Principles of Language Assessment: Reading



teaching reading 1

Genres of reading:

  • Academic reading (textbooks, essays, papers
  • Job-related reading (messages, letters, reports, financial documents)
  • Personal reading (Newspaper, magazines, e-mails , greeting cards)

Types of reading

Perceptive: perceptive reading tasks involve attending to the components of larger stretches of discourse: letters, words, punctuation, and other graphemic symbols. Bottom-up processing is implied. At the beginning level of reading a second language, the fundamental tasks include: recognition of alphabetic symbols, capitalized and lowercase letters, punctuation, words, and grapheme-phoneme correspondences. They are referred to as “literacy” tasks, implying that the learner is in the early stages of becoming ‘literate’. Items include 1) Reading aloud; 2)Written response; 3) Multiple-Choice; 4) Picture-Cued Items.

Minimal Pair Distinction

Grapheme Recognition Task

Picture-cued  Word Identification

Selective: a selective task is to ascertain one’s reading recognition of lexical, grammatical, or discourse features of language within a very short stretch of language. Items such as picture-cued tasks, matching, true/false, multiple-choice, etc. Expected answers include sentences, brief paragraphs, simple charts and graphs, and brief responses as well. A combination of bottom-up and top-down processing may be both used to assess lexical and grammatical aspects of reading ability. Items include: 1) Multiple-Choice (form-focused criteria); 2) Matching Tasks; 3) Editing tasks; 4) Picture-cued tasks; and 5) Gap-filling tasks

Contextualized Multiple ChoiceMultiple-Choice (form-focused criteriaPicture-cued tasksSentence Completion TaskVocabulary Matching Task

Interactive: Reading is a process of negotiating meaning; the reader brings to the text a set of schemata for understanding it, and intake is the product of that interaction. The focus of an interactive task is to identify relevant features (lexical, symbolic, grammatical, and discourse) within texts of moderately short length with the objective of retaining the information that is processed. Top-down processing is typical of such tasks with occasional use of bottom-up skills.Tasks at this level, like selective tasks, have a combination of form-focused and meaning-focused objectives but with more emphasis on meaning. Texts are a little longer, from a paragraph to as many as a page or so in case of ordinary prose. Charts, graphs, and other graphics may be somewhat complex in their format. Tasks include: cloze tasks, multiple choices for reading comprehension, short-answer questions, editing tasks, scanning, ordering tasks, non-verbal tasks for information transfer such as charts, maps, graphs, and diagrams.

Cloze procedure- Fixed- ratio deletionCloze procedure- Rational deletionOpen-ended reading comprehension questionSentence-ordering task

Extensive: extensive reading applies to texts of more than one page up to and including professional articles, essays, technical reports, short stories, and books. Global understanding is the goal for assessment. Top-down processing is assumed for most extensive tasks. Skimming tasks are to get the main ideas; summarizing (a synopsis or overview of the text) and responding (personal opinion on the test as a whole). Note-taking and outlining are both used frequently for the higher-ordered learning.  But tasks like short-answers, editing, scanning, ordering, and information transfer tasks can also be used to assess extensive reading.

Skimming TaskSummarizing


My Dream House

Dream House

Dream House

My dream house has lots of rooms and windows. It has a big red front door .There is a huge living room with comfortable sofas and enormous TV screen on the wall for my family and I to spend time together.

In the basement, there is a giant game room with a ping-pong table and drum set for me and my friends. It has a fridge for drinks and snacks.

There are extra bedrooms so my friends can spend the night .My bedroom is blue with lots of shelves for my toy car collection. There are lots of posters of my favorite actors and singers, but they are big electronic screens so they can change all the time! There is also a brand new computer, a sound system and a telescope because I love astronomy! My bed is special! You climb a tall ladder to get it, I sleep under a window, and I can see the stars at night!

Outside my dream house, there is giant swimming pool with water and field nearby for a beautiful black horse


1. Write two general descriptions of the Living Room



2. Write two general descriptions of the game room



3. Write three general descriptions of the bedroom




Seasons of the Year




  1. Winter is the coldest season of the year
  2. Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, ejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and regrowth.
  3. Summer is the warmest of the four temperate seasons, falling between spring and autumn
  4. Autum or fall leaves have a reddish tinge which falls away during this season thereby paving the way for further growth.


Fill in the blanks  the missing information with the correct season of the year


My favourite season is ……………………………..

I love the long, hot days and I love the long holiday. My children like playing in the park and eating ice creams. I sometimes go to the beach in Southend with my family. Last year in August I went to Turkey to visit my sister and my cousins.



I like ………………………………. best. The weather is sometimes very beautiful in October. I think the trees are very pretty when the leaves go red and brown and yellow. My children like starting in a new class at school and learning new things.



I love …………………………………. I really like waking up in the morning and seeing new snow outside in the garden. My children love going outside and making a snowman. I also like seeing all my friends and family at Christmas.



My favourite season is ……………………………… I like it because winter is finished and the evenings are light again. I don’t like the dark evenings. I love the flowers in the parks and gardens and seeing he leaves grow on the trees. My children like playing outside in the evenings again.