Test Method Facet and the Construct Validity of Listening Comprehension Tests

Document Type: Research Paper


North Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The assessment of listening abilities is one of the least understood, least developed and, yet, one of the most important areas of language testing and assessment. It is particularly important because of its potential wash-back effects on classroom practices. Given the fact that listening tests play a great role in assessing the language proficiency of students, they are expected to enjoy a high level of construct validity. The present study was dedicated to investigating the construct validity of three different test formats, namely, multiple-choice, gap filling on summary (also called listening summary cloze), and fill-in-the-blank, used to evaluate the listening comprehension of EFL learners. In order to achieve the purpose of the study, three passages with relatively similar readability levels were used for the construction of 9 listening tests, that is, each appeared in three formats. Following a counter-balanced design, the tests were administered to 91homogeneous EFL learners divided into three groups. The statistical analysis of the results revealed that the multiple-choice test enjoyed the highest level of construct validity. Moreover, a repeated measure one-way ANOVA demonstrated that the fill-in-the-blank task was the most difficult with the MC test as the easiest for the participants.


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