Discovering a Hidden Facet of the Impact of Deletion Order on the Comprehension of C-tests

Saeed Mehrpour


Cloze test is widely known as an effective technique in testing reading comprehension. However, since the validity of cloze test was questioned by some language experts, a modification of cloze procedure, called C-test, was then proposed. The present study was meant to explore the effects of the position of letters deleted in a C-test on the comprehension of the test; namely, the restoration of the deleted letters. In a standard C-test, the first half of every second word is deleted but in this study an adapted version of a C-test was employed in which the second half of every other word was deleted. A group of high intermediate students (N = 50) learning English at the Iran Language Institute (ILI) participated in this study. The two different versions of the test (the adapted version and the standard version) were randomly administered to the participants of the study so that some students received the standard version and the others the adapted version. Independent samples t-tests were run to analyze the data and the analysis of the data revealed that students taking the standard version of the test had significantly performed better on the test than those taking the adapted version. This indicated that the order of the deletion of the letters in a C-test would affect the comprehension of the text based on which the C-test was prepared. Further analysis of the data revealed that, interestingly enough, five of the highest scores obtained on the two versions of the test belonged to five students who had taken the adapted version of the test. The results of an interview with these students showed that they were used to reading extra material, especially English newspapers and English short stories a lot and that this had helped them increase their reading proficiency to a great extent compared to the other students, especially those who had taken the standard version of the test.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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