ERIC Number: ED400328
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
An Analysis of Factors Affecting the Difficulty of Dialogue Items in TOEFL Listening Comprehension. TOEFL Research Reports, 51.
Nissan, Susan; And Others
One of the item types in the Listening Comprehension section of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test is the dialogue. Because the dialogue item pool needs to have an appropriate balance of items at a range of difficulty levels, test developers have examined items at various difficulty levels in an attempt to identify their features. In this study, a classification system was created for certain item features, a sample of the current dialogue item pool was classified, and data analyses were conducted in an attempt to characterize the features of easy and difficult dialogue items. The results of the analyses indicate that, of the features studied, five were significant: (1) the presence of infrequent oral vocabulary; (2) the sentence pattern of the utterances in the stimulus; (3) the presence of negatives in the stimulus; (4) the necessity of making an inference to answer the item; and (5) the roles of the speakers in the stimulus. An appendix discusses the dialogue item and presents examples, and presents the Item Classification form. (Contains 3 figures, 14 tables, and 46 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test of English as a Foreign Language