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Communicative language testing

Communicative language testing






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    Communicative language testing Communicative language testing Presentation Transcript

    • Teaching and testing Teaching and testing have been understood as two interrelated components. Many experts in curriculum planning, teaching, and testing have discussed the interrelationship between the two
    • Approaches to Language Testing According to Brown (1996) there are three movements of language testing approaches: the psychometric-structural movement, the integrative socio-linguistic movement, and the communicative movement. Djiwandono (1996) states five approaches of language testing: the traditional, discrete, integrative, pragmatic, and communicative approach
    • The traditional approach or essay-translation is generally called the pre scientific stage of language testing (Heaton, 1989). According to Brown (1996) this approach is often related to grammar translation teaching method. It is called pre-scientific approach because there is no requirement for the test designer to possess an expertise, skills (language testing specialty such as statistics, reliability, validity studies, etc.) the theoretical bases, and knowledge when constructing the test.
    • The discrete approach is influenced by structural linguistics view in which language consists of components (phonology, morphology, vocabulary, etc), that make up a system (language). Based on this view, the use of this approach sees that knowledge of language should cover the mastery of the language components as a system (McNamara, 2000). Oller (1979) states that the discrete movement views that language can be learned through an acquisition of one point of grammar at a time..
    • The integrative approach refers to a test that seeks to integrate knowledge of systematic components of language (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary) with an understanding of context (McNamara. 2000). 1n an integrative test language is not viewed in a discrete component and isolated from its context. According to Heaton (1989), the integrative approach does not separate the skills like in discrete tests but requires students to use more than one skill simultaneously
    • The pragmatic approach refers to the approach that concerns with the use of language in context. Oller (1979) states that the approach involves any tasks that asks students to “process sequences of elements in a language that conform to the normal contextual constraint of that language”. According to this approach, the meaning of language is best understood not only through the use of language components such as words, phrases, and sentences but also the context where non-language factors emerges such as noise, hesitations, gestures, etc..
    • The communicative approach, as defined by Heaton (1989), is an approach that focuses on how language is used in real communication. It means using language as it is for multitude of different purposes. To be able to use language for different purposes in daily life, students should know how to ‘use it appropriately. This implies knowing “culturally specific rules of use which related the language used to features of the communicative context” (McNamara, 2000).
    • Assessment, Measurement, Evaluation and Test The general public often uses the terms assessment, test, measurement, and evaluation interchangeably. The meanings of the terms, as applied to situation in school, are explained in the following paragraphs. At this juncture, there are some important terms that recur throughout this chapter. The following terms: assessment, evaluation, measurement, test, reliability, validity, formative assessment, and summative assessment
    • Nitko (1983, p.4) defines assessment as a process for obtaining information that is used for making decisions about students, curricula and programs, and educational policy. Measurement is defined as a procedure for assigning numbers (usually called scores) to specified attribute or characteristic of a person in such a way that the numbers describe the degree to which the person possesses the attribute. Nitko (1983, pg.8).
    • Evaluation is the application of judgment or values, or both, concerning the result of measurement or unquantified observation (Nikko, 2001). Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering and analyzing evidence of what a student can do. Evaluation is the process of interpreting the evidence and making judgment and decision based on the evidence (Burke, 1999) (in Suyanto, 2003). .
    • Tests also include production of various kinds of products and performance of various skills. Therefore, tests include all varieties of paperpencil assessments, the production of all kinds of products, and the exhibition of all sorts of skills, provided that the work is done under controlled uniform condition.
    • Conception of Tests Testing may be one of the “terrible” terminologies in teaching learning process both for teachers and students. Teachers usually do not like to construct their own test and they tend to use the available test which might not meet the instructional purposes so that the result could be disappointed. On the other hand, students see the test as manifestation of their performance or mastery of the materials taught and it will burden them to prepare to the best of their knowledge. To overcome these, both of them should realize the importance of test.
    • a test can be defined as series of questions which are administered to know the students’ performance or mastery of the material taught. The value of the test itself is laid on the completeness with which it tests the material understudy or the material which has been taught and the test administered is suitable with the level of the testees. In this case, a good test should be constructed as valid and reliable as possible so that the result of the test can be used as valuable or informative feedback both for teacher and student..
    • Types of Tests A.Djiwandono (1996:16) argues that language tests can be differentiated to become various categories based on ten criteria: (1) the objective of conducting the test (2) when the test is conducted, (3) how to do the test, (4) the ways of constructing the test, (5) the number of testees, (6) the answer form, (7) how to score, (8) scoring interpretation, (9) language aspects, and (10) language view or approach.
    • Types based on the Objective of Conducting the Test Based on the objective of conducting the test: A. Djiwandono (1996:16) states that language tests can be differentiated to become: selection test, placement test, achievement test, diagnostic test, and try-out test
    • Selection test is a test carried out to select participants that fulfils certain language requirements for a certain program the participants are going to join. Placement test is a test designed to place students at an appropriate level in a program or course that the participants are going to take. The placement is categorized in four levels: beginner, basic, intermediate, and advanced (Djiwandono, 1996:17; Richards, Platt, and Platt; 1999; Hughes, 199 1:14).
    • Achievement test is a test which measures how much of a language someone has learned with reference to a particular course of study or program of instruction. Therefore, the content of achievement test is based on bat has been taught (Djiwandono, 1996:17; Richards, Platt, and Platt; 1999; Heaton, 1989:172; Hughes, 1991:10).
    • A diagnostic test is a test designed to show what skills or knowledge a learner knows and does not know. This test is used to know the learners’ skills or knowledge before begir1ning a course especially the strengths and weaknesses to determine the instruction that will be conducted (Richards, Platt, and Platt; 1999; Hughes, 1989; Djiwandono, 1996:18; Heaton, 198°:173).
    • Tryout test is a test which is carried out to know whether a set of test craft has its good characteristics. Using this procedure a lot of information about the validity, reliability, facility index, discrimination index, and other important aspects of the test like the time allotment, clarity of instruction, etc. can be understood. Tryout test can be repeated several times as needed to achieve the best test that has the best characteristics (Djiwandono, 1996:18-19).
    • Valette (1967:4) classifies language tests into four types such as achievement, progress, proficiency and prognostic test. Each type of these tests is designed to measure certain testing objective. On the other hand, Heaton (1989:171) groups the test such as achievement/attainment test, proficiency, diagnostic and aptitude test. Commonly, these two classifications are quite similar
    • 1) Achievement Test This type of tests can be subdivided into class progress tests and achievement test. The progress test is constructed to measure the extent to which the students have mastered the material taught in the classroom. This type of test is usually prepared by the teacher himself and the result of the class progress test is commonly used to know each student progress and the progress of the class in general..
    • 2) Proficiency Test The proficiency test is simply concerned with measuring students’ control of the language according to what he or she will be expected to do with it in the future performance of a particular task. Thus, proficiency test is not intended to measure how much the student knows or general achievement but specific skill in accordance with prerequisite of a future course of study or job. One of the well known of the proficiency test is placement test which is widely used at the college level to place the incoming students in the light of their proficiency.
    • 3) Diagnostic Test Diagnostic test is utilized to diagnose the areas of difficulties so that appropriate remedial action can be taken later. Although the term diagnostic test is widely used, few tests are constructed solely as diagnostic tests. Commonly there are some tests which can be applied for diagnostic purposes such as phoneme discrimination test, grammar and usage tests and certain controlled writing tests. Moreover, diagnostic testing is frequently carried out for groups of students rather than for individual if only one or two students make a particular error, the teacher will not pay to much attention.
    • 6.2. Types based on when the Test is conducted The types of test which are classified according to when the test is administered or conducted are divided into five sub-tests: entrance test, formative test, summative test, pre-test, and post-test.
    • Entrance test is a test carried out before a teaching program begins. It is to select/determine whether a candidate can be accepted as a program participant because he/she has the required language abilities. This test is constructed based on the program which is going to be carried out and joined by the test takers. The criteria of being accepted should be on the basis of the minimum ability required to be able to join the program and the number of students needed (Djiwandono, 1996:19).
    • Formative test is a test given during a course of instruction and which informs both the students and the teacher how well the student is doing. This test only includes the topics that have been taught (Richards, Platt, and Platt; 1999). .
    • Summative test is a test given at the end of a course of instruction which includes all the topics that have been taught during the program. The purpose of this test is to know the progress of teaching-learning program as a whole (Djiwandono, 1996:20; Richards, Platt, and Platt, 1999).
    • Pre-test is a test given before the teaching program to see the students’ ability at the beginning of the teaching program. The result of this test is used to see the students’ progress at the end of the program. The progress can be understood from the difference between the result of the post-test and the pre-test. .
    • The post-test is a test given at the end of a program to see the progress of the students of the language ability compared to the result of the pre-test (Djiwandono, 1996: 20-2 1; Richards, Platt, and PlaIt, 1999.
    • 3. Types based on How to Do the Test The test types according to how to do the test are classified in two categories, that is, written and oral tests.
    • Written test is a test which requires the test participants to answer in written form the questions of which can be either written or oral. The emphasis in this type of test is the answer of the test not the questions. Although the questions are written, when the answers required are oral, this test is categorized oral test (Djiwandono, 1996:21-22). .
    • 4. Types based on the Ways of Constructing the Test Based on the ways of constructing the test, there are two types of test, that is, teacher-made test and standardized test. Teacher-made test is a test developed by a teacher or test constructor mainly to see the students’ learning progress. This test is constructed without using a complete procedure to see its good characteristics such as validity and reliability. .
    • Standardized test is a test which has been developed from tryouts and experimentation to ensure that it is reliable and valid. The procedure of constructing a standardized test is followed in order to meet the required good test characteristics (Djiwandoño, 1996: 22-24; Richards, Platt, and Platt., 1999).
    • (5) Types based on the Number of Testees According to the number of testees taking the test, test types are divided into two, namely, individual test and group test. Individual test is a test given to each individual testee by one or more examiners.. Group test is administered to a group of testees at once just for the sake of practicality of time and human resources. Speaking test can be administered both individually or in group depending on what aspects of language abilities are going to be evaluated (Djiwandono, 1996:2425).
    • 6. Types based on the answer form From the point of view of the answer forms, test types can be grouped into three: essay test, short answer test, and multiple choice tests. Essay test is a subjective test in which a person is required to write an extended written piece of text on a set topic. Short answer test is a test which requires the testees to write the answer to a question briefly either in phrases, single words, letters, or number. Multiple choice tests is a test which requires the testees just to choose the answer to the question by circling, crossing, putting a tick, or other similar sign to the correct answer from several alternatives.
    • 7. Types based on How to score On the basis of how to score, there are two types of test: subjective test and objective test. Subjective test is a test of which the scoring of the answers is influenced by the impression and the opinion of the rater. The answers to the subjective test are usually in free expressions of sentences, paragraphs, or essays. Objective test is a test of which the scoring of the answers can be done objectively using answer key, so there is no subjective opinion, or impression given, by the rater to score the answers, The objectivity of the test lies in how to score the answers that can give the same result even though it is done by different raters, or by the same rater in several different time. This scoring can be done by using answer key consistently
    • 8. Types based on Scoring Interpratation According to the scoring interpretation Brown (1996:1) argues that there are two families of tests: norm-referenced test (NRT) and criterion-referenced test (CRT). A norm-referenced test (NRT) is designed to measure global language abilities, for example, overall English language proficiency, academic listening comprehension, reading comprehension, etc. In NRT the students’ scores are interpreted relative to the scores of all other students who took the test
    • A criterion-referenced test (CRT), on the other hand, is designed to measure well-defined and fairly specific objectives. These objectives can be specific to a particular course, program, school district, or state. The students’ scores are interpreted absolutely in the sense that each student’s score is meaningful without reference to the other student’s. A student’s score on a particular objective shows the percentage of the knowledge or skill in that objective that the student has learned.
    • 9. Types based on Language Aspects Based on the language aspects criteria, test types are classified into three: language proficiency test, language competence test, and language component test
    • Language proficiency test is a test of language to see whether the testee has the ability and talent to learn a language. Therefore, this test is. Administered before the language program begins. .
    • Language competence test is a language test used to see the real language competence of the testee at the time of the test without relating the test with other things like the length of time he/she has learned. The content of the test is not related to a specific language program. Language competence test can be in the forms listening comprehension test, reading, speaking, and writing.
    • Language components test is a language test which views language as consisting of separated components, therefore, the test consists of structure, vocabulary, and pronunciation tests (Djiwandono, 1996:33).
    • 10. Types based on Language view or approach. According to the view of language, Djiwandono (1996:34.36) states that there are four types of test: discrete language test, integrative test, pragmatic test, and communicative language test.
    • Discrete language test is a language test which views language as separate components. Discrete point tests are based on the theory that language consists of different parts (e.g. grammar, sounds, and vocabulary) and different skills (e.g. listening, reading, speaking, and writing).
    • Integrative test is a test that combines the use of several language skills and components at the same time. Pragmatic test is a test used to seethe language competence of the testees about the use of language in context. .
    • Communicative language test is a test of learners’ language performance in meaningful/real life situations. This test does not only test the learners’ competence, that is, what the learners know about the language and about how to use it, but also to the performance, that is, to what extent the learners are able to actually demonstrate in a meaningful or real life situations.