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ERIC Number: EJ876373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
Investigating the Validity of Math Word Problems for English Language Learners with DIF
Ockey, Gary J.
Language Assessment Quarterly, v4 n2 p149-164 2007
When testing English language learners (ELLs) in subject matter areas, construct irrelevant variance could result from English, the language in which the test is presented. Differential item functioning (DIF) techniques have been used to determine if items are operating differently for population subgroups and might therefore be appropriate for such an investigation. In the study presented here, ELL and non-ELL 8th-grade students' scores on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math word problems were compared. After the non-ELLs were found to outperform the ELLs, two independent techniques for detecting DIF--an item response theory approach and the Mantel-Haenszel approach--were employed to determine if a plausible explanation for the score difference could be attributed to DIF against ELLs. The results showed that only 1 of 10 original NAEP items and none of 10 linguistically simplified items were found to exhibit DIF against ELLs, suggesting that the score difference between the groups could not be attributed to DIF against ELLs. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress