Analyzing the Cohesion of the Reading Passages on Standardized English Tests: CSAT, TEPS, EIKEN and TOEFL : 표준화 영어시험 독해지문의 응집성 분석: 대학수학능력시험, 텝스, 에이켄, 토플

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사범대학 외국어교육과
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서울대학교 대학원
cohesionreading assessmentstandardized English testCSATTEPSEIKENTOEFLCoh-Metrix
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 외국어교육과 영어교육 전공, 2016. 2. 이병민.
This thesis intends to analyze the cohesion of the reading passages on CSAT, TEPS, EIKEN, and TOEFL. Cohesion refers to the relations of meaning in a text and is realized by cohesive devices, such as references, connectives, and vocabularies. Assessing the cohesion of a text, through measuring text difficulty at a deeper level, can be considered one of the alternatives to traditional readability formulas. While a high-cohesion text usually facilitates text understanding, a low-cohesion text might hamper reading comprehension, particularly for low-knowledge readers. As the readers with low knowledge do not have sufficient knowledge to fill in the cohesion gaps, they may have a greater difficulty with building a coherent text representation. Accordingly, if the test takers background knowledge is not the major construct of a reading test, the passages should be written cohesively so as not to seriously hinder the low-knowledge readers understanding.

To measure the cohesion of the passages, this study used a web-based text analyzing tool, Coh-Metrix. Specifically, 11 cohesion indices relating to referential overlaps, Latent Semantic Analysis, connectives, and causal cohesion were selected from the tool. The corpus for analysis comprises a total of 373 passages, 125 from CSAT, 120 from TEPS, 75 from EIKEN, and 53 from TOEFL.

The results of the analysis showed that there was a significant difference between the four tests for all of the indices except Incidence of All Connectives. In line with the expectation, TOEFL with the longest passages was the highest by most measures. However, for the rest of the tests, the results were mixed. The passages on TEPS were as cohesive as or more cohesive than the EIKEN passages for many indices. Moreover, the CSAT passages were the least cohesive among the tests although they were longer than the TEPS passages. The EIKEN passages were more cohesive than the CSAT passages. In addition, it was found that the cohesion of the passages on CSAT and TEPS was very inconsistent in comparison to the EIKEN and TOEFL passages. Furthermore, the difference between the tests was the largest for LSA Given/New, and also large for Noun and Stem Local Overlaps. LSA overlaps were as powerful as referential overlaps in discriminating between the tests. For causal cohesion, there was also a significant difference, though minimal. Lastly, the results and implications of this study are discussed.
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College of Education (사범대학)Dept. of Foreign Language Education (외국어교육과)English Language (영어전공)Theses (Master's Degree_영어전공)
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