to read the texts and how to write the summaries, and the other with the typical "minimal" instructions. Scoring keys for the texts were based on the summaries of nine Hebrew-speaking and nine English-speaking experts. The study demonstrated that whereas the guided instructions had a mixed effect on the summarizing of native-language texts, they had a somewhat positive effect on summarizing of foreign-language texts. In some cases, the guided instructions helped respondents find key elements to summarize, but in other cases they apparently dissuaded the respondent from including important details. Certain ideas seemed to be susceptible to rater disagreement more than others. The guidelines and English texts are appended. Contains 23 references. (Author/LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Israel; Summarization
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Language Testing Research Colloquium (12th, San Francisco, CA, March 3-5, 1990). For an earlier report of this study, see ED 308 691.