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Language Testing/Assessment
Approaches to Language
Testing
Reported by:
Ann Liza D. Sanchez
• Approaches to Language Testing
There has always been a close relationship
between testing and teaching. A look at
the state of the art in language testing
reveals that different testing methods have
been developed in accordance with various
teaching methods. The history of language
testing shows that it is almost impossible
to work in the field of testing without
being constantly concerned with teaching.
• Spolsky (1978) maintains:
It is useful, though an overgeneralization,
to divide language testing into three
major trends which I will call the
prescientific, the psychometric
structuralist, and the integrative
sociolinguistic. The trends follow in order
but overlap in time and approach. The
third picks up many elements of the first,
and the second and the third coexist and
compete
Madsen (1983) classifies the testing history
into three stages of intuitive, scientific, and
communicative. Heaton (1990) is the other
scholar who classifies the testing history into
four main eras. They are the essay
translation, the structuralist, the integrative,
and the communicative approaches. Farhady
(1980) also divides the history into four
periods of translation, discrete point,
integrative, and functional.
The Essay- Translation Approach
• This is commonly referred to as the
pre-scientific stage of language
testing.
• No special skills or expertise in
testing is required.
• Test usually consist of essay writing,
translation and grammatical analysis.
• Public examinations resulting from
the test using this approach
sometimes have an oral component
at the upper intermediate and
advance levels.
Strengths
• This approach is easy to follow
because teachers will simply use
their subjective judgement
• It may be used for testing any level of
examinees.
• The model of tester can easily be
modified based on the essentials of
the test.
Weaknesses
• Subjective judgement of teachers
tends to be biased.
• The tests have a heavy literary and
cultural bias
The Structuralism Approach
• The structural approach to
English views the language as
being divided into several
components; these components
interact with each other and form
the rules of language.
• The structural approach involves
structural linguistics which stresses
the importance of constructive
analysis and the need to identify and
measure the learners’ mastery of the
separate elements of the target
language.
• Grammar translation is another
structuralist method of teaching
English language.
• Structualism in the classroom relies
heavily on repetition and trial-and –
error.
• Teaching in this manner is often
tedious.
The Integrative Approach
• This involves the testing of language
in context and is thus concerned
primarily with meaning and total
communicative effect of discourse.
• This approach stated that
communicative competence is so
global that requires the integration
of all linguistic abilities.
• According to Oller (1983), if
discrete items take language skill
apart, integrative test put it back
together.
The Communicative Approach
• Communicative language testing is
intended to provide the teacher with
information about the learners’ ability to
perform in the target language in a
certain context- specific task.
The principles of testing in the
communicative language testing can
be describe as the following (Anon,
1990):
• Task in the test should be resemble
as far as possible to the ones as
would be found in real life in terms
of communicative use of language
• There is a call for test items
contextualization
• There is a need to make test
items that address a definite
audience for a purposeful
communicative intent to be
envisioned
• Test instructions and scoring plans
should touch on effective,
communication of meaning rather
than on grammatical accuracy.
Requirements of Communicative Testing
• Brown (2005) identifies five
requirements that make up what is to be
called a communicative test.
1. Meaningful communication
2. Authentic situation
3. Unpredictable language input
4. Creative language output
5. Integrated language skills
The Performance Approach
• Performance- based assessment believes
that the students will learn best when
they are given a chance to perform and
show what they know according to their
own plan, collect data, infer pattern,
draw conclusion, take a stand or deliver
presentation.
• According to Brown (2004), in
developing performance-based
assessment, should consider the
following principle:
 state the overall goal of the
performance
 specify the objectives of the
performance in details
 prepare the student in stepwise
progressions
 use a reliable evaluation form,
checklist or rating sheet
 treat performances as opportunities
for giving feedback and provide that
feedback systematically
Strengths
Increasing learning
motivation
Meaningful
Authentic
Challenge high order
thinking of students
Weaknesses
• Time consuming
• Expensive
• Challenge the
teacher to match
performance
assessment to
classroom goals and
learning objectives.
References:
• Corpuz, B. & Salandanan, G., (n.d.), Principles
Of Teaching 2, Lorimar Publishing, Q.C..
• Angeles, M. (2013, January 25). Language
Testing: Approaches and Techniques.
• Mantra, I. (2013, October 13). Communicative
Language Testing.
• Rhalmi, M. (2012, June 12). Language Testing.
• http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/1
0603/144425/11/10_chapter%20ii.pdf
Language Testing/ Assessment

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Language Testing/ Assessment

  • 1. Language Testing/Assessment Approaches to Language Testing Reported by: Ann Liza D. Sanchez
  • 2. • Approaches to Language Testing There has always been a close relationship between testing and teaching. A look at the state of the art in language testing reveals that different testing methods have been developed in accordance with various teaching methods. The history of language testing shows that it is almost impossible to work in the field of testing without being constantly concerned with teaching.
  • 3. • Spolsky (1978) maintains: It is useful, though an overgeneralization, to divide language testing into three major trends which I will call the prescientific, the psychometric structuralist, and the integrative sociolinguistic. The trends follow in order but overlap in time and approach. The third picks up many elements of the first, and the second and the third coexist and compete
  • 4. Madsen (1983) classifies the testing history into three stages of intuitive, scientific, and communicative. Heaton (1990) is the other scholar who classifies the testing history into four main eras. They are the essay translation, the structuralist, the integrative, and the communicative approaches. Farhady (1980) also divides the history into four periods of translation, discrete point, integrative, and functional.
  • 5. The Essay- Translation Approach • This is commonly referred to as the pre-scientific stage of language testing. • No special skills or expertise in testing is required. • Test usually consist of essay writing, translation and grammatical analysis.
  • 6. • Public examinations resulting from the test using this approach sometimes have an oral component at the upper intermediate and advance levels.
  • 7. Strengths • This approach is easy to follow because teachers will simply use their subjective judgement • It may be used for testing any level of examinees. • The model of tester can easily be modified based on the essentials of the test.
  • 8. Weaknesses • Subjective judgement of teachers tends to be biased. • The tests have a heavy literary and cultural bias
  • 9. The Structuralism Approach • The structural approach to English views the language as being divided into several components; these components interact with each other and form the rules of language.
  • 10. • The structural approach involves structural linguistics which stresses the importance of constructive analysis and the need to identify and measure the learners’ mastery of the separate elements of the target language.
  • 11. • Grammar translation is another structuralist method of teaching English language. • Structualism in the classroom relies heavily on repetition and trial-and – error. • Teaching in this manner is often tedious.
  • 12. The Integrative Approach • This involves the testing of language in context and is thus concerned primarily with meaning and total communicative effect of discourse. • This approach stated that communicative competence is so global that requires the integration of all linguistic abilities.
  • 13. • According to Oller (1983), if discrete items take language skill apart, integrative test put it back together.
  • 14. The Communicative Approach • Communicative language testing is intended to provide the teacher with information about the learners’ ability to perform in the target language in a certain context- specific task.
  • 15. The principles of testing in the communicative language testing can be describe as the following (Anon, 1990): • Task in the test should be resemble as far as possible to the ones as would be found in real life in terms of communicative use of language
  • 16. • There is a call for test items contextualization • There is a need to make test items that address a definite audience for a purposeful communicative intent to be envisioned
  • 17. • Test instructions and scoring plans should touch on effective, communication of meaning rather than on grammatical accuracy.
  • 18. Requirements of Communicative Testing • Brown (2005) identifies five requirements that make up what is to be called a communicative test. 1. Meaningful communication 2. Authentic situation 3. Unpredictable language input 4. Creative language output 5. Integrated language skills
  • 19. The Performance Approach • Performance- based assessment believes that the students will learn best when they are given a chance to perform and show what they know according to their own plan, collect data, infer pattern, draw conclusion, take a stand or deliver presentation.
  • 20. • According to Brown (2004), in developing performance-based assessment, should consider the following principle:  state the overall goal of the performance  specify the objectives of the performance in details
  • 21.  prepare the student in stepwise progressions  use a reliable evaluation form, checklist or rating sheet  treat performances as opportunities for giving feedback and provide that feedback systematically
  • 22. Strengths Increasing learning motivation Meaningful Authentic Challenge high order thinking of students Weaknesses • Time consuming • Expensive • Challenge the teacher to match performance assessment to classroom goals and learning objectives.
  • 23. References: • Corpuz, B. & Salandanan, G., (n.d.), Principles Of Teaching 2, Lorimar Publishing, Q.C.. • Angeles, M. (2013, January 25). Language Testing: Approaches and Techniques. • Mantra, I. (2013, October 13). Communicative Language Testing. • Rhalmi, M. (2012, June 12). Language Testing. • http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/1 0603/144425/11/10_chapter%20ii.pdf