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ISBN: 9780776606576-06

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The Coming of Age for Research on Test-Taking Strategies

From: Language Testing Reconsidered

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In this selective look at research on test-taking strategies over the last twenty-five years, brief mention is made of the beginnings of test-taker strategy research and then important developments in its evolution to the present are discussed, focusing on conceptual frameworks for classifying strategies, L1 and L2-related strategies, proficiency level and test-taking strategies, strategies as a function of testing method, and the appropriateness of the research methods. The review notes the valuable role that verbal report methods have played in the process of understanding what tests actually measure. The conclusion is that while test-taking strategy research has come of age over the last twenty-five years, there still remain numerous challenges ahead, such as in arriving at a more unified theory for test-taking strategies. Another challenge is to continue finding ways to make the research effort as unobtrusive as possible, while at the same time tapping the test-taking processes.

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Andrew D. Cohen

Andrew D. Cohen is Professor of Applied Linguistics, MA in ESL Program, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research interests are in language learner strategies, pragmatics, language assessment, and research methods. Scholarly efforts include an ELT Advantage online course on assessing language ability in adults (Thomson Heinle) and Language Learner Strategies: 30 Years of Research and Practice (co-edited with Ernesto Macaro, OUR September 2007).