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ERIC Number: ED505566
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 74
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
First Language of Examinees and Its Relationship to Differential Item Functioning. Research Report. ETS RR-09-11
Sinharay, Sandip; Dorans, Neil J.; Liang, Longjuan
Educational Testing Service
To ensure fairness, it is important to better understand the relationship of language proficiency to standard psychometric analysis procedures. This paper examines how results of differential item functioning (DIF) analysis are affected by an increase in the proportion of examinees who report that English is not their first language in the analysis sample of a large-scale assessment. The results vary by group. In some combinations of focal/reference groups, the magnitude of DIF is not appreciably affected by whether the DIF is performed on examinees whose first language is not English. In other groups, the first language status matters. The results vary by type of test as well. In addition, the magnitude of DIF for some items is substantially affected by whether the DIF is performed on examinees whose first language is not English. One appendix is included containing 30 figures with results. (Data charts are appended. Contains 9 tables, 42 figures and 4 notes.)
Educational Testing Service. Rosedale Road Mailstop 19R, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001. Tel: 609-921-9000; Fax: 609-734-5410; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test; Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test