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Requirement

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In no more than 3 pages, categorize a famous, standardized language test based on the principles presented in class & in the reading. The goal is to apply the theory to a concrete exam. Focus on one task in this exam (e.g., the writing section). For example, choose one section of the TOEFL iBT, the IELTS, the TSE, the MELAB, or the Cambridge exams for young learners (see Appendix B for useful resources). Use the Internet to obtain pertinent information about the exam. See sample papers for ideas on how to write this paper. Also, see the rubric we will use to assess your paper.

Session 1_Part B:
Core Concepts and Basic Definitions
Different Types of Assessment
Second Language Assessment (A&HL4088)
Payman Vafaee, Ph.D.
Teachers College, Columbia University
Summer B 2022
Language Assessment
Language assessment is an interdisciplinary endeavor between Applied
Linguistics and psychometrics.
Applied Linguistics: finding practical solutions for language-related
problems.
Psychometrics: developing theories and techniques of psychological
measurement.
It involves two major research tasks:
1) The development and refinement of theoretical approaches to
measurement.
2) The construction of instruments and procedures for measurement.
3) The development and refinement of validation frameworks.
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
2
Basic Definitions
• Why assessment?
– Evaluation: it involves making value judgments and
decisions about people
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
3
Basic Definitions
• What is assessment?
– Assessment: is the process of collecting information about
something that we are interested in, according to
procedures that are substantively grounded and
systematic.
• Substantively grounded:
– Based on recognized and verifiable area of content
» A widely accepted theory or line of research
» Needs analysis
• Systematic:
– Clearly defined procedure
– Open to scrutiny
– Potentially can be replicated
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Basic Definitions
Qualitative
● Systematic Classroom Observations
● Portfolio Assessment
● Dynamic Assessment
Quantitative
Measurement
Assessment
Test
• Measurement: in social sciences, measurement is the process of
quantifying the characteristics of persons according to explicit procedures
and rules.
• Test: is a measurement instrument designed to elicit a specific sample of
an individual’s behavior. As one type of measurement, a test necessarily
quantifies characteristics of individuals according to explicit procedures.
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Validity
● MOCA
● TOEFL as the midterm test for my class at CLP?
● IELTS as the placement test for CLP?
Validity pertains to the meaningfulness and appropriateness of the
interpretations and uses we make based on test scores for the
intended purposes.
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Assessment Cycle
Decision/Claim
Interpret the
results
Purpose
Score the
test
Develop or
choose a test
Administer
the test
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Test Purpose and Assessment Types
Purpose
Type of Test
Curriculum-related decisions
_______________________
Achievement
Diagnostic/Progress
Placement
Admission
Other decision types
_______________________
General Proficiency
Job Screening
Immigration
Research
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
8
Curriculum-related Decisions
Achievement Test: is used to identify how well students have met
the course objectives or mastered course content.
Diagnostic/Progress Test: is used to assess how well students are
learning what is being thought and to identify their areas of
strength and weakness.
Placement Test: is used to decide at which level in the language
program a student should study.
Admission Test: is used to decide whether a student should be
admitted to a program at all.
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Other Decision Types
General Proficiency Test: measure an examinee’s level of language
ability independent of a particular curriculum.
Job Screening Test: are similar to proficiency tests, but mostly used
for the professional purposes.
Immigration Language Test: are used to decide if people have enough
language skills to live and work in new country.
Research Instrument (Test) : tests are used to obtain dependent
variable measures.
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Other Ways of Classifying Tests
What examinees do
Ways to score
Discrete-point
vs.
Integrated
Dichotomous
vs.
Multi-level
Interpretation
Framework
Norm-referenced vs.
Criterion-referenced
Summative vs.
Formative
Obj. vs. Sub.
False Dichotomies
Direct vs.
Indirect
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Test Types Based on What Examinees Do
• Discrete-point test is one that uses a series of separate, unrelated
test items or tasks to assess one “bit” of language ability at a time.
– For example:
• A simple vocabulary test
• A sound recondition test
• Reading and listening tasks with multiple-choice items
• Integrated test: is one which requires test takers to use multiple
aspects of language ability, typically to perform more life-like tasks.
– For example:
• Integrated speaking and writing tasks
• Independent speaking and writing tasks
A continuum rather than a dichotomy
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Discrete-point vs. Integrated tests
Discrete-point
Integrated
Advantages
Disadvantages
Advantages
Disadvantages
More specific
Inauthentic
Authentic
Less specific
Wide variety
Non-communicative
Communicative
Less variety
No avoidance strategy
Incomplete
More complete
Avoidance strategy
Easy to administer and
score
Lack face validity
More face validity
Difficult to administer
and score
Easy to interpret
Decontextualized
Contextualized
Difficult to interpret
Item independence
Negative Washback
Positive washback
Sampling difficulty
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Test Types Based on How they are Scored
Expected Response Formats
Discrete-point
Integrated
Selected Response
Constructed Response
Multiple-choice
Limited Production
Extended Production
Matching
Gap-fill
Easy
True/false
Cloze
Interview
Sentence completion
Presentation
Short answer
Role-play
Receptive or
productive
Productive
Receptive
Scored
Dichotomously
Scored
Dichotomously or
based on a rubric
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
Scored based on a
rubric
14
Test Types Based on Score Interpretation
Norm-Referenced
Criterion-Referenced
Comparison with other students (norming)
Comparison with a pre-established standard
Relative
Absolute
Percentile
Percentage and Cut-score
No actual pass/fail
Pass/fail
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Summative vs. Formative Interpretation
Summative
Formative
End of unit, course, program, etc.
During the process of learning
How much students have learned
Monitor progress
Achievement
Diagnostic/progress
Pass/fail
Guide teaching and learning
End of unit quiz
Formative
Summative
Graduation
exam
Informal
observation
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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False Dichotomies
Objective vs. Subjective Tests
• So-called Objective Test: is one that can be scored objectively.
• So-called Subjective Test: is one that involves human judgment to score.
• Problems with this dichotomy:
• Where does the questions on an objective test come from?
• Clearly written rubrics and rater training and norming for subjective
test.
Direct vs. Indirect Tests
• So-called Direct Test: is one that requires test takers to use the ability that
is supposed to be being assessed (productive skills).
• So-called Indirect Test: is one that rather than assessing an ability itself, it
assesses related abilities, in the hope that this will provide an accurate
estimate.
• Problems with this dichotomy:
• Direct tests are actually indirect.
– Competence vs. Performance
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
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Graded Assignment 1
• In no more than 3 pages, categorize a famous, standardized language test
based on the principles presented in class & in the reading.
• The goal is to apply the theory to a concrete exam. Focus on one task in
this exam (e.g., the writing section).
Vafaee, A&HL4088 (Class 1)
18

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