A Task-Based Construct of Critical Listening Comprehension in Assessment

Trace, Jonathan
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This study analyzed a task-based construct of critical listening in an academic listening test for placement purposes in a North American university English for Academic Purposes program. As the ability to listen critically in English is one of the outcomes for the program, it is necessary to utilize a placement instrument that can adequately measure this ability. Buck (2001) claims that one way of approaching this idea of critical listening in listening assessment is through the use of tasks that mirror the uses and functions an examinee will encounter in authentic situations. Using Rasch model analysis, this study first examined the current form of the test to identify how items are functioning and whether or not different, distinct constructs are present in the test. The test was revised using new pilot items based on a task-based model, and then analyzed again to determine the extent this construct was represented in the instrument. Based on these analyses, recommendations are made about the effectiveness of the test and the form further revisions of the test might take in future administrations.
critical listening, assessment, testing, task-based
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