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Prepared by: Lama Mukahel

Supervised by: Dr. Mohammed Ghawi

According to Madsen (1983) tests of language sub-skills, such as vocabulary, do not show exactly how well a person uses English, but they can help teachers diagnose students' strengths and weaknesses in oral or written communication According to Madsen, "The purpose of vocabulary tests is to measure the comprehension and production of words used in speaking or writing.

Limited response
These tests require either simple physical action like pointing at something or very simple verbal answer such as yes or no

Multiple-choice completion
A test in which a sentence with a missing word presented; students choose one of four vocabulary items given to complete the sentence

Multiple-choice paraphrase
A test in which a sentence with one word underlined is given. Students choose which of four words is the closest in meaning to the underlined item. Students write in the missing part of words that appear in sentences.

Simple completion (words)



Choosing which kind of vocabulary test to use depends on the students age and language ability.

We should avoid presenting words in isolation without a context

This type is for beginners. The test items require either simple physical action like pointing at something or very simple verbal answer such as yes or no. In testing children and beginning-level adults, we often use directed physical responses and visuals. We do this to avoid language skills that have not been mastered yet. For these tests, students don't have to know how to read or write.

You can use nonverbal physical responses as well to test the whole class at the same time. -A good way is to draw or duplicate a sketch and give instructions.


It causes less stress or nervousness than other types of tests.

2. It avoids skills such as reading and writing that have not yet been developed. 3. It can be scored easily and objectively.


It requires individual testing, which takes longer than group testing. It is usually difficult to test abstract words with this technique. Sketches are sometimes ambiguous (e.g., an orange may look like a ball; running may look like dancing or jumping).



A good vocabulary test type for students who can read in the foreign language is multiple-choice completion. It makes the students depend on context clues and sentence meaning. This kind of item is constructed by deleting a word from a sentence, for example: Example: She quickly______ her lunch. A. drank *B. ate C. drove D. slept

1) Select the words to be tested. 2) Get the right kind of sentence to put each word in. 3) Choose several distractors. Three distractors plus the right word are enough for a written item. 4) Finally, prepare clear and simple instructions.

Since students have to recognize words but not necessarily produce them, this is a good way to test more difficult vocabulary items. Usually only content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) are included in vocabulary tests.

1-Sometimes, especially for beginning students, more than one sentence is needed to help clarify meaning. "I want to paint, too." "All right. Use that --------over there. A. brush B. pencil C. broom D. spoon 2-find a passage on your students' level 3- Avoid contexts that are too difficult.

Create your own distracters

Use student errors as distracters.

Teachers who create their own distractors should follow certain guidelines: 1. Make sure the distractors are the same form of word as the correct answer. Example : She had to help the _____ old man up the stairs. *A. weak B. slowly C. try D. wisdom

2. Also be sure you don't give away the right answer through grammatical cues.
Example: She needs to get up earlier so she's buying an _____ clock. A. time *B. alarm C. watch D. bell

3.Multiple-choice items for any question should have the same level of difficulty & the sentence context should not be difficult for students to read.
Example: They needed lots of training to operate such _____equipment. A. easy *B. sophisticated C. blue D. wise

4.Make sure not to include more than one correct answer.

Example: She sent the_______ yesterday. *A. letter B. gift C. food books D.

One source of student errors is the composition, and another is student speech. These are good because they involve actual communication.

Have someone else read through your items before you use them.

The instructions for your test should be:



1. Definition. Example: To____ someone means to save him or her from danger. A. praise B. injure *C. rescue D. announce 2. Phrase completion. a. Idioms Example: The committee____________ choosing you as president. *A. wound up B. buttoned down C. wiped out D. sat in b. Appropriateness to context Example: The newspaper says, "A two-year-old girl________ today when struck by a bus." A. kicked the bucket B. was eradicated *C. was killed D. departed

3. Phrasal context (not sentence completion).

Example: ________her fingernails A. tailored B. reduced C. remodeled *D. manicured

4. Multiple-choice cloze Cloze tests are made from stories and essays by deleting words at regular intervals. MC Cloze can test vocabulary when only content words are deleted. e.g. After the capture of Troy, Ulysses set out for his (A. neighborhood B. continent *C. homeland D. street) many miles away. But so many strange (A. sights *B. things C. places D. people) happened to him on his journey that ten (*A. years B. times C. roads D. cities) passed before he reached Ithaca!

It helps students see the full meaning of words by providing natural contexts.

It discourages word-list memorization. Scoring is easy and consistent.

It is a sensitive measure of achievement.

1. It is rather difficult to prepare good sentence contexts. 2. It is easy for students to cheat.

Two kinds of paraphrase questions; both use a key word in a sentence; One asks students to find the best synonym or related word The other has the students choose the phrase that shows the best short definition or paraphrase of the key word. Vocabulary Choice and Context Preparation: (1) Select the words to be tested; (2) Prepare a sentence context; (3) Choose distractors; and (4) Write instructions. Now the meaning comes more from the emphasized word than from its context.

He was irate when he heard about the new plans. A. interested *C. angry B. surprised D. sad
The word pilot, for example, which appears in a number of elementary ESL texts, can be tested by explaining the meaning: Example : My sister is a pilot. She can--------A. help sick people B. make clothes *C. fly an airplane D. teach students at school

1.Try to get distractors that are related to the subject covered in the sentence. Example: He just hit his shin. *A. leg B. cousin C. fender D. fruit More challenging distractors would include back, foot, and arm. 2. Try to avoid pairing a word of opposite meaning with the right answer. Example: He plans to purchase some candy for his mother. A. make *B. buy C. sell D. steal

3 Try to avoid using distractors with the same meaning. Example: His remorse was great indeed. A. wealth *B. sadness C. strength D. power

4. Also avoid trick items that use close spelling or sound contrasts. Example: They crossed the ocean on a liner. A. sheep B. streamer C. bolt *D. vessel

5. When using phrase distractors, be careful that t he correct answer is not generally the longest Example: That boy is very unusual; he's a genius. A. can see the future B. has received much money *C. has unusual mental, inventive, and creative ability D. has a terrible illness

Multiple-choice items should normally be easier than the key word.

Student errors can be used as distractors.

Instructions can be prepared by following the guidelines for multiple-choice completion instructions. i.e.

Test Instructio

Brie f

Clea r

1. Idioms and other phrases. Example :The salesman seemed quite down and out. *A. poor B. disappointed C. lost D. angry 2.Phrasal context. Example : A considerate little lady A. worried B. tired C. happy

*D. kind

3.Reading passage context Example : Just then we saw him run out of the side door. As he turned the corner, a slip of paper fluttered to the ground. With that paper, the police were able to trace the man's whereabouts.

In this passage, trace means A. copy B. enter *C. locate

D. eliminate

4. Related-word identification. (These questions do not use synonyms they use examples and non- examples of the key word.) Example : He eats lots of vegetables. A. bananas B. peaches C. oranges *D. carrots

5. Unrelated-word identification. Example : He lives in a big house. A. attic *B. car C. basement bedroom


1-Context preparation is rather easy.

2-Scoring is easy and consistent

3-It is a sensitive measure of achievement.

1-It is difficult to find good synonyms

2-It is easy for students to cheat.

Word-formation items require students to fill in missing parts of words that appear in sentences. These missing parts are usually prefixes and suffixes. e.g., un- in untie -ful in thankful The steps in preparing a simple-completion vocabulary test are similar to those of multiplechoice completion and multiple choice paraphrase, but No distractors are needed.

Context is still useful, but the emphasis is on word building.

(1) List the prefixes and suffixes that you have taught to your students, then match these with content words that they have studied. (2) Prepare sentences that clarify the meaning of these words. (3) Then write your instructions and examples.

Student success on the exam will depend in part on your sentence contexts. For example, one simple-completion vocabulary test included a stem (base word) requiring -ous. The sentence read, "He was a very nervperson." But a number of these rather advanced students wrote in a "y" insteadan unexpected but correct ending. They thus produced nervy, which means "bold" or "offensive." The context did not show that the person intended was "worried" or "timid" (nervous), so nervy had to be accepted.

"Complete the words in these sentences. When nothing is needed, put an 'X' in the blank." Read these sentences carefully. Write in the part that is missing. Some words do not need anything added. When you find such a word, put an "X" in the blank. Blanks left empty will be marked wrong.

1.Stem-first procedure. (An advantage is that many words need spelling changes when suffixes are added. This allows for such changes.) Example:(beauty) She has a beautiful new dress. 2.Phrasal context. (Note that grammatical clues are sometimes given to less advanced students.) Example : An inconvenient delay 3. Compounds. Example : He found the bedroom, but he couldn't open the door to the clothes closet

4. Inflectional cloze Example: Every motorist will tell you that radar is used most un fairly by the police to catch drivers who are accidentally going a little faster than the speed limit. "There you are," the motorist will say, "driv---ing--- quite safely at 60 on a wide --X--- open road almost in open country.
It is also possible to check student knowledge of when not to add a prefix or suffix.

Advantages of Simple Completion (Words)

1. It reflects teaching approaches. 2. It is generally faster and easier to construct than are items with distractors.
Limitations of Simple Completion (Words) 1. Fewer words can be tested this way than with multiple choice. 2. There is some difficulty in avoiding ambiguous contexts