The cognitive processes elicited by L2 listening test tasks – A validation study

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This paper is concerned with an investigation into the validity of a listening comprehension test that was developed for a large-scale assessment project. The study draws on qualitative data, employing a think-aloud technique and stimulated recall interviews. The informants (n=18) were purposefully and randomly sampled from a group (n=121) of year 9 learners (ages 14–16) of English as a foreign language (EFL) in German schools. Subjects were asked to think aloud while they were solving the multiple choice-items of the listening test. Construct-relevant and -irrelevant processes were identified and analysed with regard to their distribution across the two subsamples and their relative contribution to correct item responses. The results provide validity evidence for the listening tests in general. A few few test items, however, were shown to elicit test-taking processes and strategies that compromise the measurement outcomes.1. Introduction


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