An Evaluation Study of NAPT Reading Subtest
1.1 Background Information
1.1.1 The National Arabic Proficiency Test (NAPT)
The need for speakers who are proficient in more than one language is clear in the context of national interests and security, as well as for personal and societal benefits. The cost of ignoring this need has already been felt. The situation will become even more urgent if sufficient effort and resources are not allocated to develop a language-proficient society that includes individuals with high levels of proficiency in second languages. The National Arabic Proficiency Test (NAPT) is a tool developed by the Chinese Ministry of Education to evaluate the quality of proficiency of second-year students taught Arabic in Chinese universities. Upon satisfaction of the tool requirements, a proficiency certificate is provided that attests to the students’ proficiency in Arabic. NAPT is considered as an important means of improving teaching and learning of Arabic in Chinese institutions of learning.
NAPT is designed and administrated by the Committee of Foreign Language Teaching in the Ministry of Education. The Arabic subcommittee in the Committee of Foreign Language is tasked with organizing the tests in terms of formatting the exam, developing test versions, announcing time, and scoring answer sheets. NAPT is administered on Saturday morning in the third week of May of every year. NAPT’s purpose is to assess the proficiency of second-year university students who study Arabic language as their major. It also evaluates the quality of the syllabus and inspects program implementation to provide an understanding of the teaching situation since the quality of teaching is an important factor in improving teaching standards. NAPT tests listening vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, translation and writing skills.
The purpose of the NAPT reading comprehension subtest is to assess students’ ability to understand information they glean from reading accurately and on time. The test is aimed at examining a student’s ability to: (i) read and understand authentic reading materials (ii) understand and explain given facts and details (iii) not only understand the literal meaning but also make judgments and (iv) to understand not only each sentence but also the logic of context.

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