An Assessmet of the Content Validity of High School English Language Tests in Relation to Textbooks Concerned

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective of this study is to examine whether or not high school English language tests currently administered in schools adequately represent - both in content and in format - the practice exercises contained in the corresponding textbooks. Since some research works were conducted concerning the teaching and learning activities of the other grades. for the purpose of this study, grade ten was selected. The main data sources thus were English language textbook and sample test papers of the said grade gathered from different government comprehensive. vocational and senior secondary schools. The contents of l O" grade textbook and those of the English language tests were analysed. For the purpose of this study a representative list of content areas was drawn up by referring to the instructional material concerned. In order to assess the attitude of teachers and students towards the current 1(Jh grade English examinations. questionnaires were administered to those subjects. Interviews were also conducted to some subjects for the same purpose. Then, the Spearman's rank- order correlation coefficient statistical method was used in order to determine the degree of the relationship between the frequencies from the analysis of the contents and formats of the textbook and those from the analysis of the examination questions. The results of the findings show that the contents of the sample test papers generally correlate with the contents of the textbook. However, in specific terms. the different content areas of the textbook were not proportionally represented in the sample test papers. The results of the study have shown that the weighting allocated to the various content areas and skills in the sample test papers fail to adequately mirror that of the language components and skills of the instructional material. ill Regarding the formats, the two materials (the textbook and the sample test papers) were found to be at variance. In other words, the limited formats employed in the sample examination papers seem to fail in enabling candidates to make use of their knowledge of the English language in the various content areas and skills. On the bases of these findings, it is concluded that the English language examinations currently administered at Grade Ten level, relatively speaking, seem to possess low content validity.



Language Tests in Relation to Textbooks