This accessible book examines issues such as test design, the rating process, validity, measurement, and the social dimension of language testing. It looks at both traditional and newer forms of language assessment, and the challenges posed by new views.
Preface ; Author's preface ; section 1 ; Survey ; 1 Testing, testing ... What is a language test? ; Understanding language testing ; Types of test ; Test purpose ; The criterion ; The test-criterion relationship ; Conclusion ; 2 Communication and the design of language tests ; Discrete point tests ; Integrative and pragmatic tests ; Communicative language tests ; Models of communicative ability ; Conclusion ; 3 The testing cycle ; Understanding the constraints ; Test content ; Test method ; Authenticity of response ; Fixed and constructed response formats ; Test specifications ; Test trials ; Conclusion ; 4 The rating process ; Establishing a rating procedure ; The problem with raters ; Establishing a framework for making judgements ; Rating scales ; Holistic and analytic ratings ; Rater training ; Conclusion ; 5 Validity: testing the test ; Threats to test validity ; Test content ; Test method and test construct ; The impact of tests ; Conclusion ; 6 Measurement ; Introduction ; Measurement ; Quality control for raters ; Investigating the properties of individual test items ; Norm-referenced and criterion-referenced measurement ; New approaches to measurement ; Conclusion ; 7 The social character of language tests ; Introduction ; The institutional character of assessment ; Assessment and social policy ; Assessment and educational policy ; The social responsibility of the language tester ; Ethical language testing ; Accountability ; Washback ; Test impact ; Codes of professional ethics for language testers ; Critical language testing ; Conclusion ; 8 New directions-and dilemmas? ; Computers and language testing ; Technology and the testing of speaking ; Dilemmas: whose performance? ; section 2 ; Readings ; section 3 ; References ; section 4 ; Glossary