Comparability of Accuracy and Communicability Tasks: Are They All Equally Difficult?

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In this study, two sets of accuracy and communicability tasks (Original and New) are compared to determine whether they are parallel in terms of difficulty. Three experienced Japanese teachers of English examined the degree of parallelness of five accuracy tasks and five communicability tasks (both Original and New) with regard to time pressure, support, stakes, and overall difficulty. The two Original tasks and the two selected New tasks were administered to 24 university students in Japan. Two raters were asked to evaluate each of the two task sets separately after an interval of one month. Performance data from the different task sets were analyzed using classical procedures (correlation and ANOVA) and FACETS. The results indicate that the Original and New tasks can be considered parallel at the overall test level. At the individual task level, the two communicability tasks can be considered equally difficult, while the accuracy tasks can be separated into different levels of difficulty with a reasonable level of certainty. The variability in the degree of difficulty of the selected accuracy task may be attributed to the prompt effects in the assessment of writing performance. The results provided useful sights for further task-development.


  • JLTA Journal

    JLTA Journal 16(0), 67-86, 2013

    Japan Language Testing Association


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