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Bookmark and Share Paper 2384

What Makes an Item Difficult? A Syntactic, Lexical, and Morphological Study of Elicited Imitation Test Items
Ross Hendrickson, Meghan Aitken, Jeremiah McGhee, and Aaron Johnson
48-56 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper reports the results of a principal components analysis of approximately 150 Elicited Imitation items administered to approximately 380 adult learners of English as a second language in an intensive English program. Item analyses were performed on these scores and reliability coefficients ranging from .96 to .98 were found. Using item response theory (IRT) the researchers determined discrete item difficulty scores. They then identified the lexical, morphological, and syntactic features of each sentence, along with general measures of sentence length and complexity and performed a multiple linear regression analysis to determine which factors contributed to item difficulty.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 2008 Second Language Research Forum: Exploring SLA Perspectives, Positions, and Practices
edited by Matthew T. Prior, Yukiko Watanabe, and Sang-Ki Lee
Table of contents
Printed edition: $270.00