Document Type : Research Paper


1 ph.D. student, Tabriz university

2 professor, Tabriz university


Reading comprehension ability consists of multiple cognitive processes, and cloze tests have long been claimed to measure this ability as a whole. However, since the introduction of cloze test, different varieties of it have been proposed by the testers. Thus, the present study was an attempt to examine the relatedness of Cloze-Elide test, Multiple-choice (MC) cloze test, and C-test as three different types of cloze procedure used for measuring reading comprehension. To this end, one C-test consisting of four short texts, one fixed ratio (n=7) multiple-choice cloze test, and one cloze-elide test were prepared from reading passages with similar readability levels. The participants of the study were 30 (male &female) freshman university students majoring in English literature. The results of ANOVA test showed that there were not any statistically significant differences at the 0.05 level of significance among the performance of the students on the three tests measuring their reading comprehension. Therefore, it was concluded that against the advocates of each test who claim superiority of it over the other types, these three types of cloze tests in this study assessed the reading comprehension in a similar way. So, the testers can be confident to make use of these tests as reading comprehension tests interchangeably.


Alderson, J. C. (2000). Assessing reading. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Atai, M. R., & Soleimany, M. (2009).On the effect of text authenticity & genre on EFL learners' performance in C-text. Pazhuesh-e Zabanha-ye Khareji, 49, 109-123.
Babaii, E., & Ansary, H. (2001). The C-Test: A valid operationalization of reduced redundancy principle? System, 29(2), 209–219.
Bachman, L. F. (2004). Statistical analyses for language assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Baker, B. A. (2011).  Use of the cloze-elide task in high-stakes English proficiency testing.  Spaan Fellow Working Papers in Second or Foreign Language Assessment, 9, 1-16.
Bowen, J. D. (1978). The identification of irrelevant lexical distraction: An editing task. TESL Reporter, 12(1), 1–3, 14–15.
Brown, H. D. (2004). Language assessment: principles and classroom practices. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education.
Carr, T. H., & Levy, B. A. (1990).Reading and its development: Component skills approaches. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
Cranney, A. G. (1972). The construction of two types of cloze reading tests for college students. Journal of Literacy Research, 5(1), 60-64.
Day, R. R. (1994). Selecting a passage for the EFL reading class. Forum, 32(1). Retrived from
Dörnyei, Z., & Katona. L.(1992).Validation of C-Test among Hungarian EFL learners. Language Testing, 9, 187–206.
Eckes, T., & Grotjahn, T. (2006).A closer look at the construct validity of C-Tests.Language Testing, 23, 290–325.
Elder, C., & Von Randow, J. (2008).Exploring the utility of a web-based English language screening tool. Language Assessment Quarterly, 5(3), 173–194.
Farhady, H. (1986). Fundamental concepts in language testing (5) theories. Roshd Foreign Language teaching Journal, 2(4), 28-37.
Farhady, H. (1996). Varieties of cloze procedure in EFL education. Roshd Foreign Language Teaching Journal, 12, 217-229.
Grabe, W. (2009). Reading in a second language: Moving from theory to practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Grabe, W., & Stoller, F.L. (2002).Teaching and researching reading. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education.
Grotjahn, R. (2006). Der C-Test: Theorie, Empirrie, Anwendungen/The C-test: theory, empirical research, applications. Frankfurt/ M: Peter Lang.
Grotjahn, R. (2010). Der C-Test: Beiträgeaus der aktuellenForschung/The C-Test: Contributions from Current Research. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Hale, G. A., Stansfield, C. W., Rock, D. A., Hicks, M., Butler, F. A., &Oller, J. W. Jr. (1988). Multiple-choice cloze items and the test of English as a foreign language. Princeton, New Jersey: Educational Testing Service.
Harmer, J. (2002).The Practice of English Language Teaching(3rd Edition). England: Longman
Heaton, J. B. (1991). Writing English Language Tests. New York: Longman.
Hinofotis, F. B., Snow, B. G. (1980). An alternative cloze testing procedure: Multiple-choice format. In J. W. Oller, Jr. & K. Perkins (Eds.), Research in language testing (pp. 129-133). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Hudson, T. (2007).Teaching second language reading. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language Teachers (2nd  Ed.). UK: Cambridge University Press.
Ikeguchi, C. (1995). Cloze testing options for the classroom. In J. D. Brown, & S. Yamashita (Eds.), Language testing in Japan (pp. 166-178).Tokyo: The Japan Association for Language Teaching.
Jafarpur, A. (1995). Is C-Test superior to cloze? Language Testing, 12, 194–216.
Jafarpur, A. (1999). Can the C-test be improved with classical item analysis? System, 27, 79–89.
Jeon, E. H., & Yamashita, J. (2014).L2 reading comprehension and its correlates: A meta-analysis. Language Learning, 64(1), 160-212.
Jonz, J. (1976). Improving on the basic egg: The M-C cloze. Language Learning, 26, 255-256.
Khodadady, E., & Hashemi, M. (2011). Validity and C-test: The role of text authenticity. Iranian Journal of Language testing, 1(1), 30-41.
Klein-Braley, C. (1981). Empirical investigations of cloze tests. PhD thesis. University of Duisberg.
Klein-Braley, C. (1985). A cloze up on the C-test: A study on the constructive validation of authentic tests. Language Testing, 2, 76-104.
Klein-Braley, C. (1997). C-test in the context of reduced redundancy testing: an appraisal. Language Testing, 14, 47-84.
Klein-Braley, C., & Rattz, U. (1984).A Survey of research on the C-test. Language Testing, 1(2), 134-146.
Koda, K. (2005). Insights into second language reading: A cross-linguistic approach. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Koda, K. (2007). Reading and language learning: Crosslinguistic constraints on second language reading development. Language Learning, 57, 1–44.
Kontra, E. H., & Kormos, J. (2006).Strategy use and the construct of C-Test. In R. Grotjahn (Ed), Der C-Test: Theorie, Emprie, Anwendungen/The C-Test: Theory, empirical research ,applications(pp. 121-138). Frankfurt/am: Peter Lang.
Lee, Y. (2004). Examining passage-related local items dependence (LID) and measurement construct using Q3 statistics in an EFL reading comprehension test. Language Testing, 21(1), 74-100.
Lee-Ellis, S. (2009). The development and validation of a Korean C-Test using Rasch Analysis. Language Testing, 26 (2), 245–274.
Lu, G. (2006). Cloze tests and reading strategies in English language teaching in China.(Unpublished MA Thesis). University of Western Cape, China.
Manning, W. H. (1987).Development of cloze-elide tests of English as a Second Language. (TOEFL Research Report 23). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.
McMamey, T. (2006).Getting closer on the cloze: A validity study of the 'rational deletion' method. Second Language Studies, 24(2), 114-164.
O'Reilly, R. P. & Streeter, R. E. (1977). Report on development and validation of a system for measuring literal comprehension in a multiple-choice cloze format: preliminary factor analytic results. Journal of Reading Behavior, 9, 45-69.
Oller, J. W., Jr., & Jonz, J. (1994).Cloze and coherence. Cranbury, New Jersey: Bucknell University Press.
Pang, J. (2008). Research on good and poor reader characteristics: Implications for L2 reading research in China. Reading in a Foreign Language, 20(1), 199-217.
Palupiningsih, A. (2011). Testing reading comprehension using cloze tests and cloze-elide tests among the year-10th students of sman 1 depok in the academic year (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). State University of Yogyakarta, Malaysia.
Phakiti, A. (2003). A closer look at the relationship of cognitive and metacognitive strategy use to EFL reading achievement test performance. Language Testing, 20(1), 26-56.
Sadeghi, K. (2007). The key for successful reader-writer interaction: Factors affecting reading comprehension in L2 Revisited. Asian EFL Journal,9(3), 198-220.
Sigott, G. (2004). Towards identifying the C-Test construct. Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang.
Spolsky, B. (1969). Reduced redundancy as a language testing tool. Presented at Second International Congress of Applied Linguistics, Cambridge, England, September, 8-12.
Stanovich, K. (2000). Progress in understanding reading: Scientific foundations and new frontiers. New York: Guilford.
Taylor, W. L. (1953).Cloze procedure: A new tool for measuring readability. Journalism Quarterly, 30, 415-433.
Veeravagu, J., Muthusamy, C., Marimuthu, R., & Subrayan, A. (2010).Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to gauge students’ reading comprehension performance. Canadian Social Science, 6(3), 205-212.
Zamanian, M., & Heydari, P. (2012). Readability of texts: State of the art. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(1), 43-53.