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THE ROLE OF LEXICAL COHESION IN THE ASSESSMENT OF EFL READING PROFICIENCY

Abstract

This study argues that lexical cohesion plays a fundamental role in the concept of reading reflected on a widely accepted English proficiency test, the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL®). Results stemming from the lexical cohesive analysis of a corpus of 608 fixed-response TOEFL® reading comprehension test items indicate that all question types on the test involve the identification of different instances of lexical repetition, or ‘lexical links’ (Hoey, 1991), connecting question stems and/or correct options to specific sentences in the related passages. Equivalent results found for TOEFL ® PBT (paper-based test), CBT (computer-based test), and iBT (internet-base test) items suggest that lexical links are in evidence across different versions of the test, even though these editions may, in certain instances, test certain reading skills by means of different question types.

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MacMillan, F., (2007) “THE ROLE OF LEXICAL COHESION IN THE ASSESSMENT OF EFL READING PROFICIENCY”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 14, p.75-93.

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Fabiana MacMillan (University of Calgary)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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