Evaluating Three Decades of Studies in Concordance-Based Cloze Testing

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  • Title: Evaluating Three Decades of Studies in Concordance-Based Cloze Testing: Some Insights for Future Directions
  • Author(s): Kunlaphak Kongsuwannakul
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation
  • Keywords: Item Format, Concordance-Based, Historical Evaluation, Cloze Testing
  • Volume: 25
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-7920 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8692 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7920/CGP/v25i02/13-28
  • Citation: Kongsuwannakul, Kunlaphak . 2018. "Evaluating Three Decades of Studies in Concordance-Based Cloze Testing: Some Insights for Future Directions." The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation 25 (2): 13-28. doi:10.18848/2327-7920/CGP/v25i02/13-28.
  • Extent: 16 pages


This paper evaluates ideas from selected studies into concordance-based cloze testing (henceforth ConCloze). The aim is to produce useful insights about its future directions from research spanning over three decades. The investigation can be divided into five stages of evolution of the item type, which may be deemed to partially resemble metamorphosis. Starting with an embryonic stage, advances in corpus linguistics in the 1970–80s are believed to give birth to the first concordance-based class exercises. The exercises then hatch out in the 1990s as the prototype of an item format relying on the cloze procedure. Albeit with some substantive distinctions from the present form of ConCloze, this prototype may be regarded as its precursor and corresponds to the larval stage. Then in the 2000s, the item type undergoes a silent period, receiving virtually no attention in the literature altogether. As the item type's potential to contribute to English language testing is underrecognized, the decade may be deemed to represent its pupal stage. Then, amidst some related, but inherently different works, seen in the literature, the present decade witnesses a growing interest in ConCloze. Centering primarily on its construct validity, this pursuit potentially marks a dawn of a series of validation inquiries, and corresponds to the adolescent stage. The future adulthood of this item type would begin with momentum gathered by research along the facets of construct validity: educational-utility relevance, value implications, and social consequences. It is argued that concordances can be useful not only for supplying linguistic features to test writing and validation, but also for making the very task content for practical testing. Considering that more language corpora are becoming available online, opportunities to test designers and English teachers worldwide are also implied, such as for a fairer assessment through a larger test-writing toolkit.