Using Arabic in Testing Reading Comprehension in English
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This study aims at examining the role of the native language (Arabic) in assessing reading comprehension in the foreign language (English). It reports on the findings of a case study in which two test versions, one in Arabic and another in English , were used to assess the effect of the language of the test on the reading comprehension performance of 60 secondary school students in Jordan. After receiving instruction for one month using reading material in their prescribed textbook, two comprehension-groups were tested using the same reading test except that the language of the test was English for the first sub-group and Arabic for the second. The results showed that the subjects who were tested in Arabic outperformed their counterparts who took the English test version. However, the advanced subjects in the two groups did equally well regardless of the test version they took. The tentative results of the study may encourage researchers in Jordan to launch an in-depth investigation into the use of the native language as a possible alternative method in testing reading comprehension in English.