Language Assessment

Language Assessment: Reliability, Validity and Practicality

Reliability, Validity and Practicality

Language Assessment Key Terms

Language Assessment is as important as knowing how to teach the language. Not knowing how to teach and how to assess students can cause problems to English language learners.

Testing, Assessing and Teaching

  1. Test:  A method of measuring a persons abillty, knowledge, or performance in a given domain.
  2. Assessment: It is an ongoing process that measure a persons abillty, knowledge, or performance in a given domain in an formal or informal way.
  3. Informal Assessment: These are classroom tasks deedigned to elicit performance without recording results or making fixed judgements about student’s competence.
  4. Formal Assessment: Exercises or procedures specifically designed to measure to know how well students have mastered learning outcomes.
  5. Performance: The test taker’s ability to do something.
  6. Competence:  One’s abilty to perform language
  7. Formative Assessment: Evaluatings stundents in the process of developing their skills with the goal of helping to continue grow
  8. Summative Assessment: To measure what students has grasped and this type of assessment take place at the end of a course
  9. Norm-Referenced Tests: each test-takers scoreis interpreted in relation to a mean (average score), median (middle score), standard deviation (extent of variance in scores), and/or percentile rank.
  10. Criterion-Referenced Tests: These are designed to give test takers feedback.  usually in the form of grades, on specific course or lesson objectives.
  11. Discrete-Point Tests:  are constructed o n the assumption that language can be broken down into its component parts and that those parts can be tested successfully
  12. Integrative Test: Procedures to test more than one skill and/or item of knowledge at a time.

Principles of Language Assessment

  1. Reliability: a reliable test is consistent and dependable. They yield similar results if a student takes the same test on two different ocassions.
  2. Validity:  the test measure what it intends to measure
  3. Practicality: This refers to a test that it can be easily administered among other things
  4. Authenticity: Test designed with tasks that are likely to be enacted in the real world
  5. Washback:  This is the effect that learning and teaching has on teachers, learners and other officials and institutions involved.

Test Types

  1. Language Aptitude Tests: it measures the capacity or general ability to learn a new language.
  2. Placement Tests: These tests place students into a particular level.
  3. Diagnostic Tests: These tests are designed to diagnose specific aspects of language.
  4. Achievement Tests: These tests are limited to a particular material within the curriculum

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