Measuring Reading Comprehension The Judgmental Validity of Cloze Procedure
Cloze tests have been widely used for measuring readingcomprehension, readability and language proficiency. There is still muchcontroversy on what it really is that cloze measures. The result of muchcorrelational research is contradictory and very unsatisfactory. Thus,with a qualitative orientation, this study attempts to look at thejudgmental validity of cloze as a test of reading comprehension. To thisend, a group of 32 native and non–native speakers of English sat astandard cloze test. The participants were expected to complete most ofthe blanks correctly if cloze measured reading comprehension properly,because the text had been intended for undergraduates while cloze–takers were all either PhD students or members of academic staff with aPhD. Surprisingly, the results indicated that none of the participantsreached the minimum native speaker performance criterion of 70%.Invited to reflect on what they thought they were doing when reading theblanked text, most cloze–takers felt that the text they read was a puzzleor a guessing game. Provided with the deleted words and asked to re–read the text, they confessed that cloze reading was very different fromthe second reading. Further findings and implications for future researchare discussed in the paper.
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