Developing an Indonesian Reading Proficiency Test for BIPA Learners
The use of Indonesian proficiency tests for non-native speakers of Bahasa Indonesia is still equated with tests for native speakers. This has become a point of debate for many teachers and experts of Indonesian for Foreigners (Bahasa Indonesia untuk Penutur Asing - BIPA). The crux of the debate focuses on whether the same proficiency test should be used for both native speakers (NS) and non-native speakers (NNS) alike, or whether separate tests should be developed. In accordance with the peculiarities of Bahasa Indonesia, Indonesian proficiency tests for NS and NNS should be differentiated. The underdevelopment of specialized proficiency tests for NNS can be explained by the fact that Bahasa Indonesia is not one of the dominant languages learned in the world today. This research aims to develop materials for an Indonesian proficiency test for NNS. The development of the test focuses on reading comprehension. To advance development of the test, discussions of the processes for defining the theoretical construct as well as empirical analysis of students' result were combined. The method used in this study involved expert review, text readability analysis, and item analysis. The findings show that the test items developed can be used to test students’ proficiency, particularly in reading comprehension.
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