Woorden in het vreemde-talenonderwijs
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Hunter Diack's Standard Literacy Tests (SLT's) were constructed as English vocabulary tests intended to cover all the vocabulary of the English language. Originally, these tests were devised to assess the vocabulary command of native speakers. They were labeled tests of 'literacy' on the assumption that the extent of a person's vocabulary command in a language reveals the width and quality of his reading.In each SLT, English words are presented out of context. Subjects are requested to give one meaning for each word encountered, in any manner they choose, e.g. by giving a paraphrase, by using the word in an appropriate context, etc.If, as the author assumes, the SLT's are valid, a subject's score is a clear indication of the proportion of words in the domain he knows, i.e. of the absolute number of English words he knows.Clearly, tests like the SLT's are useful also in EFL teaching contexts, especially at advanced levels, where the amount of vocabulary (whether the result of systematic training or unsystematic exposure) is large, calling for tests which cover an unrestricted, non-specific domain of vocabulary. Estimates of the size of foreign learners' English vocabulary as represented by the SLT's may serve a variety of purposes, e.g. in individual diagnostics, or in EFL research.The SLT's were tried out on a particular population of EFL students, viz. Dutch students of English at university level. Four SLT's were administered to these subjects in four experiments between 1976 and 1980. The tests were slightly adapted, both in item content and in test format (e.g. translation into Dutch was accepted as a response mode).The results of the extensive experimentation concerning these tests (reliability and validity data, psychometric test indices etc.) are presented.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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