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APPROACHES TO LANGUAGE TESTING : A BRIEF HISTORY

in the 1950s an era of behaviorism and special attention to contrastive analysis, testing focused on
specific language elements such as phonological, grammatical and lexical contrast between two
languages. in 1970s and 1980s communicative theories of language brought with them a more
integrative view of testing in which specialists claimed that the whole of the ommunicative even
was considerably greater than the sum of its linguistic elements.

Discreate- point and integrative testing

Discrete point tests are constructed on the assumption that languag can be broken down into its
component parts and that those parts can be tested successfully .

integrative testing . language competence is unfied set of interacting abilties that cannot be tested
separately . communicative competence is so global and requires such integration that it cannot be
captured in additive test of grammar , readig , vocabulary, and other discrete point of language
two types of test have historically been claimed to be examples of integrative tests : cloze test and
dictation
cloze tests : is a reading passage ( 150- 200) in which roughly every sixth seventh word has been
deleted : test taker is required to supply word that fits the blank

Dictation : is a familiar language teacching technique that envolved inti a testing technique.
Essentially , learners listen to a passage of 100 to 150 words raed aloud by an administrator (or
audiotape) and what they hear, using correct spelling.

Communicative language testing


Communicative testing presented challenges to test designers. test constructor began to identify the
kinds of real world task that language learners were calleds upon to perform . it was clear that the
contexts for those task were extraordinarily widely varied and that the sampling of tasks for any one
assesment procedure needed to be validated by what language users actually do with language .

performance Based Assesment


performance based assesment of language typically involves oral production, written production ,
open ended responses, integrated performance ( across skill areas), group perfomance, and other
insteractive task.

performance based assesment means that you may have a difficult time distinguishing between
formal and informal assessment.

CURRENT ISSUES IN CLASSROOM TESTING


New views on intellegence
intelligence was once viewed strictly as the ability to perform (a) linguistic and (b) logical
mathematical problem solving. However research on intelegence by psycologist like howard
Gardner, robert strenberg , and daniel goleman has begun to turn psychometric world upside down.
Gardner, extended the traditional view of intelligence to different components. He accepted the
traditional conceptualization oflinguistic intelligence and logical mathematical intelegence on
which standardise IQ tests are based, but he included five other frames of mind in his theory of
multiple intelegnce:
- spatial intelligence
- musical intelligence
- bodily- kinesthetic intelligence
- interpersonal intelligence
- intrapersonal intelligence

TRADITIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE ASSESMENT

COMPUTER BASED TESTING


A specific type of computer based test, a computer adaptive tes has been available for many
years but has recently gained momentum. in a computer adaptive test ( CAT) each test
takers receive a set of question that meet the test specification and that are generally
appropiate fo hir or her performance level . the CAT start with questions and uses that
information , as well as reponses to previous questions to determine which question will be
presented next.
Computer- basd testing, with or without CAT techonology, offers these advantages:
1. Classroom based testing
2. Self- directed testing on various aspects of a language
3. practice for upcoming high stakes standardized tests

Disvantages

1. lack of security and the possibility of cheating are inherent in classroom based
2. Occasional home- grown quizzes that appear on unofficial websites maybe
mistaken for validated assesment
3. the multiple choice format preferred for most computer based test contains the
usual potential for flawed item design