Chang, Anna C.-S.
December 2005
New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics;2005, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p75
Academic Journal
This study investigated the effects of previewing different types of test questions on learners' performance as well as perceptions. The test was administered to two levels of college learners (N = 101). Two different test formats--multiple-choice (MC) and short-answered questions (SA)--were used to test learners' performance and a questionnaire was used to elicit their perceived effectiveness of previewing questions. In relation to learners' performance, low listening proficiency (LLP) students doing the MC test task outscored the students of high listening proficiency (HLP) doing the SA test task. This suggests that question types may have a more substantial effect than learners' levels of listening proficiency. With regard to the perceived effectiveness of questions preview, a significant difference was found for HLP students doing different test tasks, but no difference for LLP students. Overall, HLP students doing the MC test task perceived question preview as the most helpful, whereas the LLP students in the SA group perceived question preview to be the least helpful. Various possible reasons for the different perceived effectiveness of question preview were discussed and this article concludes with a consideration of what can be learned from the research for designing listening test tasks for learners whose proficiency varies in a wide range of levels.


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