Actually, I do need more said. I can't change the minds of evaulation
consultants by telling them they are using an old test item. What I need is
strong arguments as to why this test item may not be a valid or reliable
tool to assess language skills.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrea Abernethy Lunsford" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 6:53 PM
Subject: Re: Sentence combining as test item?
> good grief -- New Brunswick has now got a test that is only 25 years
> that's probably the best that can be said about this..... Andrea
> At 02:48 PM 8/12/2000 +0000, you wrote:
> >I recently recieved a question from a teacher friend here in New
> >Brunswick (Susan MacDonald, for those who might remember her from
> >previous Inkshed meetings). She's concerned about the provincial
> >grade 11 English test. The province is proposing a new item for the
> >test. This is part of it:
> > ----------------
> >Student instructions:
> >Sentence Combining
> >Combine each group of sentences into one effective sentence.
> > a. All of the original ideas must be included in each newly
> > constructed sentence.
> > b. Do not add any new ideas.
> > c. Your score will be based on effective combination of ideas,
> > correct spelling and punctuation.
> > d. If you have difficulty with a particular group of sentences,
> > go on to other sentences and come back to the difficult group when
> > you have time.
> >Sample item D
> > 1. Ian Rankin is one of the most famous writers of the twentieth
> > century.
> > 2. Rankin was born in Edinburgh.
> > 3. Rankin has written six detective novels.
> > 4. One of these novels won the prestigious "Golden Dagger
> > Award".
> > 5. The winning novel is titled The Hidden Highway.
> >Sample item F
> > 1. Freud and Jung "discovered" the unconscious in the nineteenth
> > century.
> > 2. Each had a very different view of this mental space.
> > 3. For Freud the unconscious was a savage place which harboured
> > humanity's primitive instincts.
> > 4. For Jung the unconscious was a place which contained
> > humanity's collective wisdom.
> > =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
> >She asked me what I thought about it, and whether I knew of research
> >bearing on issues of current views of sentence combining, whether
> >testing sentence combining is a useful strategy, and whether the
> >likely consequence of including such an item -- that teachers would
> >be more likely to include formal sentence combining instruction in
> >their classrooms -- was one to be desired. (My own immediate
> >question is why in Heaven's name anyone would attempt to construct
> >one Frankenstein sentence which included all this stuff, but let that
> >pass. You can also let pass my ignorance about who Ian Rankin, "one
> >of the most famous writers of the twentieth century" is, or what Doug
> >Vipond pointed out, that it's got Jung in the wrong century. Unless
> >you think someone should care at least distantly about what they're
> >I'd be grateful for any thoughts or (especially) references on this,
> >and I'll pass them on to her.
> > -- Russ
> > __|~_
> >Russell A. Hunt __|~_)_ __)_|~_ Professor of English
> >St. Thomas University )_ __)_|_)__ __) PHONE: (506) 452-0424
> >Fredericton, New Brunswick | )____) | FAX: (506) 450-9615
> >E3B 5G3 CANADA ___|____|____|____/ [log in to unmask]
> > \ /
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.StThomasU.ca/~hunt/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> > To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
> > [log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
> > write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
> > For the list archives and information about the organization,
> >the annual conference, and publications, go to the Inkshed Web site at
> > http://www.StThomasU.ca/inkshed/
> > -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
> [log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
> write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
> For the list archives and information about the organization,
> the annual conference, and publications, go to the Inkshed Web site at
To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
[log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
For the list archives and information about the organization,
the annual conference, and publications, go to the Inkshed Web site at