Construct Validity of Careful vs. Expeditious Reading Skills
An important aspect of reading research concerns the nature of the divisibility of the construct. The present study examined the construct validity of expeditious and careful reading. To this end, first, empirical data was gathered to see whether there was any significant difference in the performance of EFL learners at the macro-levels of expeditious vs. careful reading. Then, the possible relationships among the underlying sub-skills hypothesized to be utilized in careful reading, i.e., ‘understanding explicit information’ and ‘making inferences’, and expeditious reading, i.e., ‘skimming’ and ‘scanning’, were studied. To fulfill the purpose of the study, a reading comprehension test measuring these sub-skills was prepared and administered to 200 Iranian English majors. Data was analyzed using paired-sample t-test and factor analysis. The results showed that in spite of a significant difference in the performance of subjects on expeditious vs. careful reading items, all the sub-skills operationalized in the instrument were measuring aspects of one underlying construct of L2 reading comprehension ability. Implications for testing and teaching L2 reading are discussed.
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