ERIC Number: ED455289
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr-12
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Linguistic Simplification of Science Test Items on Performance of Limited English Proficient and Monolingual English-Speaking Students.
Rivera, Charlene; Stansfield, Charles W.
This study examined the effects of linguistic simplification of fourth and sixth grade science test items on a state assessment on the achievement of English language learners, those of limited English proficiency (LEP). At each grade level, 4 parallel 10-item testlets were included on an operational statewide assessment. On each testlet, items differed only in that on one testlet they were linguistically simplified, while on the other, the standard wording was used. The testlets were randomly assigned to LEP and non-LEP students through the spiraling of test booklets. For non-LEP students, in four T-test analyses of the differences in means for each corresponding testlet, three of the mean score comparisons were not significantly different, and the fourth showed the regular version to be slightly easier than the simplified. Analysis of variance, followed by pairwise comparisons across the two conditions, showed no significant differences in the scores of non-LEP students for any of the comparisons across the two-item types. Among the 40 items administered in both regular and simplified format, item difficulty did not vary consistently in favor of either format. Qualitative analysis of items that displayed significant differences in P values was not informative, since the differences were typically very small. For LEP students, there was one significant difference in student means, and it favored the regular version. However, the LEP student analyses lacked statistical power due to the small sample size and the low reliability of testlets for this sample. The results of the study show that linguistic simplification is not helpful to non-LEP students who receive it. Therefore, the results provide evidence that linguistic simplification is not a threat to score comparability. (Contains 25 references and 8 tables.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Delaware State Dept. of Education, Dover.
Authoring Institution: N/A