Aktuelle Tendenzen / Current Trends
C-Tests consist of several short texts in which the missing parts of words have to be reconstructed. C-Tests have excellent psychometric properties and are used in many contexts as economical tests of language proficiency. This collection of papers illustrates the state of the art of C-Test research. It focuses on face validity and washback of C-Tests, C-Test performance and intelligence, C-Tests as screening devices for TestDaF and SIMTEST, ROC analyses for relating C-Test scores to the CEFR as well as use of C-tests in the classroom. A special feature of the volume is the editor’s comprehensive C-Test bibliography.
C-test as an indicator of general language proficiency in the context of a CBT (SIMTEST)
Mick Sumbling, Carme Viladrich, Eduardo Doval & Laura Riera*
SIMTEST is an on-line, multi-component test of foreign language proficiency for placement and certification purposes. In this CBT (computer-based test) context, the C-test component functions as an initial indicator of a candidate’s general language proficiency and also provides an entry point to CAT (computerised adaptive test) components. SIMTEST has been used institutionally at the language centre of the UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) to place students on EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses and to certify their level of proficiency according to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) in end-of-course examinations since 2001. SIMTEST has also been developed in Catalan and Spanish, while versions in French and German are under construction.
In this paper we describe the design and development of the C-test in the SIMTEST context and go on to examine its reliability and validity in this setting. The origins of C-testing and its theoretical rationale are briefly reviewed, along with the conclusions of various research studies. Test development is described in terms of the original construct design brief, initial trials, in-house specification setting, the selection process leading to pre-testing, psychometric analysis and banking, and administration in fully operational testing situations. The advantages of computer-based C-test construction and assessment are outlined. Psychometric analysis of C-tests in pre-testing and operational placement and certification situations considers internal consistency, unidimensionality and correlations with other exam components – both computer-based and non-CBT evaluations – and with known...