ERIC Number: ED181746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Dec
Reference Count: 0
A Linguistic Guide to English Proficiency Testing in Schools. Language in Education: Theory and Practice, No. 23.
Dieterich, Thomas G.; Freeman, Cecilia
Part One of this guide explores issues in English proficiency testing. Tests are discussed in terms of the aspect of language tested, and of different kinds of test tasks. The following kinds of test task defects are treated: (1) tests that required literacy skills, (2) tasks that reduce to a vocabulary test, and (3) errant notions of linguistic complexity. Inherently faulty approaches to testing are discussed, including mimicry, testing passive comprehension, inferring lack of control from lack of performance, and using self-reported data. The value of specific test tasks (e.g., vocabulary test) in determining overall language proficiency is questioned. Linguistic artificiality in tests (e.g., demanding that answers be in complete sentences) is viewed as requiring matelinguistic knowledge from students. The implications of second language acquisition for language testing are discussed. Discrete point tests are contrasted with integrative tests, and the degree of correspondence between test content and order of acquisition of language skills is examined. Examples from specific tests are used throughout the guide. Part Two consists of an annotated catalogue of English proficiency tests. Each test is cross-referenced to relevant discussions in Part One. (JB)
Descriptors: English (Second Language), Evaluation, Item Analysis, Language Proficiency, Language Skills, Language Tests, Second Language Learning, Test Items, Test Reviews, Test Theory, Test Validity
Center for Applied Linguistics, 1611 N. Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209 ($5.95)
Publication Type: Reference Materials - Directories/Catalogs; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.