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Language assessment

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Eoin Daly

on 3 August 2013

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Transcript of Language assessment

Language Assessment
Language Assessment: Introduction
1. Why assessment?
-Think about when you had to take a test.
Was the test necessary for you? Why are
tests needed?

-Are there learning or training situations
where tests are not used? Can you give an example?

- In general, when do you think tests are necessary?
2. What is a 'test'?
3. what are differences between
'test' and 'assessment'?
4. What does it take to design a
'good' test?
5. What are the purposes of language testing?
6. What is the relationship between testing and teaching
Testing enables teachers know what students have achieved in language learning.
Testing enables teachers know what teachers have achieved in language teaching.
Achievement tests: are directly related to language courses, their purpose being to establish how successful individual students, group of students, or the courses themselves have been in achieving objectives.

Diagnostic tests: are used to identify learners’ strengths and weakness.
Placement tests: are intended to provide information that will help to place students at the stage (or in the part) of the teaching programme most appropriate to their abilities.

Proficiency tests: are designed to measure people’s ability in a language, regardless of any training they may have had in that language.
Purposes of language testing
What features a good test should have?
Validity: tests what it aims to
Reliability: test consistently
Practicality: lower cost; less time to create
Positive washback: positive effects on both learning and teaching
Authenticity: communicate in L2
Multiple-choice items
Gap-filling items
Short-answer items
Common test techniques
Multiple-choice items
Advantages of MC
Objective testing
Scoring is easy
Less dependent on students' writing skills
Can cover a broad range of contents
Very effective when eliciting a best answer
Disadvantages of MC
Testing only recognition knowledge, not productive knowledge
Candidates have 25% to guess the right answers
1. If I_ him last year, I_ him to help me.
A. know, ask
B. knew, asked
C. have known, asked
D. had known, would have asked

2. She started to_, thinking about his death.
A. giggle
B. complain
C. shout
D. weep
Reducing guessing
Students must know answers, no hint given
More or less objective
Gap-filling items
answers limited to some restricted words, not assessing high level learning
difficult to restrict answers, it is easy to have more than one correct answer
1.The color of the Unite States are_,_ and_.
2. Some men do not have_ on their face.
Students need to produce language, less guess
Can test higher learning level
Easy to write
Avoid the problems of extended response item
Short-answer items
Scoring is less objective
More time consuming for task-takers and scorers
1. What does it in the last sentence refer to?

2. How old was Hannibal when he started eating human beings?
1. Performance test: performing one's job.

2. Portfolio assessment
Alternative Assessment
Poster Presentation
There are enough items to test what we aim to test.
The language samples used in the test appropriate for the language skills/language elements we aim to test.
The tasks in the test appropriate for the skills/ language elements we want to test
The scoring procedure only score what we aim to test
The test look likes it’s testing what we aim to test
Look at the test itself and ask
1. Does the test have enough but not too many redundant items?
2. Are the instructions clear with no ambiguity?3.Doss know clearly what they’re supposed to do based on the instructions?
3. Is the test administered in a consistent environment with minimal outside interferences?
4. Does the test try to minimize variation in students’ performances (few or no options)
5. Is the test being scored consistently? (scoring guide, rubrics, answer keys are used; more than one rater for subjective scoring)
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