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Language tests

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The use of tests in language, different kinds and categories.

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Language tests

  1. 1. Language tests Teaching for Secondary Education Universidad Santo Tomás Cecilia Maller
  2. 2. Three reasons for Lg. Tests  Placement: to place ss appropriately in the program.  Diagnosis: to diagnose ss´problems in L2 with accuracy.  Achievement assessment: to measure achievement, if reached course/program obj.
  3. 3. + Categorizations  Norm-referenced tests: Measure how a ss does compared to others on the same test. Applied on a large scale “standardized”. Ex. Simce, Cambridge certifications, Inicia.  Criterion referencing:How well a ss has met specific objectives/ level of performance in a certain area.  Ex. Driver´s licence. (Pass/fail)
  4. 4. Indirect and direct testing  Indirect testing: Does not test actual performance, tests enabling skills or microskills that add up to what might constitute actual performance. Ex. A test of lexical items relating to history Used to predict how well he would do in a history class with competent speakers
  5. 5.  Direct testing: Tests abilities actually used in a given context. Predictions of student performance. Ex. : After a lecture ( Important ideas) - to write a summary - to write an essay expressing opinions. - to read and understand academic written discourse. - Performance tasks, performance checklist and observations.
  6. 6. Discrete Point Tests v/s Integrative Tests  Discrete point tests: Examine the knowledge of specific elements in phonology, grammar, and vocabulary in order to determine proficiency in the 4 skills. ex.: • Difference between pill and bill? • Past tense from present progressive’
  7. 7.  Integrative tests: Examine a ss´s ability to use many skills simultaneously to accomplish a task. Exs. Can the student… *answer a questions that is typical of conversation? * Tell a story ( understandable) * Write an effective letter?
  8. 8. Important to consider  Tests that are integrative: both in task and in evaluation: great for indicating the proficiency levels of ss.  Tests that are integrative in task and discrete point in evaluation may be best used for Diagnostic purposes.
  9. 9. Pragmatic tests  John Oller, Jr ( 1979) These tests may include:  Dictation  Cloze procedures ( supply missing words)  Paraphrase recognition  Question answering
  10. 10.  Oral interviews  Essay writing  Narration  Translation. *Ss who do well on one pragmatic test will also tend to do well on others. * These tests seem to provide the most reliable, valid and usable approach to the measurement of lg. ability.
  11. 11. Determining Placement  If our purpose is to divide ss according to proficiency levels( beginning, interm. and advanced), there is need of a combination of:  Listening comprehension tasks  Oral interview  Some informal writing  Reading interpretation or paraphrasing section.