PRINCIPLES OF LANGUAGE
Astrid Paola Parada caballero
My first impression when I read the title of the chapter was that it will be probably boring, however,
as I continued reading I realized that to design a good test depends on some principles such as
practicality, reliability, validity, authenticity and washback .I have to say that all of these terms
were unknown up to this moment to me and that made continue reading, because I consider that
ones of the most important issues in assessing students starts in the fact that tests are not welldesigned and well-implemented partly because we as a teachers don’t have the knowledge to do
it and partly because we believe that assessment is not as important as teaching.
there is a brief interpretation of some concepts that I found interesting during my reading activity.
FIVE CARDINAL CRITERIA FOR “TESTING A
An effective test is practical when it fits the following requirements:
It isn’t excessively expensive.
It says within appropriate time constrains.
It is relatively easy to administrate
It has a scoring/ evaluation procedure that is specific and time –efficient.
Well- planned procedures before a test implementation is crucial to avoid
not only delays in giving Ss' the results but also
in avoiding Ss' misunderstandings and confusions that may affect their
A reliable test is:
Factors that contribute to the
unreliability of a test:
Rater Reliability: Human errors,
subjectivity and preferences may
affect the scoring process.
Reliability: two o
scores of the
happens due to the
some students or
simply careless by
Student-related Reliability: Temporary
illness, fatigue, a “bad day", anxiety, and
other physical or psychological factors, which
make an “ observed” score differ from one’s
Test Administration Reliability: I refers
to the conditions( environment,
photocopies quality, amount of light,
desks and chairs) in which the test is
Test Reliability: If a test id too long, testtakers may become fatigued by the time and
can be adversative affective by the presence
of a clock.
It is the most complex and important criterion of an effective test.
Validity is when the assessment results are appropriate, meaningful, and useful in terms of purpose of the
How is the validity of a test established?
1. Content-related Evidence: If you can clearly
define the achievement that you are measuring
there is validity.
Direct test involves the test-takers in actually
performing the target task.
Indirect test is a combination between direct and
2. Criterion-related Evidence: It means that the specific
classroom objectives measured have ben reached.
concurrent validity: If the results are supported
beyond the assessment itself.
ii. Predictive validity: It is important in the case of
placement tests, language aptitude tests etc.
4. Consequential Validity: It includes all
3. Construct-related Evidence: It is any
the consequences of the test, including
accuracy in measuring criteria, its impact on
preparation of test-takers, its effect on the
learner and its interpretation etc.
theory, hypothesis, or model that attempts to
explain observed phenomena in our universe of
5. Face Validity: It can be empirically tested by a teacher
or even by a testing expert because it is based on the
subjective judgment of the examinees who take it.
Authenticity in a test in when a task is likely to be enacted or represented in the “real world”.
In a test, authenticity may be present in the following way:
The language in a test is as natural as possible.
Contextualized items Not in isolation.
Meaningful topics for the learner.
Real –world tasks.
It refers to effects the tests have on instruction in terms of how students
prepare for the test. It is also about how Ss' can identify their strengths and
weekends. Teachers can suggest strategies for helping Ss' as part of the
guiding process. Feedback is very important for Ss' improvement.
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