ERIC Number: ED218950
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Linguistic Structure and the Validity of Reading Comprehension Tests. Final Report.
This study considers whether or not the various sentence structures in standardized reading tests cohere to facilitate the extraction of information. In the context of the theoretical framework of the study, a schema theory of reading, a diffuse discourse structure may legitimately activate more than one way of conceptualizing an answer to a test question. The methods used to explore this issue were the collection of a set of clinical interviews with children in grades 3, 5, and 8 in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools who had taken a standardized achievement test; and the administration of an experimental test. The interview data indicated a strong probability that test performance could be influenced by the structural organization of passage information. Analysis indicated that low-achieving students lacked metacomprehension and test-taking skills, not comprehension ability. An experimental test was designed to reduce ambiguities, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies in the passages and questions in order to assess more accurately students' comprehension ability. An important result was that the main difference between good and poor readers involves a reluctance or inability on the part of poor readers to process information hierarchically. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC.