[Rasch] Rasch Digest, Vol 111, Issue 12

Dan Kindlon dankindlon7 at gmail.com
Thu Oct 9 06:13:30 EST 2014


Tim,

    Thanks for the response. I am primarily interested in EPL words, but
ESL would be the next area I would move into, so thank you for your
thoughts on that.  I have looked at word frequencies and, as per your
observation, the difficulty of the words - especially for the upper echelon
words that I'm interested (e.g. SAT-type words, college academic lexicon) -
and their in-print frequencies are only slightly associated.  I've also
looked at the Lexile system developed by Metametrics, but the price of
their item difficulty measures is beyond what I can handle. That said, I do
have a plan for getting the item difficulties that I need but the plan
would have been much easier if I had had some anchor words with which to
start.

thanks again for your response

Dan Kindlon

On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 9:00 PM, <rasch-request at acer.edu.au> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Re: Rasch Digest, Vol 111, Issue 11 (Stoeckel, Tim)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2014 15:36:19 +0900
> From: "Stoeckel, Tim" <tstoecke at sky.miyazaki-mic.ac.jp>
> Subject: Re: [Rasch] Rasch Digest, Vol 111, Issue 11
> To: <rasch at acer.edu.au>
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CAEdKR7iPC8rNdddDeyNwaog1A8SD2YAmn5qVSts4NjfQtLdkFA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> Hi Dan,
>
> When you say "item difficulties for English vocabulary words," are you
> referring to English as a *second *or *first *language? I am familiar with
> several studies which report Rasch-based word difficulties in an ESL
> context, including several I have worked on. Let me know if this is what
> you are interested in.
>
> These types of studies typically take samples of words from different
> frequency-based word bands, so you would not get comprehensive data for all
> of the words in a band. Though there is a general trend for less frequently
> occurring words to be more difficult, there is a lot of variation, with
> words of identical frequency being of wildly different difficulty.
>
> These studies seem to show that word frequency, though perhaps the most
> important factor in determining difficulty, accounts for only 15% or so of
> the variance. Other factors like part of speech, concreteness of the word,
> and word length also play roles.
>
> It is also interesting to note that in ESL contexts, word difficulty can
> vary depending on the first language of the examinees. This is because
> factors such as loanword/cognate status or the frequency of certain words
> in commonly used English textbooks in a given country can influence word
> difficulty. So it is not possible to make statements about the difficulty
> of specific words across different ESL learning contexts.
>
> Best,
>
> Tim Stoeckel
>
> On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM, <rasch-request at acer.edu.au> wrote:
>
> > Send Rasch mailing list submissions to
> >         rasch at acer.edu.au
> >
> > To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> >         https://mailinglist.acer.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/rasch
> > or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> >         rasch-request at acer.edu.au
> >
> > You can reach the person managing the list at
> >         rasch-owner at acer.edu.au
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> > When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
> > than "Re: Contents of Rasch digest..."
> >
> > Today's Topics:
> >
> >    1. Re: Vocabulary word difficulty (Schulz, Matt)
> >
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: "Schulz, Matt" <mschulz at pacificmetrics.com>
> > To: "rasch at acer.edu.au" <rasch at acer.edu.au>
> > Cc:
> > Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2014 04:37:44 +0000
> > Subject: Re: [Rasch] Vocabulary word difficulty
> >
> > A colleague of mine thought the following links might be useful in
> > response to the question below:
> >
> >
> >
> > http://textproject.org/research/
> >
> > http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resources/academicwordlist/
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > *From:* rasch-bounces at acer.edu.au [mailto:rasch-bounces at acer.edu.au] *On
> > Behalf Of *Dan Kindlon
> > *Sent:* Friday, October 03, 2014 11:33 AM
> > *To:* rasch at acer.edu.au
> > *Subject:* [Rasch] Vocabulary word difficulty
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > I hesitate to ask this mundane question amid the fascinating high-level
> > discussion of "Rasching the PISA", but if anyone has
> information/links/data
> > showing item difficulties for English vocabulary words, I would very much
> > appreciate hearing about it. Thank you.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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