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ERIC Number: EJ913919
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0265-5322
The Word Associates Format: Validation Evidence
Schmitt, Norbert; Ng, Janice Wun Ching; Garras, John
Language Testing, v28 n1 p105-126 Jan 2011
Although the Word Associates Format (WAF) is becoming more frequently used as a depth-of-knowledge measure, relatively little validation has been carried out on it. This report of two validation studies tackles various important WAF issues yet to be satisfactorily resolved. Study 1 conducted introspective interviews regarding students' WAF test-taking behavior along with interviews on featured target words to determine how accurately the most common scoring system for the WAF reflects the examinees' actual knowledge of the words. Analysis is provided concerning WAF accuracy and item answering strategies and patterns. Study 2 repeated the interview procedures from Study 1 with several modifications, including the addition of a receptive dimension in the word knowledge interview. The various WAF-scoring methods were compared, and the format types (6 and 8 option), distractor types, and distribution of answers were examined in depth. Both studies indicate that the WAF reflects true lexical knowledge fairly well at the extremes of the scoring scale while scores in the middle do not lead to any reliable interpretation. Furthermore, there is the likelihood that the WAF may both underestimate and overestimate vocabulary knowledge. Suggestions regarding item construction and use of the WAF are given to improve its accuracy and reliability. (Contains 10 tables, 1 figure, and 4 extracts.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Japan; United Kingdom