The Validity of Translation Tasks as an EFL Reading Comprehension Assessment Method in Korean High School Classrooms

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Kim, Hyo Shin; Lee, Byungmin
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서울대학교 교육종합연구원
SNU Journal of Education Research, Vol.17, pp. 32-70
foreign language reading comprehensionassessmenttranslationfree recall protocolEnglish learning background
This study attempts to investigate the validity of translation tasks

as a reading comprehension assessment in Korean high school

classrooms and to identify the traits of the students who are good

readers of English but not good translators. First the study explores

the correlation between a translation task and a recall task for reading

comprehension. Results showed a significant correlation between the

two task scores (r=.902, p<0.01). However, there was a discrepancy

between the High English Proficiency (HEP) and the Low English

Proficiency (LEP) groups (r=.777, p<0.01) vs. (r=.912, p<0.01). Five

students from the HEP group showed a significant discrepancy in z-‐

scores of the two tasks. In an attempt to identify the reasons for the

discrepancy, the study reports the English learning backgrounds,

reading habits and attitude of the five students. An interview of the

students revealed that those who are good readers of English but not

good translators learned English from native speakers of English or in

an English speaking environment beginning at an early age and had

less experience in reading classes taught through the grammartranslation

method. The findings suggest that despite the close

correlation between recall and translation tasks, assessing reading

comprehension through translation may fail to identify students who

are already good readers of English but not good translators.
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College of Education (사범대학)Center for Educational Research (교육종합연구원)SNU Journal of Education ResearchSNU Journal of Education Research vol.17 (2008)
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