1.1 language assessment in Turkey: plenary CTS-Academic


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The opening plenary of our TEAM 2014 (testing, evaluation assessment masterclass) held at Meliksah University, Kayseri.

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1.1 language assessment in Turkey: plenary CTS-Academic

  1. 1. Dr. Simon Phipps Language Assessment in Turkey: Issues and Challenges MELİKŞAH UNIVERSITY, KAYSERI, 29-31 JANUARY, 2014
  2. 2. Outline !  Overview of the 3 days !  English language assessment in Turkish universities (1) !  Ethical testing !  Assessment literacy !  Test specifications !  Testing as part of the language learning process !  English language assessment in Turkish universities (2) !  Institutional issues and challenges
  3. 3. Some quotes from you ‘When you become a teacher you realise how important it is to teach your students properly. When you become a test developer you realise how important it is to write items properly.’ ‘Assessment should not be viewed differently from the teaching and learning process as good language tests mirror what is taught in class.’
  4. 4. Overview of the 3 days Wednesday 29 Thursday 30 Friday 31 09.0010.00 Language assessment in Turkey: Issues/challenges Applying standards to testing Curriculum and assessment 10.1511.15 Principles of test design Test design & test writing Test development cycle 11.1512.00 Workshop: Tests of grammar & vocabulary W/shop: Tests of receptive skills W/shop: Test of productive skills 13.0014.00 Groupwork Groupwork Groupwork 14.1515.15 Groupwork Groupwork Groupwork 15.1516.00 Group presentations & feedback Group presentations & feedback Group presentations & feedback
  5. 5. 1 English language assessment in Turkish universities: some challenges !  Beliefs about language, learning, testing !  KPDS, university entrance exam validity !  !  !  !  !  reliability practicality Multiple choice vs open-ended Qs ‘Value what we test’ vs ‘test what we value’ Speaking skills Formative assessment Negative backwash
  6. 6. Ethical testing !  Mis-use of tests (Fulcher, 2010) !  !  !  Importance of reliability !  !  gate-keeping vs equality of opportunity ‘ecological sensitivity’ consistent level of tests Importance of validity !  what do scores say about learners ‘The task for the ethical language tester is to look into the future, to picture the effect the test is intended to have, and to structure the test development to achieve that effect.’ (Fulcher & Davidson 2007:144) !  Guidelines for good practice – EALTA http://www.ealta.eu.org/documents/archive/guidelines/English.pdf
  7. 7. Assessment literacy the conscious understanding of principles of assessment, as well as the necessary skills to design, mark and give feedback on effective tests (Stiggins, 1995) !  ‘it is rocket science’ (Fullan, 2001) !  Lack of focus on assessment in training courses !  Teachers’ !  Test ability to choose/write appropriate tests writers need to understand: !  Principles !  Levels (CEFR), and curriculum !  Teaching and learning (and language) !  Importance !  Test of test design of: development, specifications, evaluation cycle
  8. 8. Test specifications (more detail from Zoltan tomorrow) !  Customer service – right of users to know !  Specifications !  Writers, !  Link for: users, validators to curriculum and CEFR !  Measure what’s important !  Beliefs about language learning !  formative? !  EAP? !  Weir 2005, validation framework
  9. 9. Testing as part of the learning process !  Use of tests to motivate learners (Fulcher, 2010) !  Formative assessment "  results are locally meaningful "  results may not be generalisable across contexts !  Positive backwash #  test across a range of objectives #  use a range of different task types #  transparency
  10. 10. 2 English language assessment in Turkish universities: some challenges !  How to decide the assessment system placement intake achievement A1 A2 B1 proficiency university study B2 progress !  !  !  !  !  What do we value? What do we want to test? EAP? Speaking? Formative assessment? Positive backwash?
  11. 11. Institutional issues & challenges ‘The basic problem is to develop tests which are valid and reliable, which have a beneficial backwash on teaching, and which are practical’ (Hughes, 2003:8). !  Digital literacy !  Competency of test writers !  !  assuming test writing is easy Long-term planning and investment !  !  !  setting up a testing unit baseline data and benchmarking Assessment-driven educational system !  !  teaching to the test !  !  disconnect btw teaching/curriculum/tests lack of validity and reliability = lack of trust External validation
  12. 12. Some useful resources !  EALTA http://www.ealta.eu.org/ http://www.ealta.eu.org/resources.htm http://www.ealta.eu.org/documents/archive/guidelines/English.pdf !  !  !  IATEFL Testing & Assessment SIG http://tea.iatefl.org Prep Programmes Testing SIG <zeynepu@sabanciuniv.edu> International Language Testing Association http://www.iltaonline.com/ http://www.iltaonline.com/index.php? option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=47 !  Language Testing Resources http://www.le.ac.uk/education/testing/ltr.html
  13. 13. Thank you! Dr. Simon Phipps