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ERIC Number: EJ779275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0265-5322
Bilingual Dictionaries in Tests of L2 Writing Proficiency: Do They Make a Difference?
East, Martin
Language Testing, v24 n3 p331-353 2007
Whether test takers should be allowed access to dictionaries when taking L2 tests has been the subject of debate for a good number of years. Opinions differ according to how the test construct is understood and whether the underlying value system favours process-orientated assessment for learning, with its concern to elicit the test takers' best performance, or product-focused assessment of learning, with its emphasis on the discriminatory power of the test. One key study into bilingual dictionaries and writing tests (Hurman & Tall, 1998) concluded that dictionary use improves test scores. This study was influential in a recent decision to ban dictionaries in several high-stakes L2 examinations in the UK. Research into dictionary use in reading tests has suggested, however, that dictionary availability makes no statistically significant difference to test scores. This article presents the findings of a further study into bilingual dictionary use in writing tests that also indicated no significant difference to scores. Considering this finding alongside those of studies other than Hurman and Tall's casts some doubt on whether the UK ban was fully justified. (Contains 8 tables and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom