chapter  5
31 Pages

Adult education in the United States: adapting material for reading tests

In this chapter l we address two related questions: What kinds of textual inconsistencies emerge as test makers adapt material for use on a reading test? What kinds of constructive processes do test takers engage in as they deal with adapted text? The first question is important in any volume on testing and assessment since test makers are so dependent on text adaptation. This dependency comes from their commitment to using varied samples of actual text in a standard format. In constructing passages for different levels, test makers must take into account such matters as number of words used and degree of vocabulary difficulty. The second question is important because constructive processes are virtually ignored in current approaches to testing. One reason for this neglect is the difficulty of documenting such processes in any reliable way. Our own methods of documentation are quite varied, and certain of them may prove useful to those concerned with the reform of testing and assessment.