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ERIC Number: EJ875613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0265-5322
Aspects of Performance on Line Graph Description Tasks: Influenced by Graph Familiarity and Different Task Features
Xi, Xiaoming
Language Testing, v27 n1 p73-100 2010
Motivated by cognitive theories of graph comprehension, this study systematically manipulated characteristics of a line graph description task in a speaking test in ways to mitigate the influence of graph familiarity, a potential source of construct-irrelevant variance. It extends Xi (2005), which found that the differences in holistic scores on graph tasks with varying characteristics, although significant, were small. Using an analytic scoring approach, it re-examined how visual chunks in line graphs and planning time influenced some specific components of examinees' performance on line graph description tasks. The analytic dimensions examined were determined based on results of previous studies and hypotheses about the relationships among visual chunks, planning, graph familiarity, and features of elicited discourse. It was found that participants less familiar with graphs described the line graphs in a less organized fashion and that their descriptions were weaker in content. Graph familiarity thus introduced construct-irrelevant variance. However, providing planning time and using less complex graphical displays improved the fluency, organization and content of the elicited oral discourse and helped lessen the influence of graph familiarity, thus enhancing the validity of this task. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. (Contains 7 tables, 3 figures, and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A