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Reading, listening, and viewing comprehension in English as a foreign language: One or more constructs?

IntelligenceReferences. Schroeders, U., Wilhelm, O., & Bucholtz, N. (2010). Reading, listening, and viewing comprehension in English as a foreign language: One or more constructs? Intelligence, 38, 562–573. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2010.09.003

Abstract. Receptive foreign language proficiency is usually measured with reading and listening comprehension tasks. A novel approach to assess such proficiencies – viewing comprehension – is based on the presentation of short instructional videos followed by one or more comprehension questions concerning the preceding video stimulus. In order to evaluate a newly developed viewing comprehension test 485 German high school students completed reading, listening, and viewing comprehension tests, all measuring the receptive proficiency in English as a foreign language. Fluid and crystallized intelligence were measured as predictors of performance. Relative to traditional comprehension tasks, the viewing comprehension task has similar psychometric qualities. The three comprehension tests are very highly but not perfectly correlated with each other. Relations with fluid and crystallized intelligence show systematic differences between the three comprehension tasks. The high overlap between foreign language comprehension measures and between crystallized intelligence and language comprehension ability can be taken as support for a uni-dimensional interpretation. Implications for the assessment of language proficiency are discussed.