Article published in:Lezen in onderwijs en onderzoek
[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 13] 1982
► pp. 30–48
Tekst, Toets en Theorie
Before giving a survey of reading comprehension theories and their implications for the testing of reading comprehension itself, some text theories particularly with regard to readability and structure are dealt with. The authors are of the opinion that questions should preferably refer to elements which rank highly in the structure of the text and to places in the text where there is a discrepancy between form and structure. After a survey of subskill theories, psycho-linguistic and cognitive theories and functional and communicative ideas on reading comprehension, the following conclusions are drawn with regard to the possibility of constructing tests which are in agreement with the principles of these theories: There is no reason why final reading comprehension tests should aim at specific subskills (provided their existence can be demonstrated), considering the complexity of problems which occur in the normal use of texts. For the time being a central testing of reading operations and strategies seems to be impossible. Choosing texts for which prior knowledge will not play a role is not quite justified. It would be worthwile to construct tests which can show the candidate's ability to use his prior knowledge. This may possibly lead to formulating questions which sometimes indicate an individual (non-uniform) processing of the text. A great many problems will have to be solved before a reliable testing of the use of prior knowledge can be achieved. Demands for a communicative approach, however, are reflected in current practice and will be met within the foreseeable future. The main problem in this area is that the test should be able to demonstrate to what degree the goals of readers with regard to a certain text have been reached.
Published online: 24 March 2014