Development of a Test to Measure Knowledge Regarding Multiple Meanings of Basic Words
Nihon Gengo Tesuto Gakkaishi
This study produced six types of tests to measure knowledge of multiple meanings of one word. Despite the abundance of vocabulary research for some decades, the amount of research on words with multiple meanings is scarce compared to research on other aspects of vocabulary, such as vocabulary size and collocation. This is largely due to the lack of tests for measuring learners' knowledge of words with multiple meanings. Such tests have not been developed thus far; hence, this study tried to
... better tests for words with multiple meanings. Using seven target verbs, three test formats with either sentential or collocational contexts were prepared. The test formats were selection (selecting the correct expressions), translation (translating the target English expressions into Japanese), and pairing (finding pairs that have the same meaning among the target words). These formats were compared in terms of reliability, discriminability, difficulty, and correlation coefficients with estimated vocabulary size and reading ability. About half of the participants took these tests in the sentential context, and the others answered the questions in the collocational context. The results showed that the translation tests had the highest reliability in both contexts. The translation format also had the highest discriminability in the sentential context, but the pairing test had the highest discriminability in the collocation context. In terms of difficulty, the translation tests were affected by the length of the context more than the selection and the pairing tests were. The correlation coefficients for vocabulary size and reading ability were highest in the translation tests for both the sentence and the collocation groups. Considering these results as well as test practicality, this study concluded that the translation test in the sentential context was the best test for knowledge of words with multiple meanings out of the six different tests.