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Task 1 B. Language Testing and Evaluation I .

Principles Of Language Testing And Evaluation List any THREE of the basic principles of language testing and briefly describe each of the principles

THE PRINCIPLES OF LANGUAGE TESTING A test is a tool used by a teacher to measure a students ability or knowledge in a given domain. Tests under examination conditions with invigilators are called formal test. However, formal tests are not the only kinds of test. Informal tests goes on all the time. Teachers makes observations and assess students performances in speaking, listening, reading and writing through out the lesson. Brown (2004:30) clarifies that the five principles of language testing including validity, reliability, practically, washback and authenticity provide useful guide for evaluating an existing test procedure. 1. VALIDITY Validity is the most important principle. A test is said to be valid if it really measure what it supposed to measure. ( Kelly,1927:14; Henning, 1987:89). The extent to which the assessment requires students to perform tasks that were included in the previous classroom lessons. Validity can be simply defined : A test is valid if it measure what we intend to measure. Thus for example, if our test is intended to measure writing ability in English language, and the score systematically higher or lower due to their writing ability, then the test is valid.

There are many different of validity. The table below shows the main types of validity and their brief explanations.

the extent to which a test seems valid by test takers or Face validity untrained observers or the test looks as though it measures what it is supposed to measure.

the extent to which the content of a test can be said to be sufficiently representative and comprehensive of the Content Validity purpose for which it has been designed or the test assesses the course content and outcomes using formats familiar to the students.

the extent to which evidence can be found to support the underlying theoretical construct on which the test is Construct Validity based or refers to the overall construct or trait being measured or the "fit" between the underlying theories and methodology of language learning and the type of assessment.

The extent to which the objectives of the test have been Criterionrelated validity measured or assessed. In other words, the test is valid if the objectives taught are the objectives tested and the items are actually testing this objectives.

Consequential validity

The effect of test score on test takers and on subsequent teaching.

Concurrent validity

the extent to which test takers' scores on one test relate to those on another externally recognised test or measure

Response Validity

the extent to which test takers respond in the way expected by the test developers


Reliability refers to the consistency of test scores. It simply means that a test would give similar results if it were given at another time. This means that a test would always rank-order a group of test takers in nearly the same way. The more reliable a test, the less random error it contains. A test which contains systematic error, e.g bias against a certain group, may be reliable but not valid.

The important of reliability in a language test is noted by Harris (1969:14) who argues that in terms of the stability of test scores, if the test does not measure consistency, it cannot measure anything well.

According to Mousavi (2002:804), there are 4 types of reliability involved in a language test : i. Student-related reliability Changes within the learners like additional learning or forgetting and influence such as fatigue, sickness, anxiety, emotional problems may cause the learners score to deviate from the score that reflects his or her actual ability. ii. Rater reliability - Human error, subjectivity, and bias may enter into the scoring process and affect the reliability of the tests result. iii. Test administration reliability - deals with the conditions in which the test is administered such as street noise outside the building ,

bad equipment , room temperature, the conditions of chairs and tables, photocopying variation. iv. Test reliability test format and content of the questions and time given for test takers may affect test reliability.

Three important factors effect test reliability. Test factors such as the formats and content of the questions and the length of the exam must be consistent. For example, testing research shows that longer exams produce more reliable results than very brief quizzes. Administrative factors are also important for reliability. These include the classroom setting (lighting, seating arrangements, acoustics, lack of intrusive noise etc.) and how the teacher manages the exam administration. Affective factors in the response of individual students can also affect reliability. Test anxiety can be allayed by coaching students in good test-taking strategies.

3. PRACTICALITY Practicality, clarified by Brown (2004:19), denotes that an effective test : Is not excessively expensive Stays within appropriate time constraints Is relatively easy to administer and Has a scoring / evaluation procedure that is specific and time efficient. Classroom teachers are well familiar with practical issues, but they need to think of how practical matters relate to testing. A good classroom test should be "teacher-friendly". A teacher should be able to develop, administer and mark it within the available time and with available resources. Classroom tests are only valuable to students when they are returned promptly and when the feedback from assessment is understood by the student. In this way, students can benefit from the test-taking process. Practical issues include time, resources (everything from

computer access, copying facilities, AV equipment to storage space), and administrative logistics.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Nesmalar Chitravelu, Saratha Sitthamparam,The Soo Choon. (2005) ELT Methodology Principles and Practice 2nd EditionOxford Fajar Sdn.Bhd.Shah Alam. Principles of language Assessment . Retrived from www.yesdil.com Principles of language testing. Retrived from http://www.h2g2.com/approved_entry/A1297910

Task 1 B. Language Testing and Evaluation

II. Purpose Of Testing

Testing is an unavoidable part of teaching and learning process. After certain period of learning, a test has to be conducted. In language testing, test is used as a measurement tool to find out someone s ability in language learning. For the test makers, test can be an evaluation to see the teachers ability in teaching whether teaching system or continue their method. they should change their

The most common use of language tests is to identify strengths and weaknesses in students abilities. For example, through testing we can discover that a student has excellent oral abilities but a relatively low level of reading comprehension. Information gleaned from tests also assists us in deciding who should be allowed to participate in a particular course or program area. Another common use of tests is to provide information about the effectiveness of programs of instruction. A useful test which can measure someones ability must provide reliable and valid measurement for a variety purposes.

1. Diagnosis and feedback Diagnosis test is used to determine a person's strengths and weaknesses in order to improve performance. This test is either theory or syllabus based. Language teachers always know that diagnosing their students strengths and weaknesses early in classes so that they can decide how to gear the instruction to be most appropriate for the students in that class or at least help them plan class activities appropriate for the general skill levels of the class as a whole.

Diagnostic approaches Identify strengths and weaknesses in a learners knowledge or use of language Have a focus on weaknesses that leads to remediation in further instruction Enable detailed analysis and a report of responses to items or tasks Provide feedback that can be acted upon Are based on content covered in instructionor content soon-to-be covered Are less likely to be authentic then are proficiency tests; more likely to be discrete-point,

2. Screening and Selection In function of a test is to help test maker to make decision of whether someone is allowed to participate in one institution or not. The selection decision is made by determining who will be the most benefit from instruction, to reach mastery of language and to become the useful practitioner to the testers ability.

Screening is a method of collecting data for determining how each student is performing in a given area. Screening reveals the low and high performing students. In the area of language testing, a common screening instrument is named as aptitude test. It is used to predict the success or failure of students prospective in a language learning program. . 3. Placement Tests are used to identify a particular performance level of the student and to place him or her at an appropriate level of instruction. The test content may be based on either a theory of language proficiency or on the learning objectives of the syllabus to be taken. Students of similar ability levels are placed in the same group(homogeneous ability levels).

Placement tests also designed to place students in an appropriate course for their English language level due to the students may have previous qualifications in English. This information helps the teachers to decide on their teaching focus. For example, when students enter a given institution from outside: the students may have previous qualifications in English, but the institution wishes to make its own assessment of their ability based on the levels/classes offered in the institution. 4. Program Evaluation Another important use of tests especially achievement test, is to find out the effectiveness of program of an institution. If the results of these tests are used to modify the learning program to better needs of the students. This process is termed formative evaluation .The final examination is administrated as part of the process which is called summative evaluation. 5. Providing research Criteria The score of the test is provide the information as a standard value for another context research. The result of a test to be a research. Then this research will be essential information to other research. Example: i. The Malaysian University English Test (MUET) - Placement
ii. Final Examination of Nursing Course in College Program Evaluation


Fundamentals of Language Assessment, . Retrived from http://www.christinecoombe.com/admin/downloadable%20modules/Fundamental s%20of%20Language%20Assessment%20Manual%20by%20Coombe%20and% 20Hubley.pdf Desmond Allison,Language testing and evaluation an introductory course, Singapore university press, 1999

Nesmalar Chitravelu, Saratha Sitthamparam,The Soo Choon. (2005) ELT Methodology Principles and Practice 2nd EditionOxford Fajar Sdn.Bhd.Shah Alam.