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A Critical Review of Test Techniques for Reading Skill Assessment

Lan Huang

College of Humanities, Wuhan University of Engineering Science, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

*Corresponding author: Lan Huang

Published: 6 April 2023 How to cite this paper


Recent trends in second language assessment have led to a proliferation of studies that focus on the various forms of assessment in the ‘four skills’ of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It is fair to say that central to the studies of these four skills is reading skill assessment. Therefore, this article organically encompasses three sections pertaining to reading and its assessment. It begins by ex-ploring the nature of reading. Many researchers’ constructive understandings towards reading are illustrated in this part. It then deals with the mainstream reading skill taxonomies that stress the categorical integration of various test techniques for reading skills. On the basis of the taxonomies, it then goes on to examine the three key test techniques for reading skill assessment, i.e., multiple-choice items, short-answer questions and gapped summary. The focus is placed on the critical description of these three test techniques, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, this article closes with my personal reflection on my teaching experience regarding reading skill assessment. In this final reflection part, Chinese students’ common misperception of reading is dicussed and some suggestions for reading teachers in China are provided for polishing their teaching practice of reading.

KEYWORDS: Nature of reading, reading skill assessment, test techniques, reading skill taxonomies, multiple-choice items, short-answer questions, gapped summary


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How to cite this paper

Lan Huang. A Critical Review of Test Techniques for Reading Skill Assessment. OA Journal of Education Research, 2023, 2(1), 21-24.

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