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University of St.

La Salle
Graduate School
MEL 208: Language Testing And Evaluation
Teacher: Mrs. Analie Ledesma-Lomocso
Reporter: Jeffran Jake Pelayo Aragon
Topic: Testing Vocabulary

Definition of Vocabulary
The Importance of Vocabulary
Definition of Testing
The Importance of Testing
Why Do We Test Vocabulary?
Questions for Teachers Preparing Vocabulary Tests
Types of Questions in a Vocabulary Test
Examples of Methods for Testing Vocabulary
Other Methods Teachers can Use to Test Vocabulary
Problems Associated with Testing Vocabulary

1. Definition of Vocabulary
The set of words within a language that are familiar are known as a persons vocabulary.
Vocabulary develops with age and is a crucial tool for communicating and acquiring language.
Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is one of the largest challenges in learning a second language.
2. The Importance of Vocabulary
A large vocabulary helps us to communicate and express what we mean.
The size of your vocabulary is directly linked to your reading comprehension.
A person may be judged by others based on his or her vocabulary.
3. Definition of Testing
A procedure for critical evaluation; a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something.
In terms of human beings, testing tells what level of knowledge or skill has been acquired.
4. The Importance of Testing
Through a well-crafted test, a teacher can find out:
If the student has understood the course that has been taught or not.
The students strengths and weaknesses.
Tests and examinations are the main motivation for students to study.
Tests provide a good dose of healthy stress and anxiety that is good training for challenges to overcome in real
5. Why Do We Test Vocabulary?
Teachers need to know how developed their students vocabulary knowledge is. (Why?)
Without a basic vocabulary, the potential for developing a reading problem is great.
Vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to overall reading comprehension.
A limited vocabulary represents a limited understanding of concepts

Well-developed vocabulary skills and wide background knowledge help individuals comprehend more
difficult and complex material
Testing helps to recycle vocabulary as well as to consolidate it.
Testing vocabulary also occurs in placement tests or diagnostic tests to find out students level of knowledge or
in achievement tests at the end of the school year.

6. Questions for Teachers Preparing Vocabulary Tests

Before preparing a vocabulary test, teachers should ask themselves the following questions:
How should I test vocabulary?
Which kind of vocabulary should I test?
Which format(s) should I use?
How many items should I include?
How important is context?
Are there any tools or resources that can help me?
7. Types of Questions in a Vocabulary Test
In a vocabulary test, as in most other tests, there are two kinds or types of questions.
Recognition items.
Production items.
8. Examples of Methods for Testing Vocabulary
Multiple choice tests.
This technique is simple to mark but challenging and difficult to design.
It can be used for testing single words, words in sentences or in texts.
Teachers should take into account that students may guess the right answer without actually knowing
the word. There is a 25% chance if there are 4 options.
Students may also choose the correct answer without really knowing the word through a process of
There may be more than one possible answer among the choices.
Teachers should use distractors in MCQ tests so that the answer is not too obvious or easy to pick.
However, some distractors are too distracting to the students, or too close to the correct answer and
will confuse students.
Multiple choice questions can be employed to test a variety of concepts. For example:
Recognize synonyms:
Choose the alternative (a, b, c, d) which is closest in meaning to the word gleam.
a) gather B) shine C) welcome D) clean
Recognize definitions:
loathe means:
a) Dislike intensely
b) Become seriously ill
c) Search carefully
d) Look very angry

Thornbury suggested another way of using Multiple Choice questions which is unusual.
He suggested the use of a contextualized choice test.

In it, the options are put directly into a text.

Example of his idea:

Someone else is (a) playing; b) calling; c) singing;) the tune, and for the moment youre quite happy to
go (a) along; b) around; c) away) with what seems like a reasonable idea.
Hobbies (a) make; b) use; c) take) up far too much time and children could need support with a new

Recognize appropriate word for context:

Students must show that they understand the appropriate word for the context.
It can also be portrayed as a multiple choice question.
The strong wind ________ the mans efforts to put up the tent.
a) disabled
b) hampered
c) deranged
d) regaled

9. Other Methods Teachers can Use to Test Vocabulary

Oral testing.
Synonyms and antonyms.
Writing/composition questions.
10. Problems Associated with Testing Vocabulary
Teachers should take into consideration the following the points when testing their students vocabulary:
It is difficult to estimate the size of a students vocabulary. How many words does a student know?
It is often difficult to decide which words should be included in an exam and which shouldnt be.
It is difficult to decide what is the criterion for knowing a word.
Certain tests do not give valid and reliable results.
Testing Vocabulary. Retrieved from: