The aim of this course is to introduce students to issues related to the design and classification of tests with regard to their approach and purpose. More particularly, the course will (a) show the connection between testing and teaching and discuss the concept of backwash effect, (b) provide overall instruction in the use of various types of tests for classroom purposes, (c) introduce fundamental concepts in testing (e.g. validity and reliability), (d) train students in the techniques and procedures employed in the construction and evaluation of tests and test results and (e) present types of tests for the testing of the skills, vocabulary and grammar.
Course Content (Syllabus)
1. Introductory concepts
(i) What is a test?
(ii) Terms denoting various measuring instruments
2. The relation between teaching and testing: harmful and beneficial backwash
3. Inaccurate tests: Reasons for inaccuracy in measurement of performance
4. Types of tests according to purpose
(i) aptitude tests
(ii) proficiency tests
(iii) achievement tests
(iv) diagnostic tests
(v) placement tests
5. Types of tests according to approach
(i) direct vs indirect tests
(ii) discrete-point vs integrative tests
(iii) norm-referenced vs. criterion-referenced tests
(iv) communicative tests
6. Fundamental notions in testing
criterion-related validity (statistical validity)
the reliability coefficient
the standard error of measurement and the true score
(iii) How to make tests more reliable
(iv) Reliability and validity
7. How to achieve beneficial backwash
8. Stages of test construction
9. Test techniques
(i) multiple-choice test
(ii) cloze, C-Test, dictation
10. Testing the skills
11. Testing the language components
12. Test administration
testing, assessment, validity, reliability, assessing the skills, grammar and vocabulary assessment
Additional bibliography for study
Alderson, J., C. Clapham and D. Wall. (1995). Language test construction and evaluation. Cambridge University Press.
Baker, D. (1989). Language testing. Great Britain: Edward Arnold.
Brown, J.D. (1988). Understanding research in second language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Efstathiadis, E. (1993). Assessment and evaluation of language performance. Thessaloniki: University Studio Press.
Heaton, J.B. (1990). Classroom Testing. London: Longman.
Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Oller, J. (1979). Language tests at school. Great Britain: Longman
Oller, J. (ed.) (1983). Issues in language testing research. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
Underhill, N. (1987). Testing spoken language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Weir, C. (1993). Understanding and developing language tests. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall International.