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A Comparison of the Structural Relationships Among Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking Components of the AP French Language Examination for AP Candidates and College Students

Morgan, Rick; Mazzeo, John
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, Advanced Placement, Factor Structure, French, Language Skills, Language Tests, Second Language Learning


Yearly the Advanced Placement Program administers an examination to high school students measuring French language skills that students might acquire after six semesters of college French Language courses. The dimensional structure of the 1987 AP French Language exam was tested in four populations using a series of confirmatory linear factor analysis models. In order to mitigate problems associated with the linear factor analysis of multiple-choice items, the linear factor analysis of item parcel scores, made up of small mutually exclusive collections of items hypothesized to measure the same underlying dimension, was utilized. Six confirmatory factor analysis models were tested within each of five samples of data. In all samples the exam appears to measure four major dimensions which are associated with the language skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. For the student groups lacking out-of-school French language experience, the structure of the exam displays invariance of factor loadings and errors of measurement. Factor structures were most similar for groups with similar out-of-school French language experiences. (50pp.)

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