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Is ESP (EAP) a Composite or Simple Construct?

Spec- Reverse Engineering of a Specific Purpose Language Test

Corresponding Author: Razieh Rabbani Yekta

PhD Candidate in TEFL, Department of Foreign Languages

University of Isfahan, Iran

E-Mail: r_ryekta@yahoo.com

Second Author: Mansoor Tavakoli

Assistant Professor in TEFL, Department of Foreign Languages

University of Isfahan, Iran

Third Author: Abbas Eslami Rasekh

Assistant Professor in TEFL, Department of Foreign Languages

University of Isfahan, Iran

 

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to detect whether items assembled in one subset in the complex tests contributed only to a simple structure or to a complex one and whether through some modifications in item assembly sub- layer  of test architecture, the upgraded item -sets could represent the true dimensionality of the test, hence meaningful scores for each set. To this end a historical reverse engineering (HRE)  was conducted on a joint test of ESP/ EGP on its three different versions given in 2000, 2005, and 2010 for two non-English majors, Accounting and Statistics. The research design involved a group project, participants performing HRE on the sample items of the Master degree ESP / EGP entrance exams to reach to their item specifications. From there, item assembly sub layers of these tests were critiqued in terms of their match with the intended dimensionality of the concerned tests and participants proposed some suggestions for controlling the degree of match for obtaining more meaningful part-scores out of each set .

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