Exploring Task-completion Processes in L2 Reading Assessments: Multiple-choice vs. Short-answer Questions

Date
2021-10-15
Authors
Liao, Ray J. T.
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Volume
33
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2
Starting Page
168
Ending Page
190
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Abstract
This study was to compare the processes that second language learners implemented when completing reading tasks in a multiple-choice question format (MCQ) with those in a short-answer question format (SAQ). Sixteen nonnative English-speaking students from a large Midwestern college in the United States were invited to complete MCQ and SAQ English reading tasks and then to engage in retrospective verbal reporting and semi-structured interviews. Results showed that when processing information in the source texts, students constructed text and situation models to (a) obtain a general understanding of the texts and (b) deepen their textual understanding. As students answered the comprehension questions, their question-answering processes were informed by the test format itself. Moreover, students employed different styles of interactive processing depending on whether they were completing MCQ or SAQ tasks. The implications of the study encourage test developers and teachers to implement a variety of test formats when possible.
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Keywords
test format, multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, L2 reading assessment, reading processes, interactive processes, writing about reading
Citation
Liao, R. J. T. (2021). Exploring task-completion processes in L2 reading assessments: Multiple-choice vs. short-answer questions. Reading in a Foreign Language, 33(2), 168-190. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/67399
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