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ERIC Number: ED166974
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Measuring Writing Ability with the Cloze Test is not Closed.
Esau, Helmut; Yost, Carlson
This paper describes an experiment that was undertaken to examine the usefulness of the cloze test as an objective measure of a native speaker's writing ability. A modified version of the cloze test used by Oller and others to measure integrative language skills in non-native speakers was given to 100 freshman English students. The test incorporated the following features: (1) a procedure of selective deletion; (2) a requirement that the responses fit not only the immediate sentence context but also the overall tone of the passage; (3) the possibility of three credit values for each response: full, partial, or none; and (4) the use of a mathematical weighting procedure to distinguish different slot values. These modifications permitted fine distinctions relating to syntactic fit, semantic fit, and coherence/unity fit, (overall organization). In addition to the cloze test, the students were required to write an essay on a topic related to that of the cloze passage. The scores showed no significant correlations although the ranking order on the cloze tests matched the ranking order for the essays. It was hypothesized that the cloze test was measuring verbal ability, not overall writing ability. Future plans include comparison and analysis of the students' cloze scores with their standard placement test reading and vocabulary scores. Samples of cloze passages and student essays are attached. (Author/AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (Urbana, Illinois, Summer 1978)