ERIC Number: ED419002
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Experiences and Issues Related to the Format of Bilingual Tests: Dual Language Test Booklets versus Two Different Test Booklets.
Stansfield, Charles W.
This report, requested by the Massachusetts Department of Education, addresses the issue of the format of native language assessments of students' educational achievement. There are two basic options when administering a translation or adaptation of a test in another language: one is to produce test booklets in both languages and then determine which booklet should be used by the examinee; the other option is to produce the booklet in a format that uses parallel columns. A request for information from language testing specialists who subscribe to a listserv found some information about the use of these and other approaches. In Mexico, tests are administered to Mayan students in Maya and Spanish, and the student receives the higher score earned. Bilingual formats are not used in Micronesia; the teacher or administrator selects the language of the test. The Sylvan Prometric company allows students to access both languages when taking a computer administered test. The Human Sciences Research Council of South African uses a format with items printed in tandem in both languages. In Finland, the Swedish speaking minority may choose a Swedish language test by declaring it in advance. A similar approach is used in Rhode Island, where students may choose minority language versions when available. The Chinese Proficiency Test of the Center for Applied Linguistics uses characters used in Taiwan and those used in the People's Republic of China in parallel columns, and examinees may use one or both columns. This brief review suggests that when parallel columns are used, users are satisfied, although some offer well-intentioned and possibly valid reasons to avoid this approach. A concern when separate versions are used is that there may be pressure to use the dominant language. If the parallel column format is chosen, students should be allowed some additional time to take the test. (Contains two references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Parallel Test Forms