The Effect of Response Format on Test Performance: Problems and Possible Solution (An Alternative Grammaticality Judgement Rating Scale)
Naif Alsaedi

Intuitional data elicited by means of grammaticality judgement (GJ) tasks are affected by a diverse number of linguistic and non-linguistic factors including the type of the measurement scales and the response formats used (see Schütze, 1996; Sorace, 1996). The problems associated with the rating scales vary according to the type of the rating scale used - whether absolute or comparative. Such problems pose a serious challenge to linguists to find an alternative rating scale that can overcome these methodological problems and pitfalls. The only way to do so is by using a new rating scale which allows sharp lines to be drawn between the learner's certainty, doubt and lack of knowledge reflected in his or her judgements. The four-point scale in its new format proposed in this article (i.e., clearly correct, clearly incorrect, possibly incorrect and do not know) managed to map the territory between the three possibilities that capture a learner's feelings towards any given sentence. What is unique about this rating scale compared to others commonly used in grammaticality judgments (i.e., Coppetiers, 1987, Schachter and Yip, 1990; Schachter, 1990; Gass, 1994) is how it works and how the data obtained by means of this scale can be marked and scored. The purpose of the present article is to introduce this scale and to discuss from a logical point of view the extent to which it can produce reliable and valid data that reflect second language (L2) learner’s interlanguage knowledge.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v5n4a21