LEXTALE_CH: A quick, character-based proficiency test for Mandarin Chinese

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Description: Research in second language acquisition suggests that objective performance-based assessments may provide more reliable and valid measures of second language proficiency than subjective self-ratings. To measure proficiency in English as a second language, a quick, vocabulary-based test called LexTALE (Lexical Test for Advanced Learners of English) was developed and shown to be able to differentiate between various levels of English proficiency. Following in the line of adaptations of this test for other languages, we created a character-based adaptation for Mandarin Chinese: LEXTALE_CH. In this paper, we discuss the development and validation of LEXTALE_CH in detail. In short, LEXTALE_CH can discriminate between high and low levels of Mandarin proficiency and is sensitive to the significant differences in vocabulary size between native speakers and second language learners of Mandarin; further, it takes only a few minutes to administer and is simple to score, making it a practical tool for low-stakes estimation of Mandarin proficiency.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


Chan, I. L., & Chang, C. B. (2018). LEXTALE_CH: A quick, character-based proficiency test for Mandarin Chinese. In A. B. Bertolini & M. J. Kaplan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, vol. 1 (pp. 114–130). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. available from lingref.com/bucld/42/BUCLD42-09.pdf also available from bit.ly/2yFaVa0


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  • PDF and DOC versions of LEXTALE_CH

    PDF and DOC versions of LEXTALE_CH (formatted for paper administration of the test). The test is provided in two versions, with instructions in either...

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  • Image files for LEXTALE_CH

    Image files for web-based administration of LEXTALE_CH. The images are organized into three folders, for (1) instructions and example items in the ins...

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