reading tasks

7 Types of Reading Assessment Tasks

Reading tasks are important to understand students’ overall reading abilities. These tasks will be used for student placement, policy decisions, curriculum changes, and program, student, teacher or institutional evaluations. There are many various tasks listed by some scholars that have been mentioned earlier; read: Reading Comprehension Assessment.

In this article, there are 7 types of reading assessment tasks provided that can be used by teachers in assessing the students’ reading ability. They are the cloze test, C-test, cloze elide, multiple-choice, gap-filling, matching, and editing.

1. Cloze test

A Cloze test (also called the “cloze deletion test”) is an exercise or test where the teacher removes a certain number of words (cloze text), which the student then needs to fill in as they read through the passage. It requires students to understand context and vocabulary to identify the correct words that belong in the deleted passages of a text.

Examples are as follows:

Model 1

_____ mother is upset with _____ because I got caught _____ a rainstorm. Sadly, I ______ my umbrella at home. _____ clothes got soaked. I ______ I won’t get sick.

Students are then instructed to fill in the blanks for the passage. Finally, teachers are able to use the student’s answers to determine the reading level of the passage.

Usually, a word bank is also provided.

Model 2

‘It was a _____ night. The wind was _____ around the _____ as I stepped out of the _____ and into the _____.’

[blowing, stormy, blue, street, rooftops, platform, raining, rooftops, sunshine, grass, county, door, window, street]

Source: The School Run.

2. C-tests (retain initial letters of words removed)

The C-test is developed as a modification of the cloze test. It tests reading comprehension, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. The test consists of completing texts in which alternate words have missing letters. Thus, to complete the words, the student needs to add the same number of letters as those given or one more.

An example of a C-test

3. Cloze elide (remove extra word)

This technique is proposed by Alderson (2000). It is introduced as the intrusive word technique and also called text retrieval, text interruption, doctored text, mutilated text, and negative cloze (Alderson, 2000, p.225).

In this test, the teacher inserts words, and the student is asked to find the words that do not belong to the text. In line with Alderson, Brown (2004, p.204) says that the cloze-elide test is a kind of test that inserts words into a text that do not belong to the text. The student’s task is to detect and cross out the intrusive words.

The example is as follows:

The passage would look like the following.

In the sample passage presented, there are 12 blanks. Therefore, twelve words should be selected randomly.

Then, following a random insertion procedure, the passage would look like the following.

In this passage, underlined words are inserted. Of course, they are redundant, and the examinees should detect and cross them out. However, of course, they are underlined here to inform the reader. Otherwise, in the original test, the inserted words are written in the same form as the other words in the text.

4. Multiple-choice

It is a common device for testing students’ reading comprehension. Multiple-choice responses are not only a matter of choosing one of four or five possible answers. Other formats, some of which are especially useful at low reading levels, include same/different, circle the answer, true/false, choose the letter, and matching.

Examples are as follows:

Model 1: Minimal pair distinction

Model 2: Grapheme recognition task

Model 3: Multiple-choice vocabulary/grammar tasks

Model 4: Contextualized multiple-choice vocabulary/grammar tasks

Model 5: Multiple-choice cloze vocabulary/grammar task

Read also: Definition, Purposes, and Strategies of Reading

5. Gap-filling formats (rational cloze formats)

Gap Filling Tasks of the multiple-choice tasks described above can be converted into gap-filling or “fill-in-the-blank” items in which the students’ responses are to write a word or phrase. An extension of simple gap-filling tasks is to create sentence completion items where students read part of a sentence and then complete it by writing a phrase.

The example is as follows:

Sentence completion

6. Matching (and multiple matching) techniques

The student’s task is to respond correctly, which makes matching an appropriate format. The most frequently appearing criterion in matching procedures is vocabulary.

Examples are as follows:

Model 1: Vocabulary matching task

Model 2: Selected response fill-in vocabulary task

7. Editing

Editing for grammatical or rhetorical errors is a widely used test method for assessing linguistic competence in reading. The TOEFL and many other tests employ this technique to argue that it not only focuses on grammar but also introduces a simulation of the authentic task of editing or discerning errors in written passages.

The example is as follows:

Multiple-choice grammar editing task

Those are the explanation of 7 types of reading assessment tasks that can be used for measuring reading skills. it also hoped that all readers, especially the teacher will better understand how single skills can be assessed by multiple measures. These various assessment techniques may also help teachers to design their own classroom reading assessments.

References and Recommended Reading

  • Alderson, J. Charles. 2000. Assessing Reading. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Brown, H. D. (2004). Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
  • Harris, D. P. (1969). Testing English as a Second Language. New York: Mc. Graw Hill.
  • Heaton, J. B. (1991). Writing English Language Tests. New York: Longman.
Tenry Colle
Tenry Colle

Hi! My name is A. Tenry Lawangen Aspat Colle. I am a motivated and resourceful English educator. In addition, as the owner of @rymari.translation17 has shaped me to be a punctual and dependable translator of Indonesian to English and vice versa.

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