Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



This experimental study was to determine whether or not cloze procedure is sensitive to constraints that range across sentence boundaries. Two passages of prose were selected and two cloze tests were constructed over each passage. The sequential type was constructed by a standard word-deletion procedure. In the scrambled type, the sentences of each passage of prose were systematically shuffled. There were 56 items in the sequential type of passage A, and the same 56 in scrambled order in A. There were 48 items in each form of B. The design was counterbalanced for passage and order. Forty-one native speakers of English and 201 Japanese adults studying English as a foreign language participated in the study. Every subject took a test over one of the passages in the sequential condition and a different test over the other passage in the scrambled condition. Item analyses and split-half techniques of reliability ranging from .84 to .93 indicated higher internal validity for sequential cloze tests than scrambled cloze tests. An external validity check revealed that a sequential cloze test correlated best with an integrative oriented listening comprehension test (.65), and the highest correlations were observed between scrambled cloze scores and the discrete-point grammar and vocabulary tests (.80 and .72, respectively). A three-way analysis-of-variance sustained the hypothesis that cloze items embedded in normal prose are sensitive to discourse constraints ranging beyond the immediate limits of a single sentence. There was a significant interaction (p< .002 for passage A and p< .028 for passage B) between level of proficiency and condition indicating that the contrast between sequential and scrambled conditions increases as language users become more proficient.

Document Type




Degree Name

Elementary Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

John William Oller Jr.

Second Committee Member

James Clark Moore

Third Committee Member

Peggy Janice Blackwell