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Title: Embedding corpora into the content validation of the grammar test of the national matriculation english test (NMET) in China
Authors: Pan, MW
Qian, DD 
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Source: Language assessment quarterly, 2017, v. 14, no. 2, special issue SI, p. 120-139 How to cite?
Journal: Language assessment quarterly 
Abstract: Grammar assessment has long been a pivotal and regular component of almost all high-stakes English tests in China. In writing grammar items, however, test developers tend to depend largely on their individual knowledge of grammar, or even intuition, without much reference to the typicality or de facto uses of the language. To address this problem in the Chinese assessment context, we demonstrate the benefits of making use of language corpora in developing and validating grammar tests. The present study adopted a corpus-based approach to investigating the content validity of the grammar section of a high-stakes test, the National Matriculation English Test (Shanghai). It was found that the grammar section under study has fairly appropriate content coverage and relevance, which suggests the test content generally assesses the intended grammatical features. In addition, evidence of content significance was present through a strong linkage between the grammar items in the test and grammatical errors produced by learners who had previously taken the test. However, flaws were detected for content typicality, because certain grammar items failed to conform closely to native English speakers' typical output. On the basis of these results, a procedure is proposed for conducting corpus-based content validation for high-stakes grammar tests.
ISSN: 1543-4303
EISSN: 1543-4311
DOI: 10.1080/15434303.2017.1303703
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