Hsiao-fang Cheng (MA, Northern Arizona University) is a lecturer of English at National United University Miaoli, Taiwan.
A Comparison of Multiple-Choice and Open-Ended Response Formats for the Assessment of Listening Proficiency in English
Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2008
© 2004 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 37, Issue 4, pages 544–553, December 2004
How to Cite
Cheng, H.-f. (2004), A Comparison of Multiple-Choice and Open-Ended Response Formats for the Assessment of Listening Proficiency in English. Foreign Language Annals, 37: 544–553. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2004.tb02421.x
- Issue online: 31 DEC 2008
- Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2008
Abstract: Listening comprehension involving dynamic cognitive mental processes is invisible and can only be measured by the listeners' reconstruction of the message they have heard. The form and type of response might influence the test takers' listening performance. This study examines whether the subjects' listening performance varied when the types of responses were different. Traditional multiple-choice (MC), multiple-choice cloze (MCC), and open-ended (OE) questions were employed to evaluate the subjects' listening comprehension. One hundred fifty-nine technical college students whose L1 was Mandarin Chinese served as subjects and received all three response formats in three balanced treatments. The results indicated that different types of responses did have a significant effect on the subjects' performance. Subjects performed best on the MCC test, followed by the traditional MC test. They scored lowest on the OE test. A posttest survey revealed that 97% of the test takers preferred the MC formats because the given alternative answers facilitated comprehension of spoken stimuli and greater accuracy in guessing.