A French C-test for language assessment

Research articles
By Oona Cromheecke, Marc Brysbaert

Short language proficiency tests are often needed for low-stakes assessment in education and research, particularly in second language settings. Vocabulary tests are a good candidate; they give rapid, useful estimates of language proficiency. Ideally, several formats are available so that language proficiency can be measured independently of the method used. In the present study, a French C-test was developed and tested on 129 Dutch-French bilingual students. The newly developed C-test was compared to an existing (but not yet validated) C-test and a yes/no vocabulary test (Lextale-FR). In addition, for some students the scores were compared to their French end-of-term marks. Internal consistency of the new test was ICC=.8 and the test correlated r=.7 with the existing C-test. Correlation with end-of-term marks was r=.6 (criterion validity). Correlation with Lextale-FR was lower (r=.4) and Lextale-FR also correlated less with exam marks (r=.4), confirming that the C-test measures skills not covered by Lextale-FR.

  • vocabulary
  • French
  • language proficiency
  • C-test
  • second language
  • Lextale-FR
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