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Validating Language Proficiency Assessments in Second Language Acquisition Research

Applying an Argument-Based Approach


Anastasia Drackert

The book introduces the reader to an argument-based approach to validity as a way to improve test validation in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research. Motivated by the need for practical suggestions for raising proficiency assessment standards in SLA research, it exemplifies the approach by validating two distinct score interpretations for a new Russian Elicited Imitation Test (EIT). Two empirical investigations with 164 Russian learners in the USA and Germany were conducted to evaluate the accuracy of the score interpretations associated with two distinct test uses. The EIT proved to constitute a reliable and valid instrument for differentiating between a wide range of oracy skills. The proposed cut scores enabled prediction of several levels of speaking and listening proficiency. The author concludes with implications for using the argument-based approach for validating assessments in SLA research, for the use of the developed Russian EIT, and for future research on Elicited Imitation Tests in general.


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Appendix F: Russian Elicited Imitation Test (k = 31)


219 AppenDIX f Russian elicited Imitation Test (k = 31) nr. of syllables Stimuli in Russian Stimuli in english 7 1. У нас дружная семья. We have a friendly family. 2. О чём они говорят? What are they talking about? 8 3. Возможно, завтра пойдёт дождь.14 It is possible that it will rain tomorrow. (12) 4. Звонит мне друг и говорит. A friend calls me and tells (a story). 9 5. Ей нужна новая посуда. She needs new dishes. 6. Давай встретимся в полшестого. Let’s meet at half past five. 10 7. Красная книга лежит на столе. The red book is on the table. (8) 8. Я приглашаю тебя на концерт. I am inviting you to a concert. 11 9. Расскажи мне свой любимый анекдот. Tell me your favorite anecdote. 10. Он любит фильмы со счастливым концом. He enjoys movies, which have a happy ending. (12) 12 11. Мне очень понравился поход в оперу. I really enjoyed going to the opera. 12. Я съела такую вкусную булочку! I ate such a tasty roll! 13. Количество курящих растет с каждым днем. The number of people who smoke is increasing every year. (17/18) 13 14. Анатолий высокого роста и худой. Anatoly is tall and thin. 14 12 of the stimuli (in italics) are adapted from Ortega et al. (1999, 2002). The number in the brackets of the English translation corresponds to the number of syllables in the original English stimuli. 220 nr. of syllables Stimuli in Russian Stimuli in english 14 15. Идите прямо, потом поверните направо. Go straight ahead, then turn right. (15) 16. Я вчера прочитала интересную статью. Yesterday I read an interesting article. 17. За бананы я заплатила сто сорок рублей. For bananas I paid 140 rubles. 15 18. Я сомневаюсь, что он водит настолько хорошо. I doubt that he drives that well (10). 19. Она появилась на вечеринке очень поздно. She came to the party very late. 16 20. Когда-нибудь я тоже буду много зарабатывать. One day I will also earn a lot. 21. Каждый третий россиянин считает, что в стране кризис. Every third Russian thinks that the country is in crisis. 17 22. Экзамен был вовсе не таким сложным, как ты его описал. The exam wasn’t nearly as...

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