Testing and assessment are part of modern life. Schoolchildren around the world are constantly assessed, whether to monitor their educational progress or for governments to evaluate the quality of school systems. Adults are tested to see if they are suitable for a job they have applied for, or if they have the skills necessary for promotion. Entrance to educational establishments, to professions, and even to entire countries is sometimes controlled by tests. Tests play a fundamental and controversial role in allowing access to the limited resources and opportunities that our world provides. The importance of understanding what we test, how we test, and the impact that the use of tests has on individuals and societies cannot be overstated. Testing is more than a technical activity; it is also an ethical enterprise.
The practice of language testing draws upon and also contributes to, all disciplines within applied linguistics. However, there is something fundamentally different about language testing. Language testing is all about building better tests, researching how to build better tests, and, in so doing, understanding better the things that we test.
This course offers a comprehensive survey of essential principles and tools for second language assessment.
- Madson, H. S. (1983). Techniques in Language Testing. Teaching Techniques in English as a Second Language.
- Brown H. D. (2004). Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices. Longman Publications.
- Fulcher G., Davidson F. (2007). Language Testing and Assessment. An advanced resource book. Routledge Applied Linguistics.