Cloze tests and word reading tests: Enabling teachers to measure learners' reading-related abilities

  • Nanda M Klapwijk
Keywords: reading comprehension, measuring reading ability, Cloze test, word reading test


‘How can I measure my learners’ reading ability in order to manage my instruction more effectively?’ This seems to be the refrain of many teachers these days. However, while teachers are taught new methods of instruction and new reading methods, they do not seem to be taught about reliable ways to measure their learners’ reading-related ability independently. In this article, a recommendation is made for the use of two measurements by teachers: a word reading test (which measures word recognition) and Cloze tests (which measure a reader’s ability to comprehend at more than word level). While acknowledging the difficulties related to measuring reading ability, in particular comprehension, the author of this article provides evidence that, when combined, a word reading test and a Cloze test can provide teachers with a reliable indicator of their learners’ reading-related abilities. The article concludes with a list of benefits that can be gained from obtaining such measurements.

Author Biography

Nanda M Klapwijk
Nanda Klapwijk is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of South Africa. Her research interests include reading comprehension instruction, multilingual (language) learning and technology-assisted language learning.Email: