Thursday, February 23, 2006

Linguistic complexity anlaysis of test directions

Over on the IAP CHC listserv I made mention of the analysis of certain WJ III tests as per the linguistic demands placed on examinees during the test directions. Questions were asked about the methods used to generate the two empirical indexes I mentioned in my post---viz., verbosity and complexity.

Information regarding these procedures can be found in the following unpublished manuscript (click here to view or download)

McGrew, K & Evans, J. (2006). Quantifying the “Degree of Linguistic Demand” in Spoken Intelligence Test Directions: A Preliminary Report. Unpublished manuscript, Institute for Applied Psychometrics, St. Cloud, Mn.

  • The linguistic demand of spoken instructions on norm-referenced psychoeducational tests is of concern when examining students who have varying levels of language processing ability, or varying cultural backgrounds. We present a new method for analyzing verbosity, complexity and total demand of spoken directions for test batteries. This preliminary methodological investigation suggests that it is possible, and relatively easy, to gather useful empirical information regarding the complexity of spoken test directions using existing (readily available) text readability programs. It is suggested that best practice for individually administered psychoeducational tests may be to include this information when tests are published and/or compared.

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