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Fwd: AWFUL TOEFL





In a message dated 6/2/04 10:27:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
nevinsiders@YAHOO.COM.MX writes:

Dick Tibbetts, University of Macau, China, remarked about "mastering ways to
second-guess multiple choice questions, memorising ... and doing all sorts
of
things that may improve their chances of getting a good grade but may not do
much for their ability to communicate. ... teachers who have an incredible
knack
for finding ways to turn exam tasks intended to test communicative ability
into tasks that can be, to a great extent, learned by heart."

In the spirit of that opinion and a thread that we held last autumn, I have
written a contribution on the arbitrariness of the TOEFL, available to
download
from:
www.mextesoldf.upn.mx
The title of the article is The AWFUL: A Multiple Guess Test, look for a box
in the right column.

It has plenty of tips on out-guessing "multiple guess," and reviews the
traps in most of the sections. I also deduce why the exam must have been made
this
way: the authors, the ETS, salvage stability (formerly "reliability") at the
cost of validity, in accordance with an extremely Behavioristic Bell
Curve-type
rationale.

:)Nevin Siders
Educational Psychology and English
Universidad Pedagsgocia Nacional
Mexico City


Just thought I'd share the obsession with testing we have managed to export
to other countries.


Quan



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Dick Tibbetts, University of Macau, China, remarked
about "mastering ways to second-guess multiple choice
questions, memorising ... and doing all sorts of
things that may improve their chances of getting a
good grade but may not do much for their ability to
communicate. ... teachers who have an incredible knack
for finding ways to turn exam tasks intended to test
communicative ability into tasks that can be, to a
great extent, learned by heart."

In the spirit of that opinion and a thread that we
held last autumn, I have written a contribution on the
arbitrariness of the TOEFL, available to download
from:
www.mextesoldf.upn.mx
The title of the article is The AWFUL: A Multiple
Guess Test, look for a box in the right column.

It has plenty of tips on out-guessing "multiple
guess," and reviews the traps in most of the sections.
I also deduce why the exam must have been made this
way: the authors, the ETS, salvage stability (formerly
"reliability") at the cost of validity, in accordance
with an extremely Behavioristic Bell Curve-type
rationale.

:)Nevin Siders
Educational Psychology and English
Universidad Pedagsgocia Nacional
Mexico City


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