2. A Corpus of Reading Comprehension Tests 23
2. A Corpus of Reading Comprehension Tests The corpus the present study is based on is composed of twenty-five reading comprehension input texts and of the accompanying questions/tasks to be answered/performed by test-takers. They were selected from various testing systems that aim to assess the reading skills of students of English as a second or foreign language at dif- ferent levels of competence and for different purposes. The majority of them were chosen from free sample materials available on-line, i.e. University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations’ Preliminary English Test (PET), First Certificate in English (FCE) and Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)1, and from commercially available preparation courses for the same and other English language examinations, i.e. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)2, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)3, and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations’ PET and FCE tests. Some other texts and tasks, on the other hand, were taken from the 1 University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) is part of Cambridge Assessment . Cam- bridge ESOL offers a wide range of exams for learners and teachers of English: General English exams, Professional English exams, Young Learners English, and Teaching Awards. The General English Exams offered are: KET (Key English Test), PET (Preliminary English Test), FCE (First Certificate in English), CAE (Certificate in Advanced English), CPE (Certifi- cate of Proficiency in English), and Certificates in ESOL Skills for Life . Websites last visited on 25th April 2008. 2 The Test of English as a Foreign Language...
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