College students' attitudes towards written versus oral tests of English as a Foreign Language

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The major aim of the present research is twofold: (a) to compare students' attitudes towards oral versus written English language test; and (b) to examine the nature of the relationship between students' affective dispositions toward lan guage tests and level of test performance. The study is based on a sample of 170 students at Haifa University enrolled in the advanced reading course of English as a foreign language. Students responded to an examinee feedback inventory specifically designed to gauge examinees' perceptions of key variables related to mode of test presentation (oral vs. written examinations). In addition, back ground information was collected on students' gender, sociolinguistic back ground, father's education, the university psychometric entrance examination (including the English proficiency test score), and average grade in department of study. On the whole, students preferred written over oral tests and rated the former more favourably along a variety of dimensions. Written tests were per ceived to be more pleasant, valuable, fair, less anxiety evoking and more reflec tive of students' comprehension of the English text than oral tests. Oral tests, on the other hand, were viewed to be more interesting to take than written tests. No meaningful relationship, however, was observed between students' attitudes and test performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage Testing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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