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ERIC Number: EJ1089162
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 43
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0311-2543
The Target of the Question: A Taxonomy of Textual Features for Cambridge University "O" Levels English
Benjamin, Shanti Isabelle
Education Research and Perspectives, v42 p91-133 2015
This study investigates the typical textual features that are most frequently targeted in short-answer reading comprehension questions of the Cambridge University "O" Level English Paper 2. Test writers' awareness of how textual features impact on understanding of meanings in text decisions will determine to great extent their decisions on kinds of textual features to target when designing questions. Novice test writers such as teachers preparing students for international examinations like the Cambridge University Ordinary Level Papers often lack the experience and knowledge (linguistic analysis) to develop the expertise in the "art of test development" (Pierce, 1994) particularly in terms of targeting appropriate textual features. This study therefore attempts to fill this gap in teacher knowledge by developing a taxonomy of typical textual features that can be used as a supporting framework and resource for test design work. This paper reports on an analysis of 15 years of test papers to develop a taxonomy of textual features targets to support the selection of appropriate texts and the design of short answer reading comprehension questions that better approximate the linguistic complexity of the Cambridge papers.
University of Western Australia. 35 Stirling Highway Crawley, Perth, 6009 Australia. Tel: +61-8-6488-2388; Fax: +61-8-6488-1052; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A